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A beginner's guide to working as a limited company contractor

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Thursday 14th Apr, 2016

If you like being your own boss, a career in contracting is a great option that will not only provide you with the flexibility to create the perfect work-life balance, but the financial rewards will also be hugely beneficial.

Many professionals who decide to take the leap from being employed to being their own boss, do so for a variety of reasons, including taking control of their career and having the ability to take on projects they will enjoy.

However, this transition is not always simple, especially when choosing to work as a limited company contractor because handling the paperwork that comes with running your own limited company isn't easy. However that's were companies like PayStream can help. PayStream helps set up the limited company on your behalf and will also provide bespoke accountancy advice which is tailored to your needs, making the process much simpler and less scary than you think.

Along with this, there are many other factors to consider when establishing yourself as a limited company contractor, which can easily be forgotten.

Here, we take a look at the most important things to remember for those who are new to the contracting profession.

Research the market

Before handing your notice in at your current permanent employment, make sure you have researched the contractor market.

With temporary work, you are taking more of a risk than you would in permanent employment and you won’t have the security of having a set paycheck each month. Despite this, contracting offers many more benefits in the long run, and it will be worth it once you have the first few contracts under your belt.

We also recommend that you take a look at how many contracts are available in your specific area of expertise, and what rate is being offered to see whether or not you are better off working in this way.

Professional establishment

Establishing yourself as reliable and professional is a crucial part of becoming a well regarded contractor.

Make sure you make the most of job boards and social media, by utilising platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to advertise your services.

Creating a professional online portfolio is a great way to offer examples of work, and acts as an online CV. Many agents and clients will search online for contractor services, so, if they Google your name and come across a professional portfolio, they are much more likely to pick your services over a competitor without such a platform.

After each project, make sure you ask your client for feedback, not only so you can assess your strengths and weaknesses to improve how you work, but to provide a testimonial for your website.

Finding clients

If you're open to moving around the country for work, before you decide where to live, research temporary contracts in a number of locations and move to an area where there is a high requirement for your specialism.

Like many industries, some months will generate more business than others. A current skills shortage in the UK means that, at present, businesses are looking to contractors to fill gaps, so now is a good time to make the change.

With contracting, projects are never fully guaranteed, so make sure that you prepare and budget for gaps in between contracts.

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