What is an umbrella company?
An umbrella company is an organisation that employs professional contractors who carry out short-term assignments for recruitment agencies and / or end clients. The umbrella company makes your Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance deductions for you and allows you to offset allowable expenses like travel, meals and accommodation against tax.
Why would I choose it?
An umbrella service not only gives you legal employee status and handles all the paperwork, but also lets you take home as much pay as possible. It's the simplest solution for most contractors, with no unexpected tax bills and a very straightforward process for claiming expenses. And because you're employed, it's much easier to secure important things like loans and mortgages too.
How does it work?
When you decide to join an umbrella company, it becomes your employer. The umbrella company invoices the agency / end client and the agency / end client pays the money direct to the umbrella company. In the meantime you submit your expenses each week which are offset against any tax you pay. The umbrella company will then deduct PAYE and National Insurance contributions before paying you your wage.
What is subsistence and what levels do you have?
Subsistence includes food and drink (a meal) that is bought during the working day.

Tax relief on subsistence is based on the length of time you are away from home during the working day. To qualify you must incur the cost of at least one meal while away from home. Our subsistence levels are as follows:

- If you're away from home for more than 5 hours you can claim £5 if you incur the cost of one meal.

- If you're away from home for more than 10 hours you can claim £10 if you incur the cost of a meal or meals.

You will need to obtain receipts and we encourage you to send them to us for safekeeping. Alternatively, you can keep them safe at home and retain them for a minimum of 6 years in the event that HMRC ever ask us to substantiate your claim.

How do I join, how quick is the setup, and are there any related costs?
There are no setup charges. It's so easy to join us - you can sign up in just ten minutes! You can join directly using our online joining portal or by talking with one of our experienced advisers on 0161 929 6000 (option 1) who will go through what you need to do over the phone.

Do I have to be signed up with an agency to use your umbrella company?
No, we are happy to work with any end client. All we need are their contact details and we will contact them on your behalf in order to discuss, agree and set up the contract and payroll process.

Umbrella Company Guidance


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