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Umbrella Vs PAYE

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Suzanne, Mar 15, 2007.

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  1. Suzanne

    Suzanne New Member

    Hi everyone

    I'm new to this forum, my name is Suzanne and I've recently quit my job and decided to go freelance as a designer. I have a few jobs lined up through contacts and I've signed up with a few different agencies so there's no shortage of work. The problem is how to get paid for it.

    I decided to register under an umbrella company, I though this would be best because PAYE through the agencies doesn't make you as much money, and setting up a limited company is a commitment I'm not sure I want to make as I'm not sure how long I want to do this for.

    But having looked into it, I'm not sure these umbrella companies are such a good idea, one thing I didn't realise is that I have to pay employee AND employer National Insurance, this works out as a lot each week. I know it should be offset by the tax breaks, but as far as I can see the only tax break I get is millage allowance, which doesn't add up to that much. Is there other tax breaks I don't know about?

    Basically what i want to know is; would I be better off going PAYE with an agency, or is the umbrella company better? I though for sure the umbrella company would be better but now I'm not convinced, is there something I'm missing?

    Please can anyone explain this to me? I'm so confused!
  2. simonsjdaccountancy

    simonsjdaccountancy New Member



    If you are really dead set against setting up your own Ltd Co then you are really stuck with PAYE. Whether you go through the agent or through an umbrella Co you will still get stuck with the employers NI one way or another, as if you go PAYE with the agency they will lower your rate to take this into account.

    If you have no expenses than PAYE through an agency is easiest. If you have any form of work expenses then an umbrella you would better.

    Finally, think again about the Ltd Company route. You will increase your income by well over 25% and it really isn't any hassle.
  3. Suzanne

    Suzanne New Member

    Thank you for the advice.

    I just spoke to my agency and they said they would reduce my rate by one pound an hour if I go PAYE with them, this would work out as about £37 less per week, the employees NI contribution I'm paying with the umbrella company is £42 per week so I suppose there is not much difference.

    I guess it is time to start considering setting up my own Ltd company. Does the initial setup cost a lot? How do you go about starting it? I really have no idea and the though of all the confusing paperwork scares me!
  4. MickeyFinn

    MickeyFinn Administrator

    Hey Suzanne,

    Thanks for joining up! Simon is right, if you have a good level of work coming in then Ltd Co is the route to maximise the amount you can withdraw.

    Costs are really no more than paying your accountant to sort it all for you and (unless you want to do it all yourself = pain in the arse) I would also get them to run your payroll as well as doing VAT returns (if required) and end of year accounts.

    You can do cost effective company formations online, there is the ability to buy them through this site:
    Same day company formation :: Freelance UK

    Can be a little confusing to start with but once set up you will never look back!

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