Umbrella Company

Umbrella Company Reviews

Over the last few years the use of Umbrella Companies has become more popular within the contracting market.

Umbrella Companies are popular because they take the hassle out of tax and administration responsibilities. You simply register online with your chosen Umbrella service provider. To complete your registration you will need to send in a copy of your passport and visa and your P45 or P46.

Once you are a registered client, you simply log your timesheets online and send in expense claim forms. It’s that simple.

Your Umbrella Company takes care of all the administration including processing your payment after making the correct deductions and paying the correct taxes to HMRC. This leaves you free to focus on finding those opportunities and doing the work.

But how can you be sure you are entrusting your hard earned money to the right Umbrella Company?

10 tips for selecting the right Umbrella Company to partner with:

Experience

Only consider an Umbrella Company that has been in operation for a number of years. Look for established companies. Be wary of any new companies as you run the risk of losing all your money to a fly-by-night operator.

Reputation

Easy online system

Make sure that your Umbrella service provider has a simple online system that you can easily manage. There’s no point in using an umbrella provider to avoid admin, only to have to spend hours figuring out their complicated registration and submission systems.

Personal service

As important as an online system is, make sure that when you need to speak to a real, live person, one is available to you.

Fee structure
It is extremely important that you establish upfront that there are no joining fees and no exit fees. Ask the Umbrella Company to provide you with a full schedule of fees to ensure that you aren’t overcharged.

Insurance

What happens if your service provider goes bankrupt? Always ask about the insurance policy to be 100% sure that you will receive your money, no matter what. Your Umbrella Company should have public liability, employers’ liability, and professional indemnity insurance cover.

Expense policy

Some companies may claim an extensive claims policy, but the conditions attached are so extreme that the likelihood of you actually claiming is pretty slim. Do your research and ask as many questions as possible. Avoid any company that states that you don’t need to prove your expense claims – if HMRC does query your expenses and you cannot provide the necessary receipts, the tax liability could fall on you.

Employee benefits

Does your Umbrella Company give you the option of employee benefits such as sick leave and maternity leave? Well established umbrella companies can offer you fantastic employee benefits while you enjoy the freedom of working for yourself.

Payment dates

Does the scheme have fixed payment dates you can rely on? Be sure to find out what the payment methods and schedules are and make sure the answers are not vague. You want to know exactly what their payment policy is, so that you have recourse should the timelines not be met.

Relocation costs

Lastly, find out about other benefits.

For instance, with some Umbrella companies you can claim relocation costs if they are your first employer when you arrive in the UK.

You could be in a position to claim the costs of your flights, shipping, 6 weeks’ accommodation. In fact, up to £8000 could be claimed to give you a tax benefit and in turn increase you net pay. Terms and conditions do apply, but this is a fantastic benefit.

We hope these tips have been of use to you. If you have any questions related to contracting in the UK, Umbrella Companies or the setting up of a Limited Company, visit www.umbrella-company.co

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