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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Becoming a Freelance Contractor

How to Become a Freelance Contractor

You may already have a permanent job working 9 to 5, or maybe out of work. Either way, you're looking at the best way to earn a living based on your own specific niche abilities. What does life as a contractor involve? Where do you start?

A freelancer, or  contractor, has a number of temporary roles over any given year instead of a single full time permanent position. Each role will be for a designated period (eg 3 months) for a specified amount (eg £10k).

Project by Project

  • The more unique your skills are the higher the rate you can command. The better you perform the more likely it is that you can increase your rate on future jobs.
  • A ‘good' contractor will soon generate a great reputation, and a good reputation will ensure you're never without a job.

What makes a good freelance contractor?

Hard to say, but they will tick most of the following:

1. Get on with strangers and like meeting new people. 2. Understand and can fulfil specific functions within a wider corporate strategy. You can cope with working at different sites on a regular basis. 3. Can adapt to different cultures and work ethics. 4. You can impart your knowledge to other people and businesses in a manner which others can understand. 5. Have the maturity to know when to contribute and when to stay silent. 6. Can perform your job without constant supervision from the client. 7. You can identify and recommend further work which the client may have overlooked resulting in a win-win solution for you and the client. 8. Ensure your client will always know what you have done so far, and what work is still outstanding. 9. Able to complete your job on time, satisfactorily and within any specified budgets. 10. Ability to report to the client, at any stage of the job, in clear simple terms which are easily understood.

The more items you can tick the sooner you will build your reputation and the more in demand you will become.

You would also be expected to have sorted out your 'limited company' status. What will you be doing; using the umbrella company service or setting up your own one-man limited company? Which option is best for you own limited company or umbrella company service? 

What Next?

Your next step should be to identify and contact two or three specialist contract recruitment agencies who are used to dealing with contractors who have similar abilities to your skills. See how viable it would be to be a conractor given your skills and get an idea of the demand you can expect.

See if they have any vacancies that would suit and see what rate you could achieve. A recruitment agent will always welcome a conversation with a new contractor.

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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.