Guide to becoming a contractor

It’s great to see that contracting is fast-becoming a way of life for thousands of UK professionals. A better work/life balance and the end of the ‘job for life’ mentality means that contracting is becoming the natural choice for individuals wanting to make the most of their careers.

We understand that taking your first steps into the unknown may seem a little daunting, so we’ve created this handy guide that outlines how to set up as a contractor in a few easy steps.

Decide if it’s right for you

If you’re used to the traditional 9-5 way of working, making the leap into contracting may seem like a big step. It’s therefore important to think about what this change of life style would mean for you, and if it’s something you’d be comfortable with.

Make a list of what’s important in your career and see if the contractor or permanent employee lifestyle best fits you. You won’t have to do this alone, however, as our expert team is on hand to give you the best advice to suit your own circumstances

Source assignments

Once you’ve decided that contracting is right for you, the next step is to find your perfect assignment. Be sure to register with recruitment agencies and keep an eye on job boards. Social media platforms will also help you in your search.

Get expert assistance

Now you’ve got your assignment sorted, it’s a good idea to set yourself up with a compliant umbrella company, such as Parasol. They’ll employ you and take care of all your Income Tax and National Insurance obligations, leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best.

As an umbrella contractor, you’ll also receive the same rights and benefits as permanent employees. These include holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay and sick pay.

Working with an umbrella company is a breeze. All you need to do is provide your timesheets and expense claims, and they’ll sort out the rest – it’s that straightforward! With all this, it’s no surprise that umbrellas are seen as the best option for those wanting to dip their toes into the world of contracting.

Watch yourself grow

Contracting offers you the perfect opportunity to hone your skills and experience a wide range of assignments. This means you’ll be able to develop your career in ways you never thought possible.

Keep up to date

It’s a good idea to pay attention to the latest trends in your industry and adapt your skills to suit. If you can offer your clients niche skills, you should never be short of assignment opportunities. You might also be able to earn a higher rate of pay.

Take the next step

Once you’ve been contracting a while, you may feel comfortable with the idea of taking on additional responsibility. If this is the case, you might want to consider forming your own limited company.

Benefits could include a more tax-efficient structure that allows you to keep more of your hard-earned cash. In addition, you’ll be able to be your own boss and truly see your career take off.

It’s really important to seek the best advice and support when taking the next step. Our sister company, Caroola, is on hand to help you whenever needed.

When you take the decision to become a contractor, we understand that there’s a wide range of options to choose from. That’s why our dedicated team is on hand to provide the best advice to suit your individual circumstances.

Let's talk!

Interested in finding out more? Speak with our expert Sales Team to see how we can work together.

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Already working with Parasol and looking for support?

Contact Employee Support 01925 644 860