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Here’s a handy guide to help you get yourself started in the world of contracting, as it can be a pretty confusing place at first. Our informative and easy to understand article below will give you some great advice so you can focus on the contract.

Umbrella or Limited?

The first thing you’ll probably hear from your agency or employer is “do you use an umbrella or have a limited company?” and you’ll need to decide which of these payroll structures to use in order to actually get that first payslip. Click here for our handy guide on Umbrella Vs Limited and see what is the best route for you.

We generally recommend you hold off jumping into a limited company until you know you are comfortable both contracting (as opposed to permanent) and in the role itself. You can easily re-assess your suitability to “go limited” at any time, and here at Appytech we won’t charge you a penny to switch over!

Which Umbrella?

Presuming you want to begin your new career using an umbrella, you now need to choose one. It can be daunting, not unlike walking down that beachfront strip of restaurants on holiday, being pulled in all directions with promises of the best food in town. We’ve put together some tips to consider when choosing your umbrella:

  • Take recommendations and advice from colleagues and friends with a pinch of salt, do your own research and shop around. What works for them might not work for you, and it might have been a while since they shopped around. Who knows, they might even follow you to your new umbrella if you make a good choice!
  • Be wary of payroll guidance coming from your recruitment agency, they tend not to be experts when it comes to payroll and many will simply refer you to their ‘preferred supplier lists’ out of ease for themselves (and commission!) rather than the best outcome for you. Stand your ground if you want to use an umbrella that isn’t on your agency’s list. In order to avoid this happening at the last minute, here at Appytech you can complete a ‘pre-flight check’. This allows us to communicate with your agency in order to establish whether we can work with them on your behalf, saving you valuable time and hassle.
  • Try not to focus on fees and expenses, what really counts is your net pay rate (how much actually goes into your pocket after all deductions). Make sure the structure of your pay and the way it’s explained is clear and quality support is available to you should you sign up.
  • Stay within the rules imposed by HMRC! With this in mind, stay away from umbrella companies that offer sky high take home pay rates (like 90%!) If it looks too good to be true, it probably is! There is an increased risk of being ‘caught out’ by HMRC if you go Limited, due to their elusive and ever-changing IR35 rules (another reason we recommend you go umbrella to begin with). Here at Appytech you will get a market leading remuneration package PLUS peace of mind that we are 100% HMRC compliant.

Contractual Stuff

Once you’ve decided who you want to go with, your umbrella should negotiate and agree the terms of your contract with you and your agency or end-client. If you are not contracting through an agency, here at Appytech we will agree the contract directly with your end client for you. We might even get you a free breakfast bun in there somewhere!

Raising Invoices

Now that’s all sorted, you can get on with starting the job! After your first week or month (depending when you get paid) you will need to raise your invoice with your umbrella company. Here at Appytech, we have a mobile app which enables you to complete timesheets and invoices quickly, easily and on the go! We also have an online portal should you choose to use that instead. We also have hands on support and guidance in and out of hours, in case you need it.

Getting Paid!

Once you’ve raised your invoices you simply wait for your money to come in!

After your umbrella has made the relevant deductions from your pay (service fees, tax, NI etc), you will be paid into your bank account. Here at Appytech we use FasterPayments. In other words: the same day we get paid, you get paid.

Want to know how much YOU could get paid with Appytech? Click here.

Now sit back, relax and let us do the rest!

Posted in Contracting, Knowledge, Umbrella On August 31, 2016