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  • Writer's pictureUmbrella Search

How to find the best umbrella company

With hundreds of umbrella companies out there competing for your attention, you as a contractor may find it difficult to know how to find the best umbrella company for you and your needs. 

It’s a big task and one that requires a lot of time, energy, attention and research, and choosing the right umbrella company will definitely pay off. 

In this guide, Umbrella Search offers you top tips to help contractors find the best umbrella company in 2024.

Look at what services they provide

The first step when comparing umbrella companies is to check the level of services and benefits they have on offer. 

Every umbrella company must offer a range of core services as a minimum, however some will go above and beyond this, so it’s important to check what they’ve got on offer. 

As a minimum, every umbrella company will:

-            Employ the contractor, therefore paying them through their company payroll, deducting tax and National Insurance through PAYE, as well as ensuring the contractor receives statutory benefits including holiday pay and sick leave. Read more about umbrella company statutory rights in our handy guide. 

-            Ensure that the contractor has the correct cover of insurance. Every contractor is legally obliged to have certain types of insurance such as public indemnity insurance, and some contractors will need more depending on the contract at hand. The umbrella company will ensure you are covered whatever the situation.

-            Act as the intermediary between the contractor and client. The umbrella company will take care of liaising with the client, invoicing the client, taking care of any paperwork and dealing with all aspects of admin.

Many contractors will require further help and support on top of the basic services. Although additional services may come with a lower price tag and therefore be a tempting offer, if this is the case it’s always best to pay slightly more for the services and support you need. 

For example, some contractors may want help and advice on things like their workplace pension or childcare tax credits, and others may want the choice of same day or faster payments. Whatever it is that you require, it’s important to check that the umbrella company can offer this.

Reputation matters

The next thing to look at when choosing the best umbrella company is the umbrella company’s reputation and reviews. 

It’s always essential to carry out your research and due diligence, looking into the company’s background, what professional accreditations they have, as well as any testimonials and reviews which can be found on platforms such as Google or platforms like Trust pilot.

We’d recommend using an umbrella company with a proven track record of success. Although an umbrella company might have been around for years it doesn’t always mean they have built up a good reputation, so it’s important to do your research in order to find the best fit. 

What is an umbrella company?

How will you get paid?

How contractors will be paid by the umbrella company is no minor matter. After all, you work hard on the contract at hand, so you want to ensure that getting paid is as easy as possible.

Different umbrella companies have different rules and procedures when it comes to paying the contractor, so it’s essential that you look into this when choosing your provider. 

For example, it’s important to check how often the umbrella company makes payment runs as this can impact your payment schedule. This should be several times a week meaning that the company are able to pay you quickly once you have submitted your timesheet. 

Although most contractors will be paid on a monthly basis, some contractors will want more frequent payments such as same day payments, or weekly or fortnightly. If this is the case you will need to ensure that your chosen provider can offer this service to you.

You should also check there are no rules or policies in place that will make getting paid harder. This might include the umbrella company requiring a paper timesheet or for timesheets to go through an approval process before they’re paid. Such factors can slow down the process and mean it will take you longer to receive your hard-earned cash. 

How much do they charge?

When finding the best umbrella company you will also need to look at how much they charge in fees. After all, for the range of services and benefits they provide the contractor, every umbrella company asks for a small fee in return.

Umbrella company fees are very competitive but do differ from provider to provider, meaning it’s crucial to compare fees in order to get a fair deal.

Use an umbrella calculator

Having read our guide this far, you will see that finding an umbrella company is no easy task. Contractors will need to put in the hours and energy to carry out thorough research in order to ensure they are selecting the best umbrella company for them. 

We know that many contractors already have a lot on their plates. If this is the case,  Umbrella Search can help.

Our team of experts can take on the task of finding the best umbrella company off your hands. When you choose to work with us, we will work closely with you to understand exactly what you’re looking for from your chosen umbrella company and what your contractor requirements and preferences are. 

Then, we will do all the hard work and due diligence for you in order to find the best umbrella company out there. That means you can get on with the important stuff whilst we take on the time consuming tasks for you. 


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