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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10 Questions to ask an Umbrella Company before your Sign up

Looking at Contracting?

Are you thinking of becoming a contractor? New to contracting? Don't fancy spending hours of your 'free' time in front of the computer filling in forms and spreadsheets? Then you'll need to know more about umbrella companies.

  1. What do umbrella companies do?
  2. How do I pick a good umbrella company?
  3. What does it cost to join an umbrella company?
  4. How can I compare different umbrella companies?

If you've just decided to start contracting you might not even know what questions you should be asking your umbrella company. So to make life a lot simpler we've identified exactly what questions you should be thinking about, together with some handy hints on what answers you should be looking for.

Fast Food of Accounting

An umbrella company is simply a ready-made limited company. Think of it as the fast-food of accounting. Umbrella companies started to become popular about ten years ago. In those days there were only a handful of umbrella companies, today you can choose from hundreds.

Given the massive increase in their numbers it's inevitable that some will be better than others - so here's what you should be considering when choosing an umbrella company.

Ten Questions to ask an Umbrella Company

  1. How much do they charge, and is it a fully inclusive price?
  2. How many clients do they currently have?
  3. Can you claim expenses and do you need receipts?
  4. What insurances are included within the price?
  5. How quickly will you be paid after sending in your timesheet?
  6. Will you have a named account manager?
  7. Is there a complaints procedure?
  8. What are their opening hours?
  9. Is there a leaving charge?
  10. What happens when you want to leave?

Asking these questions should give you an idea of what it will be like working with them. Your relationship with your umbrella company is important, so don't make your decision lightly

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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.