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A Hitch hikers guide to Contracting and Freelancing

A Hitch hikers guide to Contracting and Freelancing

This is meant as a rough guide for anyone who hasn`t a clue where to start, maybe returning and a little rusty or need some clarification.  It is not a tax guide.  The only way to get definitive tax advice is to pay for it.  This is as it says a rough guide, but hopefully will help to bring the jigsaw together from the fog that faces you right now.

Where on Earth do I start

You have landed from the planet Zog and there’s a chance of a tasty contract, but your agency is asking for all sorts of things. More often than not, the first thing you need to do is form a limited company. This is to create an “Arm’s length” contract between you the supplier of your amazing knowledge and the other parties, i.e. whoever it is you`ll work for.

You can do this yourself, or if you prefer we can do it for you, we charge £100 plus vat.  Appropriate form below to download and complete.

New Company Formation Details v6


What on Earth!

OK I have a company formed, now they want VAT registration!

This is often the case, but don`t panic.  It will work in your favour.  It means you can claim back VAT on certain goods and services, but now you need to make a decision.  You are either going to fumble around and have a go yourself or appoint an accountant.


It’s a Jungle out there.

Shop around by all means, but don`t believe all the promises Contractors Accountants make.  Some are overwhelmingly gushy and want to be your bessy friend, others seem very business-like, almost stuffy.  Follow your gut feel and how much you want to pay.

Sturgessonline charge a fixed fee of £60 plus vat a month. That’s it, even includes your basic self-assessment.  Check out the competition but A: How different are they and B: Why pay more for less service?

It’s a date

Hopefully, with your incredible wisdom you have appointed Sturgessonline as your accountant.  No big deal as we don`t lock you into some awful contract, we even give you the first month free to see just how awesome we really are.  We`ll crack on and get you registered for VAT, set up your Sage software, so you can start planning those lovely expenses.  We`ll advise you on what you can claim, after all every little helps.

Separate Entity

Your business must have its own bank account.  You can either use your regular high street bank, alternatively we understand you can open up a business account online very easily with one of the new banks.  It’s your preference

Phew, can I get on with it now?


Yes, because that was the whole point of you visiting planet Contracting wasn`t it?  Off you go and make lots of dosh, just keep track of things on your phone with the Sage Expenses app. And we can work alongside you.

Ah, but what about the elephant in the room?

Eh? Oh you mean IR35.  Good question.  There is too much at stake for us to try to pretend we could give you a definitive answer.  The best advice we can give you is go to a specialist.


I hope this has been of some help to you.  Its not that bad once you appoint a professional and I do feel that our fees are very fair as a professional partner to you.  We always remember that you want to use your skills to make a living not run a company and we want to make that as stress free as we can.

Still got questions?  No problem, phone us for a chat on 01799 732101

Heres a link to what we do for you