Umbrella Companies | For UK contractors and freelancers

Welcome to Umbrella Companies

Established in 2010, the umbrellacompanies.org.uk has built a reputation as one of the leading and most reliable resources dedicated to educating contractors, freelancers and the supply chain about umbrella companies.

There are over 500 umbrella companies in the UK. While most of these act ethically and will process your payroll compliantly, a small number are operating tax avoidance schemes. It’s imperative that you use a compliant umbrella company and pay the correct amount of tax and National Insurance, as HMRC are always on the lookout for unscrupulous providers and those who have engaged with them (even if it was an accident).

Our website has dozens of helpful guides covering plenty of important topics, including umbrella company payslips, the advantages and disadvantages of using an umbrella company, the dangers of using a tax avoidance scheme, how umbrella companies work, the pros of choosing an FCSA (Freelancer and Contractor Services Association) or Professional Passport accredited umbrella, how to register with an umbrella company, how umbrella company margins work, IR35, and more.

The latest umbrella company news

Our blog is updated regularly with helpful advice and the latest news affecting the sector. We aim to write several articles every week, and the latest content is available here (or scroll further down this page). If you have any suggestions for new content or you have questions you would like answering, please email our Content Team at info@umbrellacompanies.org.uk.

Umbrella company forum

The team has also recently added an umbrella company forum – a free space for contractors and freelancers to share experiences (positive and negative) about umbrella companies and to help fellow temporary workers make well-informed decisions about their payroll. Using our forum is entirely free of charge, and you can register in a matter of minutes.

Top 10 umbrella companies

If you are new to umbrella companies and are looking for a trustworthy provider, our top 10 umbrella companies list will be extremely helpful. All of our top 10 are accredited by the FCSA and Professional Passport, and some are running special promotions at the moment. Please click here to see our top 10 umbrella companies. Our top 10 is also very helpful if you are interested in switching umbrella companies, perhaps because your current provider is offering a poor or over-priced service.

Advertising with us

There are plenty of exciting advertising opportunities for FCSA and Professional Passport accredited umbrella companies. If you want to promote your umbrella company on umbrellacompanies.org.uk, please click here for more information or email info@umbrellacompanies.org.uk.

YouTube Channel

We have been busy creating a series of YouTube videos covering all things related to umbrella companies. To see our latest videos, please click here. All our videos are also available on this website (click here).

We hope you enjoy using our website and get the answers you need about umbrella companies. Please connect with us on Twitter, and be sure to join the conversation in our forum.

Thank you for visiting our website.

The umbrellacompanies.org.uk Team

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HMRC expose new “complex tax avoidance scheme”

HMRC has shared a recent press release with our team and we thought you would find it helpful. Please keep reading to learn more about the new scheme, which is associated with Darren Patrick-Green and involves contractors engaging with a Singapore company, Procorre LLP, to avoid paying Income Tax and …

HMRC expose new “complex tax avoidance scheme” » Read the full story

Contractor Guide – An overview of IR35 legislation and the off-payroll working rules

An overview of the off-payroll working restrictions and IR35 A section of tax legislation known as IR35 went into effect across the United Kingdom in April 2000 and aims to differentiate between contractors who operate as legitimate self-employed businesses (via a limited company often referred to as a personal service …

Contractor Guide – An overview of IR35 legislation and the off-payroll working rules » Read the full story

How advanced tech can ensure contractor compliance and safety

The intersection of technology and contractor work is reshaping how you manage your projects and ensure compliance. For contractors and businesses hiring them, keeping up with the latest technological advancements is crucial for streamlining your workflow and staying ahead in a competitive market. Whether through sophisticated software for project management …

How advanced tech can ensure contractor compliance and safety » Read the full story

Streamlining your contracting business: Tools and techniques for success

Streamlining a contracting business is much like conducting a symphony; every element needs to work in harmony for success. As contractors, our work revolves around managing multiple facets, from project execution to client relations and everything in between. The key to success lies in how efficiently and effectively we handle …

Streamlining your contracting business: Tools and techniques for success » Read the full story

The best ways to boost awareness of your business

In a crowded and competitive business landscape, raising awareness of your brand is crucial for success. Effective brand awareness attracts potential customers and establishes trust and credibility in the market. To navigate this landscape successfully, businesses need a well-crafted strategy that encompasses various channels and approaches. Invest in a distinctive …

The best ways to boost awareness of your business » Read the full story

FAQ – Do I have to use an umbrella company for my payroll?

Umbrella companies are in high demand by contractors and freelancers looking for a compliant way to be paid while working on temporary assignments. While most offer compliant and straightforward payroll, some have recently made the headlines for the wrong reasons, including so-called “salary skimming” and signs of malpractice. In this …

FAQ – Do I have to use an umbrella company for my payroll? » Read the full story

5 things we have learned about the umbrella company marketplace in 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, we have been looking back at the umbrella company marketplace to summarise everything we have learned. Please take a look and let us know whether you agree with our summary, and comment with your thoughts below! 1) SafeRec is a game-changer SafeRec has really …

5 things we have learned about the umbrella company marketplace in 2023 » Read the full story

How to cut down costs when freelancing

The freelance economy has surged in recent years, with more individuals taking the leap into self-employment than ever before. The allure of choosing your own clients, flexible hours, and the comfort of working from home is undeniable. However, with this independence comes the responsibility of managing every aspect of your …

