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  • Writer's pictureUmbrella Search

How to find the best rated umbrella company out there

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Umbrella companies offer a variety of benefits to contractors, coupling the freedom of being self-employed with the security of employment, making it an increasingly popular route for contractors to take.

However, with so many umbrella companies out there, it can be hard to know what to look out for when trying to find the best-rated umbrella company.

To help, Umbrella Search has put together this guide with our top tips for finding yourself a provider that's the perfect fit.

Do your research

The first tip for contractors is to do their research. It's important to carry out due diligence on the umbrella companies you are considering.

Firstly, you should head over to Companies House where you will be able to search the umbrella company in order to find out key information such as who the directors and shareholders are to ensure that the umbrella provider and people with significant control are based in the UK.

What is an umbrella company?

Read the reviews

Another way to find the best-rated umbrella company is to read reviews. Although some reviews can be taken with a pinch of salt, if you notice negative reviews with a recurring thread this may be a signal that something is wrong.

There are a number of places you can check out reviews for your chosen umbrella company, from Google, TrustPilot, Facebook to more specific platforms including

If you have contacts in your industry and know other contractors that have used the umbrella company in the past, it is always worth asking for a word of mouth review. You can also utilise platforms such as LinkedIn to ask your wider network for any advice.

This should give you a good idea of the umbrella company's reputation in order to make the right decision.

What margin do they take?

When choosing the best umbrella company it's important that you check what the umbrella company margin is. Every umbrella company retains a margin which covers the cost of employing the contractor and will be listed on your payslip.

The margin that the umbrella company takes can be indicative of how well rated the umbrella company is and whether they can be trusted.

Although contractors should check that the margin the umbrella company will keep is competitive, as this will impact your pay each month, it's also important to remember that a low margin isn't always the best option.

Another factor to consider here is that some umbrella companies charge their fee as a percentage of the contractor's pay. This means that if the contractor earns more, the margin that the umbrella company takes increases. This will leave the contractor worse off, meaning they will be paying the umbrella company more but receiving the same level of services in return. For this reason most contractors prefer to choose an umbrella company that charges a fixed fee as it means the amount they're paying each month won't change.

Do they charge any other fees?

Contractors should look out for umbrella companies that charge additional fees on top of the margin they take from your pay. Such additional fees can include fees for joining the umbrella company, leaving the umbrella company and for certain benefits.

These additional fees can really add up and take away from your hard-earned income, meaning it's important to check exactly what you will be charged for.

Let Umbrella Search help you find the best umbrella company

When it comes to finding the best-rated umbrella company it's important to look at their accreditations, reviews, reputation, carry out a background check, and look at costs, margins and fees.

Fortunately, Umbrella Search is here to take on all the hard work for you.

We always do our research and due diligence into every umbrella company, and only ever work with those we can trust. That means contractors can rest assured that we will find you an umbrella company you can rely on and that has your best interests at heart.

Whether you have past contractor experience or are brand new to the field, we're here to help. To see how we can find the best umbrella company for you today, simply get in touch with one of our friendly team members.

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