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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Finding the Best Umbrella Company

How do you find the Best Umbrella Company?

There are a number of different ways to assess an umbrella company and to fully understand what an umbrella company is really like underneath the glossy image, you need to decide first what you are looking for.

Here are the main two categories which most prioritise:

  • The best service
  • The cheapest

There are many umbrella companies which will charge you less than £10 per week. Given that the average is over £25 per week you would say that £10 is cheap. But does that mean they are any good?

No, not always. Sometimes going with the cheapest can be a false economy. This is not meant to be a sweeping generalised assessment and there are umbrella companies who are cheap and also very very good.

Answer These Questions

So, how do you find the best umbrella company when there are over 100 to choose from? First off, do not make your judgment on cost alone. We all know times are tough and every penny counts, but other factors should be considered:

  • What do other contractors think about the service?
  • What do the experts think?

You Think What?

Of course it's difficult for most new contractors to find out what other contractors think about their umbrella company service.

It's equally tricky to compare umbrella companies on the service you can expect to receive - after all, who's got the time (apart from us!) to make over one hundred phone calls!

  • Equally, how many independent umbrella company experts do you know?

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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.