I QUIT! 5 signs you’re ready to leave permanent employment for a career in contracting

Leaving permanent employment

According to a recent study conducted by Perkbox, 6.5 million workers in the UK are unhappy with their current job within the permanent employment sector.

 

With long hours, the feeling of being micro-managed, and toxic work cultures as the main culprits for unhappiness, it’s no surprise that so many people are looking elsewhere for alternative employment.

 

But what if you’ve had enough of working within the permanent sector and like the sound of being your own boss? In this blog we highlight the five signs that you’re ready to leave permanent behind and take the leap into contracting. You might just find your perfect career and never look back….

 

You feel shortchanged

If at the end of every month you feel like your pay doesn’t reflect your skills, experience or the amount of hours you’ve put in, then it’s time to consider your options.

 

With many Limited Company contractors charging day rates that clients who are willing to pay for their skills, they are able to get paid a wage which truly reflects their professional value. This is usually much higher than what their counterpart would get in a permanent position. Take a look at some contractor job boards to get a feel for what your contracting double could be earning.

 

Your work / life balance is off kilter

Ever feel that because you’re working so hard, you end up missing out on life? Do you use your weekends to recharge your batteries for the following week at work, rather than work charging your batteries for life?

 

Contractors can choose when, who for and for how long they work, so they are able to design their professional life around their personal, rather than the other way round.

 

Permanent employment is affecting your health

Consider how healthy your job is, for both your body and mind. If you’re constantly left feeling drained from long hours, low pay, and general unhappiness, then it’s time to make some changes.

 

By being your own boss you’re able to design your own working lifestyle, one which fits around your own personal needs and wellbeing. For example, you can work from home and create your own working environment, or decide how many months out of the year you want to take out from contracting to focus on other areas of your life, such as travelling, looking after your family or pursuing a passion. The world’s your oyster!

 

Your hard work goes unnoticed

We’ve all been there – either a colleague steals your thunder, or your efforts go completely unnoticed after you’ve worked your socks off. Both scenarios are unacceptable and can give your sense of wellbeing a real blow.

 

As a Limited Company contractor your professional accomplishments are what wins you contracts, so there’s no danger of your efforts going unnoticed. Your calibre is measured on your skills, experience and passion for what you do, so if this sounds like you then it’s time to get the recognition you deserve.

 

You feel constrained by the inflexibility of 9 to 5

Ever get the feeling you’re starring in Groundhog Day? You have the same daily routine, which yields the same results each month, with the same people. Whilst it offers stability and a guaranteed wage with employee benefits, for you personally it’s not enough.

 

When contracting you can choose when and where you work, meaning that no two working days would ever have to be the same! Whilst you’ll have to go out and win contracts, liaise with potential clients and always be on the lookout for your next gig, the thrill of the chase could be exactly what you need to reignite the passion you once had for your career.

 

Happiness at work can help you achieve great things

Life is way too short to be unhappy at work, so if you think the world of contracting might be for you, then you owe it to yourself to explore its possibilities.

 

For more information on how to get started, take a look at our free ebrief, or explore our resources section for everything you need to help make your decision. Alternatively why not discuss your options with our team of expert advisers? Call them today on 01202 901 385.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

The top fourteen things successful people do every day – part 2

Secrets to success and productivity

 

In our last blog we highlighted the top seven secrets to productively, as shared by 200 ultra-successful people – including a few billionaires and Olympians. As a Limited Company contractor looking to win and impress clients, you’ll find these tips useful.

 

In this blog we look at the next seven answers these people gave to the following question:

 

‘What are your secrets to success and productivity?’

 

8. How many balls are you juggling?

It should only be the one. Ensure you’re only ever working on the most important task at any one time, then allocate your remaining time to any other tasks in relation to their importance.

 

Remember that your understanding of importance may be different to that of your client’s, so cross check your priority list with theirs to avoid any misunderstandings.

 

9. Keep a notepad with you at all times

How often have you thought of a great idea, then completely forgotten it?! Be it virtually on your smartphone or an actual notepad and pen, ensure you have the tools to capture those great ideas before they escape you.

