Basically, you must use your skills, experience and judgement to make the company a success. You are responsible for filing returns to Companies House and checking that your tax, VAT and National Insurance Contributions are recorded, prepared and paid to HMRC on time. Don’t worry, your dedicated Danbro team will help with all these things.
As a director and employee the company can pay you a salary. As a shareholder you can also be paid a dividend. You decide how much you take unless your contract income falls within IR35, in which case you follow HMRC’s ‘deemed salary’ calculation.
Again, your personal accountant will help ensure you maximise your tax efficiency and get the most out of the work you do.
Any money you make belongs to the company and not you, so you’ll need a company bank account for which you will have full control.
Which bank you use is entirely your decision. If you’d like to, you can apply for the Cashplus Business Account, with our banking partner Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd. Their low cost account is an alternative to high street business banking and can be set up easily online.
Most people use their home address. However, if you don’t want your private address made public and you want to ensure that important correspondence isn’t overlooked, as your accountants, you can use our office address as your registered office.
By law you must display the registered address on all company documents, including invoices and your website, if appropriate.
When you are operating your own business, you’ll need to consider whether you need, or are indeed required, to take out any business insurance policies such as professional indemnity, public liability, or employers’ liability.
You should review your new contract as this may stipulate a minimum level of insurance cover required to fulfil the contract.
As a client of Danbro, we can provide you with these policies for £25 per month (plus Insurance Premium Tax), please contact us on 01253 600 150 for more information.
Danbro Accounting Ltd is an Appointed Representative, for General Insurance Business, of Jelf Manson, part of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd.Registered and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Reference No. 302751. Not all products and services are regulated by the FCA.
Operating your own limited company allows you the opportunity for tax planning to minimise the amount of tax you have to pay, and your personal Danbro accountant will discuss all these opportunities with you.
Both options offer their own advantages depending on your circumstances and requirements.
If you’re uncertain as to which option is best for you then simply give us a call on 01253 600140, and our friendly team will help you find which of our services is the best fit for your circumstances.
As Danbro provide both limited company services and an Employment Umbrella Solutions, you can be assured that you will be given unbiased advice as to which option is for you.
At Danbro, our services offer you the choice of spending as much or as little time on admin as you prefer.
By choosing our Plan One you can prepare your own professional invoices, record all out of pocket expenses and upload company bank statements easily and conveniently using FreeAgent online accounts.
If paperwork and admin are not for you, have a look at our alternative plans that can remove this burden from you.
When operating through your own limited company, you’ll incur expenses that will generally fall into two types, those incurred in performing your contract, e.g. travel, and those incurred to administer your company e.g. accountancy fees.
It is most likely that those incurred in performing your contract will be made out of your own pocket and will need to be reimbursed from company funds.
An expense claim, detailing each expense, will need to be completed to support this payment to yourself.
As a client of Danbro, you’ll be provided with an expenses guide to highlight the most common expenses that can be incurred by your business and to ensure expenses are claimed correctly to avoid any potential personal tax charges.
You can simply choose to leave your company dormant, in case you decide to go back to contracting, or close your company down.
If you chose to close your company down, Danbro will assist you with this process at a small additional cost.
A dividend is a slice of a company’s profit that is given to the shareholders, which will be yourself if you operate your own limited company.
Dividend income you receive will not be subject to National Insurance contributions and the first £2,000 per annum will be tax-free. Dividends above this level which fall within the basic rate tax bracket will be taxed at 7.5%, and if they fall into the higher rate tax bracket they will be taxed at 32.5%.
When forming your own limited company, you will be appointed as director (and employee) of the company and will be responsible for managing the company affairs.
The company will pay you a salary for acting in this capacity. You will also be the owner (shareholder) of the company and will receive dividend income from the company’s taxed profits. The frequency and amount of this dividend income is decided upon by the company’s director(s). All the cash held in the company bank account legally belongs to the company; the finances of the company are separate to your own personal finances. You can extract funds from the company by a combination of the following:
Salary – as an employee, a net salary is paid after Income Tax and NI deductions.
Dividends – paid to you as a company shareholder.
Expenses – you can claim your allowable business expenses.
Each year, the company will have to pay corporation tax on its profit where profit is calculated as the total amount of sales income earned less any business expenses incurred.
As a director of a UK limited company, receiving dividend income, you will more than likely have to complete a personal tax return each year. Danbro can assist you with this return. In calculating your personal tax liability, you will probably have to pay additional Income Tax on your dividend income.
Here at Danbro we understand that not every client needs exactly the same degree of service, so we provide a range of services to suit your needs.
