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Martin Whalley's journey from Limited Company to Umbrella

Steven Cheeseman

Steven Cheeseman | Marketing Manager

Friday 7th Feb, 2020

When you’ve made the decision to work as a contractor, there are several ways in which you can operate. Do you go down the umbrella, sole trader or the limited company route? Several factors can influence this decision, ranging from government legislation to your working and personal circumstances. Martin Whalley recently made the move from running a limited company to umbrella. Find out why below.

Martin Whalley - an IT professional with 30 years’ experience, had been working through his own limited company for the past six years. However the introduction of the off-payroll working legislation in the public sector in April 2017, meant that he had to make the move to an umbrella company as he found himself working inside IR35. We caught up with him to find out how this transition went.

"I've been with PayStream for quite a while, so I was comfortable with them, with what they offer, and with their digital service online. It's quite easy for me to manage things online."

1. What prompted you to make the switch from limited to umbrella?

I've always been operating as a limited company until my last contract which required me to work within IR35 and therefore work through an umbrella company. I’ve effectively put my limited company into a state of [non-trading] whilst I'm working on this contract.

2. How did you find the process of switching to PayStream’s My Max service?

Extremely easy. My details were already held by PayStream, so it was quite easy for them to vet me. And going through the online joining process was easy.

3. Have you noticed any differences between working as a limited company contractor vs working through an umbrella company?

There are benefits with both the limited company and the umbrella company. With the umbrella company, you know that what you get paid is net, so there's nothing else to pay. When you're working through your own limited company, the payment that you get is a gross payment, so you still have to factor in the taxes you're going to be liable for.

4. Did you have any worries about moving to an umbrella company?

No. None at all whatsoever. I've been with PayStream for quite a while, so I was comfortable with them, with what they offer, and with their digital service online. It's quite easy for me to manage things online.


There are a number of reasons why you may find yourself having to move from working through your own limited company to an umbrella company or vice versa. However here at PayStream we have the expertise and advice to help support your decision.

To find out more about how Martin managed the journey from working through his own limited company to working through an umbrella company, you can read his case study here.

Read the full case study here

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Related article - Gary Matthew's ten years with PayStream

We talk to long-time contractor Gary Matthews to learn about how he has met the challenges of the last decade.

Gary has been a limited company contractor for more than ten years, working as an electrical control and instrumentation design draftsman contractor, and for the last decade he’s been a PayStream client. We wanted to find out what he’s learnt over the years, and get him to share some of his experience with us.

Read more here
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