 

10. Touch things once

Be honest, how many times have you opened an email or started a new task or project, only to walk away from it a few moments later, thinking ‘I’ll deal with that later’. If you’re human (and we’re fairly sure you are!) you’ll be able to relate to this.

 

Consider how long each task will take you to finish, then get on with it. It will help your time management, free your time up for other things and above all, make you feel pretty smug for completing it!

 

11. Find your energy source

Some people swear that their 5am run does wonders for their energy levels throughout the rest of the day. (Apparently) they feel energised, more focused and sharper to take on the task at hand.

 

Whilst you may not be a super keen runner, there’s something that can be said for for finding a passion and routine that gives you that extra boost throughout the day. Food gives you fuel, sleep gives you recovery and exercise can keep you focused – so create your own perfect energy source today.

 

12. Follow the 20/80 rule

From those successful people questioned in the study, many described following the ‘20/80 rule’. This is where 80 percent of results come from only 20 percent of activities. As a successful contractor you’ll know which activities will drive the greatest results. Remember to focus on these tasks and ignore the rest.

 

13. Your morning routine is everything

Habits breed behaviour patterns, so if yours is positive and provides you with a good start to the day, then your day will follow suit.

 

Have breakfast, drink plenty of water, take five minutes to replenish your mind and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Nurture your body and mind for a productive day.

 

14. Delegate

So delegation isn’t always suitable when you’re contracting, but in your everyday business life it certainly can be. Instead of thinking ‘how can I do this?’, consider ‘how can it be done?’

 

Take your accountancy needs for example – why spend hours trying to get your head around complicated and time consuming accountancy, when there are specialist contractor accountancy firms out there who will keep you compliant and up to date with the latest legislation, whilst ensuring you take home your maximum contractor pay.

 

Speak to our specialist team today about the services we provide and how we can clear your mind from accounting worries and free you up for contracting success.

 

Final thoughts

No one likes to feel overworked and overwhelmed, so try some of these tricks and tips today.

Got some of your own tips that have rocketed you to Limited Company contracting success? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you do to ensure you’re at the top of your game.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Redundancy can pave the way to more money, freedom and choice. How? We’ll tell you…

Redundancy is not the end!

Have you been made redundant or is redundancy on the cards? It’s not a disaster; in fact it could be just the incentive you need to unlock your hidden potential and achieve more than you thought possible, through a new beginning in contracting…

 

Advantages of contracting include:

 

  • Higher take home pay – even if they actually work less hours than before, contractors can still earn around 2.5 times the earnings of permanent employees.

 

  • Greater career choice and flexibility – You decide which contracts to take, when and for how long so you can have as much or as little variety in your career as you wish. There has been an increase of 7.7% year-on-year in available contract jobs, so you should have plenty of choice.

 

Remember! Contracting isn’t an easy option but it should make you stronger and more confident in controlling your own career. If you’re willing to put in the groundwork and time, contracting can reward you as much as the effort you put in.

 

  • Design your life around work, not the other way around  Once you discover you can earn the same amount working for fewer hours, you can decide whether to use the extra hours to earn more or to take advantage of time for family, hobbies, travel, volunteering, studying or pursuing other passions.

 

  • Work wherever you like  Few things are more soul destroying than a two-hour commute each day. Many contractors work from home. Imagine the bliss of getting up and having a one minute commute! You can even work in the garden, park or coffee shop, wherever suits you best.

 

  • Be your own boss  When you decide to go contracting, your professional development and career progression are completely up to you and you control your own destiny.

 

Read our blog “Five Reasons to be Your Own Boss in 2016” to see why now is the perfect time to start contracting.

 

  • Control when you work, for whom and for how long  If you only want to work certain hours or days, then you can! You could arrange your contracts so you’re free in term time or all summer, whatever suits you.

 

It’s also up to you how much time you can give to each contract and whether the work is suitable for you. If it doesn’t interest you, there’s always the option of turning it down!

 

This freedom empowers you to use your skills and experience on your terms to further your career aspirations and goals.

