If you’re thinking of going self-employed, as a team of contractor accountants based in Stockport, we know that becoming a contractor can offer people a wide range of benefits such as higher pay, greater flexibility and more job satisfaction.
However, we also realise that the thought of leaving permanent employment can be quite daunting. There are challenges associated with running your own business, but with the support of the contractor accountants here at IN Accountancy, we are sure that these challenges can be overcome and that you can really make a success of it.
If you are thinking of becoming a contractor in the UK, then here are some tips from the IN Accountancy team to get you started:
Think About Your Skills
Our experience has shown us that the one thing that stops people entering the contracting market is the fact that they think their skills aren’t ‘good enough’. However, this is a myth! Not all contract roles are aimed at those with immense knowledge and skills; there are a lot of contracts aimed at covering employee absences, for example. More and more companies these days are looking for a flexible workforce and so demand for contractors is rising on a daily basis. You are bound to have at least one transferrable skill that someone is willing to pay you for.
Perfect Your Sales Technique
As a contractor, you need to be able to sell yourself to companies, so you need to ensure that you have a professional sales technique practised and perfected in order to enter into negotiations with confidence. Being able to sell yourself will help you to minimise the gaps between contracts, keep you ahead of your competitors in times where there is low market demand, and help you to negotiate the best rates too.
Write a Killer CV
Part of your sales technique has to include a killer CV. Please don’t make the mistake of sending the same CV out to every potential client or agency. You need to do a bit of research and target your CV to the specific skills that each client is looking for. Most agents spend a maximum of 20 seconds browsing a CV before deciding whether it is worth following up on or not, so don’t put anything in there that will make them question employing you. Top tip: use the words and skills they have specified in the advertisement to stand out and show that you have engaged with their advert.
As contractor accountants, we know that the payment structure you decide to use when setting yourself up as a contractor is really important. The three main contractor business types that are used today are a sole trader, partnership and limited company. We have experience of working with all three business types and can help you to set yourself up quickly and efficiently so that you can get working ASAP.
Read Up On IR35
IR35 is a piece of tax legislation that relates directly to contractors and was put in place by HMRC to combat tax avoidance by workers who are supplying their services to clients via an intermediary, but who would actually be an employee if the intermediary was not used. Each contract you sign should, therefore, be checked by a lawyer to ensure it is legal as far as the IR35 tax status goes. This is quite a complex issue and something we shall be covering in more detail in a later blog.
This is just a brief roundup of some of the things you need to think about when becoming a contractor. If you have any questions about the above, then please give us a call on 0161 456 9666 or email email@example.com. You might also be interested to know we have a handy Tax App that is free to download for both Android and iPhones at: https://www.in-accountancy.co.uk/taxapp-page/