How to Compare Umbrella Companies: Tips for Modern-day Businesses


If you’re a contractor or freelancer, then there’s a very good chance that you’ve either though of using an umbrella company, or you already are. The thing is; they’re not all the same, and it can be worthwhile doing a little bit of research to find out which of the myriad companies is best for you. It’s not difficult, and there are a few main points you should look out for.


First and foremost: compliance. Attempting to get round HMRC with spurious claims is a very bad idea indeed, which means that it’s essential you choose a reputable and compliant company. Good companies will shout about how they’ve been thoroughly assessed for compliance by an accredited company. It’s simply not worth taking a risk.


Next up is when you get paid. The date your pay comes in is very important when organising personal finances such as direct debits and standing orders. This is one of the areas in which things can differ greatly. Some companies will have one or several set dates on which they will pay you through, and others will simply pay you once the funds have cleared from the client. Some companies will even use faster payments rather than BACS.


Prices among the best umbrella companies are pretty similar across the board, but it’s still worth making the comparisons. Always make sure that you’re comparing like for like, as headline rates can often be misleading; they sometimes quote for after tax. Fixed fee is usually the way to go, too – using a company that charges a percentage can get difficult and often works out more expensive.


Last, and probably least, are extras that companies sometimes use to tempt you in, such as stationery and vouchers. They’re generally not that important, but they may just tip the scales if you’re comparing two companies that are otherwise very similar.


Finally, you should give some thought to customer service. You wouldn’t go and work for a normal employer without first trying to find out what it’s like to work there, so don’t with an umbrella company. Reviews are easy enough to find – see if other people have enjoyed a hassle free time with their choice.


There you have it – comparing umbrella companies isn’t difficult at all, but there’s no point in signing up with one until you’ve checked to see if you’re getting a good deal.



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