 

If you’re interested in contracting, why not speak to people who are already contracting and ask their opinions and advice? There’s lots of support for contractors via online business communities and support groups. Similarly, a good contractor accountant will take away any financial worries.

 

Who wouldn’t want to wake up every workday full of energy and passion, knowing that you can go as far and as fast as your own efforts will take you?

 

If you are facing any stage of redundancy, we hope that by bringing them to your attention, we have given you insight into some of the advantages to be gained through contracting.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Five reasons to be your own boss in 2016

Be your own boss in 2016

With the recent announcements in this year’s Autumn Statement (or lack of them!), the future of contracting is appearing to be more attractive than ever.

 

So why should you consider contracting in 2016? Here we explore the professional and personal benefits you can gain by contracting with our top five reasons to contract in 2016 and beyond:

 

Career progression

career progression

If you’re in permanent employment there will often be a limit to the level of progression you can achieve. But as the boss of your own Limited Company the climb up the ladder of success is endless, as you control your own destiny.

Fancy branching out into a new field of expertise? Or are you seeing a trend for a specific type of contract within your field of profession? Your professional development and career progression is completely up to you, so why not go for it! Whilst the sky’s the limit, you’ll have to be driven enough to build up your network, promote yourself and have the determination to succeed.

 

 

Tailoring your skills

skills

Whilst contracting allows you the freedom to design your working life to your requirements, it also means that it’s completely up to you to do so! From scouting for contracts, creating and managing your business website to networking and managing your time, you’ll never stop learning. Permanent employment means you move to the beat of someone else’s drum, but as a Limited Company contractor you’ll need to find your own rhythm.

But don’t let being Limited limit you! There are so many tools out there to help you hone your skills and time management, without distracting you from your contract at hand.

 

Flexibility

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Tailoring your work life around your personal life (and not the other way around) is one of the major benefits of contracting. You make the rules, so if you only want to work certain hours or days to fit around your family life or favourite hobby, then you can!

 

It’s also completely up to you what time you feel you can give to certain contracts and when work is suitable for you. Fancy a break in the summer, or don’t want to work on your birthday? Choosing your contracts means you can decide when you work and for how long!

 

Remember! Being flexible in the early days of contracting means that you’ll build up your network and client list far quicker, allowing you to be more selective once you’ve established yourself. If previous clients know your calibre of work but are aware of an impending holiday, they’ll be more likely to hold off hiring anyone else until you’re back, especially if you’ve worked for them before and they’re keen to have you back.

 

Financial independence

Hand and money staircase isolated on white

Imagine a job where you can charge what you like for the work you do. Within reason, you can charge clients hourly or daily rates that just aren’t possible in permanent employment.

 

But whilst financial independence is probably one of the most popular goals for any professional worker, it’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll need support to ensure you get the most from your take home pay. This is where enlisting the services of a professional contractor accountant comes in, as they will be able to make sure you are taking advantage of all the taxable benefits available to you whilst maximising your take home pay.

 

New challenges

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You’ll face new challenges; from learning new skills and working patterns, to winning business and learning how to deal with gaps in contracts, every contract will teach you something new about the world of contracting.

 

But whilst there will be a few obstacles to overcome, the financial, professional and personal achievements from going Limited far outweigh those offered in permanent employment.

 

How Intouch Accounting can help

Whether you’re just starting out and wondering what contracting can offer you, or are a seasoned pro but feel you need more from your current accounting solution, Intouch can help you at every step of the way. From incorporating your Limited Company free of charge and explaining how it all works, to making sure you’re supported when it comes to key deadlines such as your Self Assessment Tax Return, your Personal Accountant is here to provide guidance and support, whenever you need it.

 

To find out more about the services Intouch provide, why not visit us, email us, or better still,  speak to one of our advisers on 01202 375 562.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Intouch Accounting’s self-employment study

Intouch Accounting’s self-employment study

At Intouch Accounting, we conducted a study into the aspects of self-employment that are causing Britain’s aspiring business owners to question their desire to start up. With possible responses ranging from securing start-up funding to ongoing accounting responsibilities, we wanted to find out why so many would-be entrepreneurs across the UK are binning their business plans.

