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02-14-2001, 07:35 AM
Hi there I am currently working in the UK as a web designer, I work full time for a company that contracts me out to others. At the time of joining it seemed a lot easier than freelancing as I still get the benefits of full time employment (holiday/sick pay) but with the added advantage of working in different places.

The problem I have now come across is that I am contracted to a compnay in Manchester and they are paying 25 per hour for me, this is all very well but my boss pays me 19,000 per annum which works out at around 9 p/h. As you can imagine I am not best pleased. He of course swears blind that I am not being paid that much because he doesn't know I know how much the rate is.

Does anyone have any experience of working with umbrella companies?
In two weeks my notice period finishes and I will be changing to an umbrella company.

Basically it means I arrange my own contracts, negotiate rates etc but the contract pays to the company (who then take a 25 per month charge) and gives everything else to me.

A much better deal I know!

I am not confident enough and probably not skilled enough yet to go the whole hog and go LTD so I will stick with this course of action.

I am interested therefore to hear others comments on the advantages/disadvantages of freelance/ltd/ or umbrella companies.


02-15-2001, 07:35 AM
If it works then it sounds a better deal than the one you are on at the mo, BUT be careful.......

Umbrella companies are notorious for scams that take advantage of freelancers and small businesses. Im not saying this one will definitely be a fraud - it could be the best move you'll ever make - but just stay on your toes.

The trick is making sure the amount you receive is definitely what the client paid to the umbrella less their fee. Some companies only start fleecing you after a couple of months once they've gained your trust, so dont let your guard down.

Its also worth finding out from clients what the umbrella company was like to deal with 'cos if they are too aggressive then it might affect your chances of repeat business.

I'm honestly not trying to put you off; just exercise a little caution. I spent a while working in Trading Standards and saw plenty of us 'little guys' getting stung, but that doesnt mean it has to happen to you.

Best of luck,