How to choose the best umbrella company for your business can be nerve-racking, especially with so many from which to choose. Asking the correct questions and having knowledge on what to look for can make the task much simpler. Knowing about their fees, services, accessibility, and reputation are good places to start. A little time and research will save you money and frustration in the long run.
Hidden entry and exit charges
When looking at potential companies read the fine print and be on the lookout for hidden entry and exit costs. If your income is unpredictable, it might be best to go with a company that offers a set fee rather than one that bases its fees on your earnings, especially if you make a good sum of money. You should be able to choose between weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly billing.
Do some investigating and make sure the company you are looking at has a good reputation. Word of mouth is a smart tool, so ask around for recommendations. Ask the business for references from existing clients that you might know. Know how long they have worked in business and how many clients they have. This can be a good indicator of stability.
The most critical issues for a freelancer is excellent customer service. Find out how easy it is to submit timesheets and expenses. Do they have a website for submissions? Ask about response time. You have a schedule to keep and don’t want to be held up, waiting to hear back from your umbrella company. Look for a company that gives a “money back guarantee” if you are not satisfied with their performance.
Terms of payment
Depending on your particular circumstances, how a company pays could play a significant role in choosing an umbrella company. Some methods of payment will force you to wait for many days to be paid while in others, you will receive payments in just one day as they use a same-day bank transfer. Same-day bank transfer is the best because most of us need our money as soon as possible.
Finally, find out if the umbrella company is a member of a professional organization, This usually assures that they are compliant. While most firms provide insurance, like public liability, professional indemnity, and employer’s liability, it’s best to make sure before you sign on. In case you get a company that meets all these criteria and can serve your needs, you should be in good hands.