After being asked the question ‘what puts you off being self-employed?’, 10,000 participants across Britain shared their misgivings when it came to the reality of starting up – and the results are below, segmented by gender, age bracket and location.

 

Source: Intouch Accounting

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Topline results:

  • Lack of stable income: 47.2%
  • Securing start-up funding: 25.3%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 24.4%
  • Managing business finances: 16.8%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 15.9%
  • Long working hours: 13.3%
  • Other: 5.1%

 

Males:

  • Lack of stable income: 45.1%
  • Securing start-up funding: 26.0%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 22.5%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 17.5%
  • Managing business finances: 14.6%
  • Long working hours: 12.5%
  • Other: 6.1%

 

Females:

  • Lack of stable income: 51.0%
  • Securing start-up funding: 27.2%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 26.2%
  • Managing business finances: 19.2%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 15.6%
  • Long working hours: 13.0%
  • Other: 4.6%

 

18-24s:

  • Lack of stable income: 47.7%
  • Securing start-up funding: 35.1%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 25.8%
  • Managing business finances: 23.2%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 15.9%
  • Long working hours: 10.6%
  • Other: 5.3%

 

25-34s:

  • Lack of stable income: 51.5%
  • Securing start-up funding: 28.4%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 25.5%
  • Managing business finances: 20.6%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 17.2%
  • Long working hours: 7.8%
  • Other: 3.4%

 

35-44s:

  • Lack of stable income: 53.8%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 21.6%
  • Securing start-up funding: 21.1%
  • Managing business finances: 17.0%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 15.8%
  • Long working hours: 13.5%
  • Other: 3.5%

 

45-54s:

  • Lack of stable income: 46.6%
  • Securing start-up funding: 34.5%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 21.6%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 21.6%
  • Managing business finances: 14.7%
  • Long working hours: 12.9%
  • Other: 6.0%

 

55-64s:

  • Lack of stable income: 39.1%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 27.6%
  • Long working hours: 27.6%
  • Securing start-up funding: 17.2%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 17.2%
  • Managing business finances: 10.3%
  • Other: 5.7%

 

65+:

  • Lack of stable income: 40.5%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 27.0%
  • Other: 21.6%
  • Securing start-up funding: 13.5%
  • Long working hours: 8.1%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 8.1%
  • Managing business finances: 5.4%

 

England:

  • Lack of stable income: 51.5%
  • Securing start-up funding: 27.4%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 24.2%
  • Managing business finances: 17.4%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 16.1%
  • Long working hours: 13.1%
  • Other: 6.3%

 

Scotland:

  • Lack of stable income: 37.4%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 24.9%
  • Securing start-up funding: 19.8%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 16.5%
  • Managing business finances: 15.4%
  • Long working hours: 13.6%
  • Other: 2.2%

 

Wales:

  • Lack of stable income: 58.8%
  • Managing business finances: 23.5%
  • Securing start-up funding: 23.5%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 17.6%
  • Long working hours: 5.9%
  • Other: 5.9%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 4.0%

 

Northern Ireland:

  • Lack of stable income: 42.9%
  • Securing start-up funding: 28.6%
  • Too much responsibility/stress: 28.6%
  • Long working hours: 28.6%
  • Managing business finances: 14.3%
  • Losing existing job benefits: 14.3%
  • Other: 14.3%

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Intouch’s top tips for getting your Limited Company name just right

Getting your Limited Company name just right

So you’ve decided to form your own Limited Company, congratulations! Whilst it’s a fantastically exciting time full of new employment adventures and anticipation for your first few contracts, there are also a few things you’ll need to get in order before you can trade through your own company.

One of those things is to think about your company name. This blog sets out to look at all the rules and regulations surrounding registering your Limited Company name, how you go about doing it, what’s required of you, and how to check if it’s even available!

 

Limited or Ltd – which one to choose?

When forming a Limited Company you must either have ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ at the end of your company name.