How to cut down costs when freelancing » Read the full story

Profit with purpose: Embedding sustainability in the business agenda

Sustainability has swiftly transitioned from a supplementary business consideration to a core component of modern business strategies. The impetus is clear: to foster long-term resilience and create a positive societal impact while achieving business objectives. Businesses operating within the UK are increasingly recognising the multifaceted benefits of sustainability, which extends …

Profit with purpose: Embedding sustainability in the business agenda » Read the full story

Small business wisdom: The art of delegation for thriving entrepreneurs

In the world of small business ownership, versatility and adaptability are your closest allies. Entrepreneurs often find themselves donning numerous hats, juggling responsibilities in a ceaseless effort to keep the ship afloat. Yet, in the tumultuous journey of entrepreneurship, certain responsibilities should not be borne solely by the business owner. …

Small business wisdom: The art of delegation for thriving entrepreneurs » Read the full story

Alliance (CS) Ltd awarded Professional Passport accreditation

Alliance (CS) proudly announces its recent achievement of Professional Passport accreditation, a testament to its dedication to compliance, quality, and adherence to strict industry standards. The accreditation by Professional Passport, independent from provider, agency, or end-client influence, underscores Alliance (CS)’s commitment to rigorous compliance with a wide spectrum of legislative …

Alliance (CS) Ltd awarded Professional Passport accreditation » Read the full story

Try the free and comprehensive umbrella company calculator built by Payslip Buddy

Payslip Buddy, an AI-powered umbrella payslip auditing software, has released a free and comprehensive umbrella company calculator, and we recommend our readers check it out. Please keep reading for more information, including a calculator link and some screenshots highlighting its features. An overview of the Payslip Buddy umbrella company calculator …

Try the free and comprehensive umbrella company calculator built by Payslip Buddy » Read the full story

The FCSA’s Chief Executive, Chris Bryce, shares his views on the Autumn Statement 2023

Earlier today (Wednesday, 22nd November 2023), Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered the Autumn Statement 2023 in parliament. Some important announcements were made that will impact contractors and freelancers (as well as small business owners). Keep reading to learn more about the Autumn Statement 2023, including the views of …

The FCSA’s Chief Executive, Chris Bryce, shares his views on the Autumn Statement 2023 » Read the full story

A summary of the Autumn Statement 2023, announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt

On Wednesday, 22nd November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered the Autumn Budget 2023 to Parliament and summarised the UK’s economy and upcoming tax and spending changes that will impact us all. Please keep reading for a summary of all the announcements, split into helpful sections. Taxes and salaries From 6th January …

A summary of the Autumn Statement 2023, announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt » Read the full story

Kate Cottrell, IR35 expert and founder of Bauer & Cottrell, has sadly passed away

IR35 expert and founder of Bauer & Cottrell, Kate Cottrell, has sadly passed away after a short illness. Everyone at umbrellacompanies.org.uk sends their love, prayers and condolences to Kate’s colleagues, friends and family at this very difficult time. Kate’s exceptional work protecting contractors and freelancers will never be forgotten, and …

Kate Cottrell, IR35 expert and founder of Bauer & Cottrell, has sadly passed away » Read the full story

A recent survey identifies “worrying levels of non-compliance” within the umbrella company marketplace

ContractorCalculator, a well-respected news source for contractors and freelancers, has conducted a survey which has “uncovered alarming levels of non-compliance and a lack of worker protections within the umbrella industry”. We’ve summarised the survey’s findings below and have provided some helpful tips to help you pick a compliant umbrella company …

A recent survey identifies “worrying levels of non-compliance” within the umbrella company marketplace » Read the full story

Everything you need to know about non-compliant umbrella companies

Embarking on a contracting career in the United Kingdom requires a keen understanding of umbrella companies’ pivotal role in this sector. They act as indispensable intermediaries between contractors and clients, significantly easing the administrative workload for contractors and ensuring that they are paid on time and in accordance with UK …

Everything you need to know about non-compliant umbrella companies » Read the full story

MJ Weemes acquires Optimum Pay Group’s renowned customer service team

MJ Weemes (Trading as Alliance Combined Services Ltd) Acquires Optimum Pay Group’s Renowned Customer Service Team to Strengthen Payroll Services Division. The umbrellacompanies.org.uk Team has received news about this acquisition and more information is below. In a strategic move to further enhance its position as a leading player in the …

MJ Weemes acquires Optimum Pay Group’s renowned customer service team » Read the full story

Help available for contractors impacted by MSC investigation with new pay-per-access MSC Support Platform

Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd, an established contractor accountant with 25 years of experience in the sector, has launched a pay-per-access MSC Support Platform. The online tool has been built to support contractors with a limited company who have been accused of operating a Managed Service Company (MSC) during the …

Help available for contractors impacted by MSC investigation with new pay-per-access MSC Support Platform » Read the full story

Free Rugby World Cup 2023 Wall Chart available to download now

The 2023 Rugby World Cup kicks off on Friday, 8th September, and we have created a free wall chart for you to download now. Read more about this year’s tournament hosted in France, and download your free chart now. We’ve also asked Chat GPT who will win the tournament – …

Free Rugby World Cup 2023 Wall Chart available to download now » Read the full story

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