All fees are fixed and agreed in advance, starting from as little as £85 plus VAT per month.
Simply call us on 01253 600150 and speak to one of our specialist advisors, or alternatively request a call back and one of our team will call you back at a time which is convenient to you.
The Intermediaries Legislation, or IR35 as it is more commonly known, is the single most important tax law affecting you as a freelance contractor.
The aim of IR35 is to prevent an individual, who would ordinarily be viewed as an employee, from offering their services through a limited company in order to avoid paying Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.
If you as an individual enter directly into a contract with an employer, you will receive a salary that would be subject to Income Tax of up to 45% and National Insurance Contributions of up to 12%.
Where a limited company enters into the same contract then the tax rules are different. A limited company will not be viewed as receiving a salary. It will make a profit on which it will pay business tax of only 19% and most importantly it will not be subject to National Insurance Contributions at all.
To prevent every employee from setting up their own limited company in order to avoid National Insurance and the potentially higher levels of tax, this is where IR35 steps in.
If certain conditions are met under IR35, then the earnings of the company are considered to be a ‘salary’ on which Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions are payable.
1. An individual performs services for a client.
2. These services are provided under a contract involving a limited company.
3. If the services were provided under a contract directly between the individual and the client, the individual would be regarded as an employee of the client.
Conditions 1 and 2 will apply to all contractors providing their services through a limited company. It is point 3 that creates the uncertainty in deciding whether or not to apply IR35.
One exception to these conditions is in relation to being an ‘Office Holder.’ By simply being an office holder of your end client, IR35 will apply; there’s no need to consider condition 3.
Whilst IR35 itself is a tax law, in order to determine whether or not to apply IR35 you need to understand employment law and establish if you would be regarded as an employee of the end client in the absence of your limited company (often referred to as ‘disguised employment’).
Unfortunately, to make matters worse, employment law does not provide a distinction between employment and self-employment, leaving you to rely upon past judgments in common law to reach your decision.
In determining the status of an individual as employed you would need to establish that all three prerequisites of employment status are present. These would be that:
1. You are required to provide the service personally.
2. You are subject to Supervision, Direction or Control over the manner in which the work is performed.
3. There is a mutual obligation of both parties; your employer is obliged to provide work and you are obliged to make yourself available to do so.
For IR35 to apply you need to be regarded as an employee of the end client. So conversely to be outside of IR35 legislation, you need to show that you are not an employee of the end client.
This is not the same as showing you are self-employed; although being able to demonstrate you are in business on your own account is always regarded as the best option.
Behave like a business – you need to differentiate yourself from the actual employees of your end client, beginning with the contract you sign and how you act on a day to day basis.
Review your contracts – do not sign a contract until you have taken professional advice and are satisfied with the IR35 terms and conditions.
Collect evidence – keep records of particular events which demonstrated how you acted differently from an end client employee e.g. during an IT failure you went home and received no pay, when all employees remained.
Market your business – choose a business name (don’t use your own), create your own logo and business stationery, and sell your services via your company website.
Understand the business sector – take advice to ensure that you’re aware of any special rules that may apply in your sector which mean that IR35 automatically applies.
If you’re working on a Public Sector assignment, the responsibility lies with your end client. However, if you have a contract in the Private Sector, this comes down to you as the director of your limited company. As a consequence we would recommend that you seek professional assistance before making your final decision.
Your decision to operate through an umbrella company should not be made purely on the basis of IR35.
Operating through your own limited company can be more rewarding, flexible and better financially even though you need to apply IR35 to your first contract.
Remember the conditions needed for IR35 to apply are based upon a contract and not your limited company, so during your contracting life you may find that IR35 applies to some contracts and not others.
If IR35 applies, your company will have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions that it would not otherwise have had to pay.
As Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions are more usually associated with a salary rather than business income, IR35 includes a calculation to convert contract income into a taxable salary amount known as a ‘deemed salary’.
For IR35 purposes, expenditure falls into three categories:
1. General administration expenses (Private Sector only)
An allowance equal to 5% of the total IR35 income is deducted rather than the actual cost incurred. This allows for the general expense of running a business, such as accountancy fees and marketing costs.
2. Other expenses – including travel & subsistence
These are expenses which you could have claimed as a deduction if you had been directly employed by the client. For example, travel costs between workplaces, professional subscriptions and professional indemnity insurance are all allowable deductions.
Note: operating under IR35 will mean that your workplace is no longer considered temporary and as such, home to work travel is not allowable as a deduction.
3. Capital Allowances
You’re only allowed to make a deduction for capital allowances where the plant or machinery bought is necessary for the performance of the contract within IR35. Examples include the cost of a computer or laptop.