Beware! If you register with ‘Limited’ you can use ‘Ltd’, but if you register with ‘Ltd’ you cannot use ‘Limited’. Make sure you choose the right option for you.

 

Can you reserve a company name?

Whilst you might know what name you’d like to use, you may not quite be ready to register your Limited Company. So what do you do? Unfortunately you cannot reserve your company name, but you can set up your Limited Company in a ‘dormant’ state, thus safeguarding your company name. For more information, visit the Companies House website.

Beware! Even though the company is dormant, your legal responsibilities as a Director are still active. Make sure you’re aware of what’s required of you whilst your company is dormant.

 

What are the rules surrounding certain names?

To have the freedom to choose whatever name you wish would be a contractor’s dream! But there are a few rules and considerations every contractor must abide by:

  • The name cannot be the same (or too similar) to an existing name from the Companies House index of names. With expressed permission from the other name owner you can get around this, but this is based on exceptional circumstances only. To check if it has already been taken, visit the Companies House website
  • Your company name cannot include a ‘sensitive’ word or expression. The name cannot imply business superiority, a particular status or specific function. For example, you cannot use the word ‘bank’, as this would need to be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • National words such as ‘British’, ‘Great British’, ‘Great Britain’, ‘United Kingdom’ or ‘International’ are strictly controlled. Only Companies House will allow these based on exceptional circumstances
  • The name cannot have nor indicate any connections with the Government or local authorities
  • Be creative – but not rude! Any offensive names are not permitted
  • Characters, symbols and punctuation can also be restricted

 

Beware! You may wish to throw caution to the wind and call your company whatever you like. But whilst you’re flying high, remember that Companies House has the power to reject any name they feel which does not comply with points 1 to 6 above. So save yourself some time, effort (and potentially money) and make sure you comply to get it right first time.

 

How do you choose the right name for you and your company?

How do you go about creating the perfect company name so that your prospective clients know what you do and that you mean business? This is a tough one to answer, as what you want your company name to portray may not be what another contractor considers important.

So here are a few things to think about when choosing your name:

  • What industry are you in, and can your company name reflect this? Ie if you’re an IT contractor, which words can portray what you do straight away to your prospective clients
  • How creative do you want to be? Do you want to have a more serious company name, or do you want to stand out with something a bit more unique? Using made up words or acronyms can give a very individual feel to your company name.
  • Will your personal name feature in the company name? ie Joe Bloggs IT Contracting Limited
  • How will your company name sit alongside your personal marketing strategy (if you decide to have one)?
  • Will your name reflect you as an individual, or your company?

 

Beware! Deciding what your personal and / or company image is will probably be the most difficult part of thinking about a name. Write a list, jot a few names down and get an idea for what feels right to you.

Another tip would be to look at your direct competitors’ names – what do you like / don’t like about them? How will you stand out against them to your prospective client base?

 

Can you change it further down the line?

The answer is yes, but there are a few hoops you’ll have to jump through in order to do so. Speak to your personal contractor accountant to find out how you’d go about doing so.

Beware! Changing your company name through Companies House isn’t the only place you’ll have to do so. If you have social media platforms, stationery, or other mediums which carry your old name, these will all have to be changed, which can get costly. Our advice – make sure you like your name before you register it!

 

Finally! As part of Intouch’s monthly fixed fee company incorporation is included. Our specialist team are on hand Monday to Friday, 9am – 5:30pm to offer advice and guidance throughout every step of the way, meaning if you need help with choosing your company name then they can assist.

To speak to an adviser today call 01202 901501, or email us.

 

Considering joining Intouch Accounting? Contact us to find out just how much our all-inclusive monthly fixed fee includes.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

How to find contract work

Top tips to find contract work

Looking for contract work is a different kind of process to looking for permanent roles. This is partly because contractor vacancies often need to be filled quite quickly and partly because the very nature of contracting means that looking for your next role is an on-going process. If you’re currently working in a contract it can be tempting to put off the task of looking for your next role. However, it’s advisable to keep on the lookout for potential roles on a regular basis, whether you’re currently working or not. This way you’re less likely to miss a potential work opportunity.

