How to pick the best umbrella company
Contracting through an umbrella company comes with a great deal of benefits – you’ve got the same flexibility as other self-employed workers without the administrative burden, you’re often paid higher rates of pay than permanent employees and you’re entitled to statutory sick pay and annual leave.
Read our Benefits of using an Umbrella Company page for more reasons as to why people choose the umbrella route.
However, it’s one thing deciding to become an umbrella contractor, you’ve then got to find a good umbrella company that works best for you.
You’ll need to take a lot of factors into consideration, such as their commitment levels and how trustworthy they are, and the only way you’re going to be able to pick the best umbrella company is by doing your research.
What are the signs of a good umbrella company?
When researching umbrella companies, here are a few things to look out for:
- Good reviews
Look at reviews to get an idea of what people really think of the umbrella company you’re thinking of working through.
- Providing a personal service
Having a go-to person who deals with all of your work is so important for a hassle-free umbrella experience.
- Been in business for a long time
Experience is key with any business, giving you peace of mind that they know what they’re doing.
Recognition for the work they do is always a comforting factor when it comes to choosing the best umbrella company – make sure that their awards are fairly recent too.
There’s also the size of the company to consider; for example, often you can find that the larger umbrella companies can be a little faceless without the personal touch and a high staff churn. On the other hand, the smaller sized ones might bring with it concerns about getting paid and whether or not they’ll struggle to cope during busy periods.
We believe that Contractor Umbrella is the perfect size, offering all of the above bullet points, plus more:
- We have a service guarantee, which ensures all employees and clients are looked after at every step of the way.
- We believe in the personal touch and so provide you with your very own dedicated Contract Manager.
- We have glowing testimonials.
- A fast and easy registration system – simply register online and we’ll take care of the rest, ensuring you’re ready to work in 24 hours.
For more information on what we can offer you, read our Benefits of Working for Contractor Umbrella page.
How can you avoid non-compliant umbrella companies?
Unfortunately, while most umbrella companies will be compliant with tax rules, there will be some illegitimate ones out there.
The signs to look out for are:
- If there’s a third party in the chain making the payment.
- If the umbrella company claims that you’ll be able to keep more of your earnings than others.
- If you’re asked to sign an annuity, loan or other agreement which involves a non-taxable element of pay.
If you believe that an umbrella company may be non-compliant, then you should contact HMRC as soon as possible by reporting it via an online form on the GOV.UK website.
The risks of using a non-compliant umbrella company really aren’t worth it – being caught out will result in you having to pay the tax that you owe, plus interest and even a penalty. For more information on this, read our What is a loan scheme and why you shouldn’t use one page.
If you’d like to sign up or need any further information on working through an umbrella company, please call one our friendly experts on 01206 591 000 or email Jaime at firstname.lastname@example.org.