This may be easier to explain with a simple example.
Peter is an engineering consultant with his own limited company, PEC Limited, who completed a Private Sector contract to which IR35 applied. The income received from this contract amounted to £60,000 and Peter incurred £1,000 in travelling between workplaces whilst fulfilling this contract. In addition, PEC Limited paid £250 for professional indemnity insurance, £150 for Peter’s professional engineering subscriptions and paid £5,000 into a pension for Peter.
The deemed salary calculation is as follows:-
A. Contract Income £60,000
B. Company Administration Allowance (Calculated as 5% of contract income) £ (3,000) (Private Sector assignments only)
C. Costs incurred in performing the contract (e.g. travel between workplaces) £ (1,000)
D. Allowable costs paid to an employee (e.g. professional subscriptions) £ (150)
E. Business Insurance Premiums £ (250)
F. Payments made to an approved pension scheme £ (5,000)
G. Subtotal £50,600
Nearly there; the figure in subtotal G represents the ‘deemed salary’ plus the associated Employer’s National Insurance.
H. Employer’s National Insurance £ (5,089)
Deemed Salary £45,511
So from a contract income of £60,000 a gross salary of £45,511 must be declared and the associated Income Tax and National Insurance paid by the company to HMRC.
Note: don’t forget that the Employer’s National Insurance of £5,089 is also payable to HMRC.
Off-Payroll Working in the Public Sector
Whether an assignment is classed as within the public sector is determined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We have listed some examples of public authorities below, but further information can be found here.
Some examples of public sector bodies are:
Government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies
Police and fire authorities
Educational establishments including universities
Bank of England
It is worth noting that if you work for a charity who do work for the public sector, the changes will not affect you.
Similarly, if you work for a private sector company who have secured a contract in the public sector, this does not necessarily mean that the reforms will affect your assignment.
If you’re unsure, you should speak to your agency or end-client.
The IR35 status of your assignment will be decided by the public authority.
If you are assessed as within IR35, the key change will be that Tax and NI will be calculated and deducted by whoever pays your invoice, and you will receive a net salary into your limited company. Additionally, you will no longer be able to claim Travel and Subsistence expenses.
Unfortunately, if you are deemed to be within IR35, you will no longer be entitled the 5% allowance.
These changes will apply to all payments made after 5th April 2017, even if the work was completed before.
If you’re deemed to be within IR35, the best route for you will depend on your personal circumstances.
You can continue to work through your limited company but the things to consider are:
Your agency or end-client must allow payment via a limited company.
You won’t be entitled to the 5% allowance to cover the cost of running your limited company.
All your contract income will be subject to Tax & NI and you’ll receive a net salary into your limited company.
Depending on the length of your public sector assignment, you may want to consider the following:
1. If you perform a mix of public and private sector assignments or operate public sector assignments that are less than three months
If you already use Danbro for your accounting needs and want to work on a short-term assignment in the public sector, you can keep your limited company in a dormant state for free until you return to the private sector. We’ll put your accountancy fees on hold while you use our Employment Umbrella.
Instead you will pay a weekly or monthly Employment Umbrella margin.
2. If you only work on assignments in the public sector or your assignment will last longer than three months
In this instance the best option may be to switch to an Employment Umbrella.
For a weekly or monthly margin an Employment Umbrella will take care of your administration and make sure that you’re paid promptly, whilst also providing you with all the benefits that come with employment, such as:
Statutory Sick Pay
Maternity or Paternity Pay
Our solutions also include:
Access to our BUPA Medical Cash Plan for you and up to 4 of your children*
Personal Accident Insurance
Professional Indemnity £5,000,000**
Public/Product Liability £5,000,000**
Discounted Self-Assessment Tax Return for any other income streams
Access to a free consultation with Danbro Financial Services
*Please be aware that this is not a contractual right and at our absolute discretion we reserve the right to terminate participation in the scheme, to substitute another scheme, or alter the benefits available to you under any such scheme. You can only become a member of this scheme if you are aged 18 and over, and are a UK resident
**Some exclusions may apply
If you intend to use an Employment Umbrella for a short period of time before opting for a private sector assignment, you can keep your company in a dormant state.
If you use Danbro Accountancy, we will place your accountancy fees on hold during this time.
If you don’t think you’ll continue to trade through your existing company for the foreseeable future, it may be best to close it down altogether.
In this instance a company closing fee will usually apply.
General Employment Umbrella
An umbrella company is generally the employer of workers who are on fixed term contract assignments, usually through a recruitment agency.
