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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The Perfect Umbrella Company and Umbrella Company Service

Does the Perfect Umbrella Company Exist?

The perfect umbrella company isn't that much of a fantasy. On average an umbrella probably makes 2 mistakes a year that will directly affect you.

The key element is how the umbrella handles the mistake(s). Will you give them another chance, or look for a different one?

Out of Pocket

It might be better to have a couple of mistakes a year that were properly resolved (plus maybe a cash back opportunity?) rather than just one which left you out of pocket.

Of course 100% right, 100% of the time would be preferable. It's their job to deliver a good service.

If a mistake is made:

  • You should not be inconvenienced or out of pocket
  • The umbrella company is quick to fix the problem

Umbrella Company Mistakes

Here are some potential problems:

  • You send in your timesheet , but the umbrella say it never arrived.
  • The umbrella is late to invoice your recruitment agency.
  • The invoice wrong and your agency reject it.
  • Your agency pays your umbrella, but your umbrella hasn't yet picked it up.
  • Your expenses are not taken into account.
  • You get a payslip but your money isn't in your bank account.

Umbrella Companies - Top 10 Must Do's

Know the needs and expectations of contractors.

  1. Understand how a contractor thinks.
  2. Award winning umbrellas give staff as much discretion as possible.
  3. If the Directors don't believe in service excellence, it won't happen.
  4. Service is a result of how the umbrella company is organised.
  5. Deliver a great experience and get more repeat customers.
  6. Continuous improvement.
  7. Grasp the opportunities and threats of new technologies.
  8. Give frontline people as much freedom as possible to fix problems.
  9. Make things easier for contractors.

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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.