Employment Status

Are you a contractor? If you work for someone else, it is important to know whether you are working for that person in an employed capacity or in a self-employed capacity as an independent contractor.

Your employment status will determine the charge to tax on income from your employment or self-employment. It will also determine the class of NICs, which are to be paid.

Umbrella Companies employ you for tax purposes and complete central returns for all their contractors. It's less hassle and more flexible for you but take home pay is typically less than that the limited company option.

The best option for you depends on your plans, 'one off' contract or 'contractor for life'? [Read More...]

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You Got The Contract What Now Umbrella Service

You Got The Contract What Now?

Having passed your interview and got your start date you might think there's no more to do until you turn up at the client's site.

Think again! You've got one more task to complete. You have to have a 'limited company' to trade through.

A 'limited company' has a different set of legal rights compared to an 'individual'. Due to complex European employment laws, clients will only deal with limited companies and not individuals.

But don't worry, this part is easy!

Paperwork or NO Paperwork

10 years ago freelance contractors had to go to all the bother of setting up and managing their own limited company.

Things you'll have to do include:

  1. Register at Companies House.
  2. Annual Returns each year to update Companies House, fee required.
  3. HMRC forms.
  4. Corporation tax return.
  5. Memorandum of Association
  6. Articles of Association
  7. Form 10 - Provides Directors' and Company Secretary's Names and Addresses
  8. Form 12 - States that the Company complies with the terms of the Companies Act.

Most freelance contractors admit to a weakness when it comes to forms, red-tape and administration - so, you're not alone!

Ancient or Modern

Contractors don't want to spend all day at work then come home to face hours in front of the PC doing more paperwork. Anyway, contractor does not = qualified accountant.

This is where umbrella companies come into the picture. An umbrella company is a ready-made ready-to-go limited company designed specifically for freelance contractors.

An umbrella company will complete all the work described above, plus a whole heap more. An umbrella company will deal with HMRC on your behalf, sign contracts with your recruitment agency and ensure you get paid as quickly as possible.

Too good to be true? Fortunately, not! These umbrella companies are set up specifically to help contractors, and want to hear from you. In return for a modest monthly fee your umbrella company will do all the administration and paperwork necessary.

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HMRC Compliance

It's the basics... Compliance with Tax, VAT, PAYE and fiscal arrangements is mandatory for contractors regardless of whether you use an umbrella company or your own limited company.

Incredible then that there are still rogue umbrella companies and limited company accountants who expose their contractors to fraud. Umbrella Compare provides THE solution, we thoroughly vet all umbrella companies and limited company accountants that we list [Read more...].

Umbrella Compare provides a holistic overview of contracting with the aim of helping new and old contractors find the right payroll solutions. Contracting should be about focusing on the contract, not payroll, accounting, HMRC and bureaucracy.