The agency pays the umbrella company, who in turn pay the contract worker through PAYE.
Umbrella employees gain a variety of statutory employment rights.
Umbrella company employment is an alternative to being paid directly by a recruitment agency, being self-employed or forming your own limited company.
You can sign up online in as little as 15 minutes using our online portal (you’ll need to upload your ID/right to work documents, electronically accept your employment contract via the link we send you and then you’re good to go).
Our standard gross margin is £22 per week. The actual cost to you is referred to as a net margin, which will vary depending on your circumstances (£13.15 if you’re basic rate taxpayer/£11.21 if you’re a higher rate taxpayer). Some umbrella companies only quote the net margin, so be careful when looking for the best deal. We do have some variations on this amount as shown on our Calculator. Please contact our team for more information.
No. Under our Employment Umbrella, you only pay our margin when we process your timesheet. There are no extra margins or clauses for you to worry about.
When you register with us you’ll be asked to complete our worker questionnaire to determine your eligibility to claim legitimate expenses – expenses which are “incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of your duties” (HMRC definition).
If you’re entitled to claim expenses you can submit your claim easily using our portal, and upload your supporting receipts. For more details please see our expenses policies.
With our Employment Umbrella you only pay a margin when we process your pay.
You will be an employee of Danbro Employment Umbrella Limited. We will ask you to read and accept our terms and conditions that come in the form of your contract of employment.
Significant changes to self-employment legislation were introduced in April 2014.
This means that any individual working through an intermediary (such as a recruitment agency or an umbrella company) who is subject to any degree of supervision or control cannot be paid as self-employed.
Depending on your agency you can be paid weekly, fortnightly, 4-weekly or monthly.
We run a payroll every day, although our largest payrolls are on Thursday and Friday, and all payments are made by faster pay to clear into your account the same day.
We’ve operated in this industry for almost 20 years and currently make around 200,000 contractor payments a year.
We also have long-standing relationships with most UK recruitment agencies.
We take compliance very seriously and operate within all employment and tax legislation applicable to our business.
We are also an acredited member of the FCSA .
As the employer, it’s a legal requirement for us to see proof of your identity and right to work in the UK.
Yes, we work with hundreds of agencies and companies throughout the UK.
If we’re not already contracting with them, we’ll ask you for their contact details to ensure that we’re able to establish a relationship to satisfy all parties.
No, Danbro Employment Umbrella is designed for you to take us with you as you move from assignment to assignment – you just need to let us know – it’s really important that you do this as soon as you know.
Just tell us the details and we will process your payments, simple as that – we take one margin per timesheet processed. It’s important to note that if we process more than one timesheet as part of one payment, it attracts more than one margin for that pay.
As a Danbro employee, you’re responsible for contacting agencies or companies for work, then telling us when you have found new work so that we can put contracts in place for the provision of your services. However, we will assist you if you are looking for work and we have our jobs board available to you at all times to help with your job search.
In general no, however HMRC may require you to complete a self-assessment return at the end of the tax year. If this happens, we will be able to provide you with all the necessary documents relating to your employment. As our employee you will have access to our accountancy team who can complete your tax return at a discounted rate.
We deduct appropriate tax on the sums we handle for you, so there should not be any further tax to pay on your earnings paid by Danbro.
You are responsible for declaring any additional income or capital gains to HMRC, and for raising with them any queries relating to your tax code.
If we don’t pay you for 5 weeks we’ll be in touch to see if we can help. If your assignment ends and if you don’t have a new one, please get in touch with your payroll team.
You are required to comply with Health & Safety obligations at your place of work.
You must also read and comply with your Contractor Handbook which is available on your portal.
Benefits of Working for an Employment Umbrella Company
You can, but by law you can only do this once you have been assessed as eligible and automatically enrolled. Please contact your team for further information.
We are more than happy to provide any references on request. We provide this as part of our Employment Umbrella service at no extra charge.
Yes. As our employee you are entitled to 28 days’ holiday per year including bank holidays. We don’t hold back holiday pay – we include it every time we pay you. The amount paid is shown on your payslip and this is the amount you could choose to set aside for any holiday you might take.
Holiday pay, along with bonuses, overtime pay etc. are all classed as taxable income and are therefore subject to tax and NI.
Yes, as long as the necessary statutory requirements are met in regards to eligibility and reporting criteria.
We have our Danbro One Scheme which you can opt into. If you join us, you’ll be assessed for eligibility to be automatically enrolled after 12 weeks. We’ll give you more information about this on registration. We’ll also send you communications about the pension scheme, so you’re kept informed about the whole process.
