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Umbrella Company

There seems to be some confusion about what an Umbrella Company exactly stands for in the UK and why they are needed. We will try and clear things up for you, including the myths surrounding umbrella company services and connected UK tax legislations like the notorious IR35.

An umbrella company is a company that employs freelancers and contractors who are employed through recruitment agencies. The recruitment agency or client then engages with the umbrella company rather than directly with the contractor. As a contractor you become an employee of the umbrella company and will carry out a number of temporary contracts without the need to manage your own payroll. You will submit a time sheet and expenses information to them every month and the umbrella company will then invoice the agent/client for the work they have done. The umbrella company will also deal with all invoicing, PAYE and National Insurance contributions. As a contractor you are classed as the employee of the umbrella company, and you may have access to many benefits usually associated with permanent employment such as, statutory sick pay, holiday pay and statutory maternity pay. You are able to gain professional independence with all the benefits of being an employee.

How Does an Umbrella Company Work?

As a contractor you won’t be employed by the recruitment agency or client so you have to come up with a way to pay your taxes and get money into your bank account. This is where an umbrella company comes in and why umbrella companies for contractors are needed. As previously stated you will be employed by the umbrella company and they will engage with the recruiter or end client under a business to business contract.

There are many advantages to an umbrella solution. In some instances you may be able to claim for work related expenses, which are paid free of tax and National Insurance and this increases your take home pay. You are also entitled to holiday pay so you won’t be out of pocket when you take a break.

Myths around Umbrella Companies

Working via an umbrella company is now popular practice among contractors, however there are many contractors and freelancers who aren’t aware exactly what an umbrella company does, how they work and the benefits they can bring. Umbrella companies are the most protected method for service providers to manage their profits, however there are many myths surrounding what they offer.

Many also believe that they won’t get the full benefits like traditional employees do. That’s not the case and you will be entitled to sick pay, holiday pay and statutory maternity pay etc. However, these payments are not funded by the umbrella companies themselves they are funded by the contractor, typically calculated at the national minimum wage rate. Most umbrella companies accrue holiday pay and hold it aside until employees take time off, or either when the period of employment finishes or at the end of the financial year.

Another myth is that you will be subject to IR35 investigations. As long as you’re not getting paid dividends from your umbrella company you don’t fall under IR35. After the introduction of MSC Legislation, most of the umbrella companies do not pay dividends, if your umbrella company is, beware that it’s illegal.

Similarities between TCP Solutions and Umbrella Companies

Umbrella Company or PAYE Umbrella is a term that comes up time and time again when people in the UK refer to TCP Solutions. Although we bear many similarities to an umbrella company and many of the services we offer are the same, we are not technically called an “umbrella company”.

The best is to speak to one of our knowledgeable consultants for a precise customised advice. You can call us on the number on top of the page, use the “quick contact” button on the right-hand side of the screen or fill in the “get in touch” form which you can find scrolling down here below.