1. Tailor your CV to the role applied for

Keeping your CV up to date is, of course, essential.  Just as important is highlighting elements which are directly relevant to the role you’re applying for. Don’t assume that others will understand what your previous roles have involved. Instead, ensure that what you have to offer is clearly stated to make it easy for the recruiter to match your skills to the role they want to fill. This may mean that you have to create several versions of your CV, but the effort involved is worthwhile.

2. Use keywords in your CV

When uploading your CV online, remember to include relevant keywords in the CV text. This alone can result in your CV being picked up in a search by a potential recruiter. For example, if you’re an ‘IT contractor’ with ‘public sector’ experience, try to include these terms within the text.

3. Make use of online Job Boards and CV Databases

Job Boards are online services which recruiters use to advertise roles which you can apply for. Most allow you set up email alerts to send you details of roles as they appear. This makes it easy for you to keep up with what’s available with minimal effort.

CV Databases are online services where you can upload your CV and profile for recruiters to search through when they’re looking for a match to vacancies they have. If you have the skills they need for a role they will contact you. The advantage of this kind of service is that your ‘shop window’ is permanently visible to those who may need your skills. Once again, make sure that your CV clearly highlights your capabilities and make sure you keep the most up to date version visible.

4. Register with contractor job agencies

Take a look online for agencies which specialise in your area and register with them. With their contacts they often hear of roles before they’re advertised so you potentially have access to jobs you would not hear of otherwise.

5. Network online and offline

Having at least a LinkedIn account is essential for contractors to increase online visibility. It provides a way to keep your contacts updated with projects you’re working on, enables you to add testimonials and allows you keep in touch with people you may not be able to meet with on a regular basis in person. Read our blog about the benefits of LinkedIn for contractors to help maximise your professional visibility. As well as LinkedIn there are many other ways of being visible online and demonstrating your expertise, on contractor discussion forums for example.

Face-to-face networking can also be an invaluable way of making contacts and finding work. Remember, if you meet someone face-to-face, follow up with an email or LinkedIn invite to keep the contact fresh.

The keys to finding contracting work are: use agencies, Job Boards and CV databases; stay visible to potential recruiters both off and online; and make good use of your contacts.

Thinking of moving over to contracting and unsure of the practical factors to consider? Read our blog on moving from a permanent role to contracting to help make your transition to contracting life easier and smoother from the start.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Moving from a permanent role to contracting

Moving from a permanent role to contracting

If you’re thinking of moving to contracting there are a number of practical factors to consider before making the move from a permanent role. Considering these points will help make your transition to contracting life easier and smoother from the start.

Leaving your current organisation

Make sure you confirm the notice period with your current organisation. In some cases this can be months, or there may be a stipulation that the individual cannot work for similar companies for a specified time.  Knowing these details helps avoid contractual issues with leaving your current employer. The majority of contract work requires the contractor to be available to take up their position within a few days of interview or a couple of weeks at most. This means you’ll need to make sure that you can be available at short notice before applying for contracting roles.

Choosing to set up as a Limited Company or using an Umbrella

You will need to decide whether you want to set up your own contractor Limited Company or to get paid using an Umbrella company.  This is an important consideration as there are several tax differences between these options which directly affect your net take home pay.

At its simplest the key difference between the two is in the amount of tax you pay on your contractor income. If you use an Umbrella company you are effectively an employee of the Umbrella with National Insurance Contributions being payable on your entire contractor pay. If you set up as a Limited Company contractor you can choose to reduce the amount of taxable salary you pay yourself and take the majority of your remuneration as dividends from your company. The overall result is that your post-tax take home pay will usually be higher. To give you an idea of the tax savings you might make as a Limited Company contractor take a look at the Intouch Contractor Take Home Pay Calculator tool.

If you decide initially to use an Umbrella company then change your mind, the Intouch team can help you easily and smoothly make the switch to becoming a Limited Company contractor.