You’re automatically covered by our Public and Employers’ Liability insurance along with Professional Indemnity.
Claiming expenses at the end of the tax year
It’s a form available from HMRC which is free of charge, and is used to claim tax relief for expenses of employment.
If you’ve never had to submit a tax return or P87 before, don’t worry. We can do a tax return for you at a discounted rate, or provide you with all the information you need to submit a P87.
Claiming expenses for Mileage only
To allow expenses we need to understand all of the individual journeys you have made and why you have made them to make sure your mileage expenses are incurred completely, exclusively and necessarily in the course of your work.
Yes, you can send us your job sheet as a claim on the condition that the job sheet itemises every journey with date, times, postcodes and distances.
Using Our Online Portal
Pay & Payslips Explained
Every time you get paid we will email you a secure link which from which you will be able to electronically access, download and print your payslip. They will be stored on your portal for reference. Please also see our Payslip Explained documents for more information about what is shown on your payslip and how it’s calculated.
Please talk to your team if you don’t want to receive your payslip by email or via DOTS.
We will process your payment on the same day that we receive cleared funds from your agency/client.
When you work through an agency for an end client, and are paid by an umbrella company, you are our employee. We supply your labour to the end client via the agency. The end client pays the agency for the work you have done and the agency pays us. You can trace the progress of this money down page 2 of your payslip which is the reconciliation sheet.
The money we receive is the contracted rate. We are bound by law to make certain deductions and these are itemised in the “Company Deductions Breakdown” section.
- We retain our margin
- “Employment Costs” is made up of Employer’s NI and the Apprenticeship levy and the split is shown in the small print below this section. Employer’s NI is deducted at this point out of the money paid to us by the end client for your work. The Apprenticeship Levy is also deducted.
It’s important to note that we are only acting as a collector of these deductions as they are passed on to HMRC.One way to think about this is on page 2 the money is not yet “yours”. This page shows what happens to the money paid to Danbro via your agency for your work at the end client.
Employer’s NI is calculated at 13.8% on earnings above £156 per week, and whoever establishes themselves as your employer is legally obliged to pay this to HMRC.
Although you work on the assignment through your agency, they aren’t your employer – you’re employed with Danbro on an overarching contract of employment. As the agency don’t have the administration and associated cost of employing you as if you were a PAYE employee, the contracted rate you’re offered will take this into account and will be uplifted to allow for the necessary employment costs.
Each week (or month) we will send an invoice on your behalf charging your agency for the work carried out. Once payment is received we will make the statutory deductions relating to your employment, we’ll retain our agreed margin, and we will pay you your take-home pay.
All of this will be clearly outlined on your payslip, which can be viewed online. Some Umbrella companies may not be upfront but at Danbro we always aim to be transparent. No hidden fees or deductions.
There are several possible reasons that your tax may be higher than you think it should be. The first thing to check is what tax code you are on. Watch this video for more information on what each code means.
HMRC is responsible for setting your tax code. As we are your employer, and not an agent or accountant, HMRC will not discuss your code – which is a personal matter – directly with us.
If you have any questions, you should contact HMRC. If any changes happen as a result, HMRC will inform us using what’s known as a P6 notification.
Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
Operating via CIS can be a good, efficient way to work for those in the construction industry.
However, we need to ensure that you’re operating via this scheme compliantly.
Our advisors will ask you some questions which will help determine if this is the best route for you. We need to ensure that your role falls within HMRC’s definition of the Construction Industry Scheme and that you have a registered valid UTR number.
HMRC’s definition of the Construction Industry Scheme seeks to determine whether you are ‘genuinely’ self-employed. Our series of questions will determine if your role would be classed as self-employed, as defined by HMRC and therefore eligible for CIS.
The main effect would be on the rate of interest you pay on your mortgage if you’re on a variable rate, or your fixed rate is coming to an end. As we’ve all been warned that interest rates will rise sometime in the future, there is still time to get in touch with us, and see if there is a fixed rate mortgage deal to suit you.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are simple, affordable solutions to ensure that your bills would be covered and your family would be left financially secure, if you were to fall ill or worse. It is always better to get this cover in place as soon as possible as the younger and healthier you are, the smaller the cost will be for the duration of the policy.
That’s right, it can often be the case that the charges are higher on older contracts but you do need to be aware that some older pension plans can also include valuable benefits, such as guaranteed annuity rates or a higher level of tax free cash at retirement. So basically, it pays to know what you already have and how much it’s costing you, before doing anything. Our team can easily find out what type of pension plans you have and the benefits and charges of each.