Finding contracting work

Initially, registering with relevant contracting agencies, uploading your CV onto CV databases for recruiters to find, searching job boards and mining your contacts are good ways to find opportunities and keep up with what’s available.

As a contractor this is an on-going process. Over time you’ll build relationships with job agencies, clients and individuals which will make this easier.

Checking your IR35 status on contracts

Usually the aim is to have a contract which puts you outside IR35, meaning you’re operating ‘in business on your own account’ while working for the client. If your status is seen to be inside IR35 you are considered by HMRC to be a disguised employee of your client. This means you will have to pay more tax on the income.

Have every contract checked by your contractor accountants or lawyer before signing.  It’s better to be safe than get into difficulties with HMRC at a later stage. Find out more about IR35 by reading our frequently asked questions.

Networking and marketing yourself

Professional looking business cards are a start, but it’s helpful to be a proactive networker to keep your contacts growing and your portfolio on show. There are many groups and organisations which hold regular face-to-face networking events. Keeping your online profiles on LinkedIn and niche online communities active will also help to maintain your success.

If you decide to make the move you’ll be joining thousands who enjoy their contracting life with the variety and interesting challenges it can bring.  Our New to contracting guide will help you every step of the way or you can contact us to discuss your options.

If you’re considering moving from a permanent position over to contracting and thinking about work, take a look at our latest blog on How To Find Contract Work, where we list the top 5 tips on how to find contractor work.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Is running a company really that hard?

Is running a company really that hard?

If you are new to contracting or are thinking of switching from an Umbrella company you may be considering whether to set up as Limited Company. At first glance this might seem quite a complicated task and the idea of actually running it, from the accounting point of view, can look a bit daunting. However, running a Limited Company is not as difficult as it sounds.

Like anything you’re doing for the first time there will be a few new things to learn, but overall a key point to success is to be well organised and disciplined about keeping your company information updated. It also really helps to have a good contractor accountant. Their expertise is invaluable and will help ensure that you are:

  • aware of your tax liabilities
  • submitting information on time
  • compliant with all relevant tax and Limited Company legislation

 

The simplicity of online accounting

One way to keep your accounting tasks as simple and quick as possible is to use an accountant with an online accounting system. With an online system it should only take you around 15 minutes each month to upload your latest information which will then go directly to your accountant.  Also, online systems make the process even easier by having functions which can upload a CSV file of your business bank statement. This will help reduce the time needed for manual input of your day-to-day business transactions.

 

Advantages of real time information

Once your information has been uploaded your accountant can view your company’s financial position in real time. The advantage of this is that it helps your accountant to give you timely advice on any tax liabilities due as well as the ability to notify you of any profits available for dividends.  This helps you to work more closely with your accountant so they can guide you in taking dividends from your company while making sure there is enough income to cover any liabilities. With their knowledge and experience they can help your company grow.

 

Advice on personal income

As well as offering guidance on your company accounts your accountant will be able to provide you with personal tax advice. This will make sure that you are also maximising your personal income and are aware of any taxes due.

If you would like to find out more about online contractor accounting services contact us at Intouch Accounting for further information.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Two advantages of being new to contracting

New to contracting

If you are new to contracting and trade through a Limited Company you should be aware of two advantages open to you of being registered for VAT under the Flat rate scheme and the potential savings of Employer’s National Insurance contributions, if you qualify under the Regional Employer holiday rules.

Most new to contracting – contractors or freelancers operating under the Flat rate VAT scheme (FRS) derive a benefit from the simplified rules of VAT accounting and collect more than they have to pay over each year, especially when the VAT they actually suffer on costs is low. When the VAT rates change on 4th January 2011 this advantage will become even greater so make sure you take full advantage of it.

From 22 June 2010 until September 2013 qualifying new businesses can claim for reduced national insurance payments of up to £5000 (for each of the first 10 new employees of the business for a period of a year). This is due to become law in January 2011- If it is withdrawn you would be back to square one provided you pay any arrears by April 2011

These are examples of the Government supporting investment in new and small businesses which seem to work. I am all in favour of that ! Intouch Contractor Accountants love giving you good news.

Paul Gough

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.