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What is a ltd company?

​​At the first instance it may seem daunting trying to understand the prospect of what a ltd company is and how it works. Don't worry, below is an easy to read explanation of what an umbrella company is and if it is beneficial for you.

"A Limited Company means you can claim full benefits from being self employed. You will need to hire an accountant or balance the books yourself."

Ltd Company Explained


So, you have just been offered a new contracting role and you are excited to be self-employed, your recruiter has informed you that you need to be paid using your own Ltd Company. 


There are officially 2 routes to choose from when freelancing, contracting or owning a business; which are being paid through a Ltd company or an umbrella company. There are factors to consider for each route which you can find in our help & advice section under Ltd vs umbrella guidelines.


A Ltd Company is an advanced way to be paid and unlike a simple umbrella company it is more complicated, yet depending on how much you earn you could take home much more of your earnings by having your own Ltd Company.


How does a Ltd Company work?


Your client pays your wage directly into your Ltd Company bank account. You are responsible for ensuring the relevant deductions are being made adequately. You can hire a contractor accountant to calculate and advise you on how much money you should leave in your business bank account every time you are paid by your client; this is commonly known as remittance advice.


When your contractor accountant has given you this advice, it is up to you to transfer the remaining sum of money from your business bank account into your personal bank account.


By following this process, your business bank account deduction money will add up and can be paid to the HMRC at the end of the financial year which is commonly known as a self-assessment tax return. 


Each contractor accountancy will charge a monthly fee to supply there services, which widely ranges from anywhere between £70 - £170 per month. You will typically expect about 15-20% in deductions from your pay packet depending on the amount you earn. Levels of your take home pay may vary depending on how much you earn, if how much you earn reaches the threshold, you will be entitled to pay higher rate tax to the HMRC. Each contractor accountancy will offer different packages, be sure to only use an approved contractor accountancy which is in the UK and not off-shore. To find a payroll-supermarket approved contractor accountant click here for quotes.



As you are now contracting and are self-employed you are responsible for ensuring you have adequate insurances to cover you whilst working.


You may need to be covered for Professional indemnity, public liabilty, employers liabilty, directors and officers liabilty and occupational personal accident cover. You will need to be covered for various amounts depending on different insurance policys. If you require contract insurance, visit our insurance partner Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance.



Benefits & Expenses


Because you are now self-employed you are entitled to more benefits and can claim for many expenses which will boost your take home pay. You are also entitled to being VAT registered, some contractor accountants can help you take home more money by placing your Ltd Company under a flat rate VAT scheme. Some expenses you can off set against your corporation tax are: 

pension contributions, employers national insurance contributions, accommodation costs, travel & parking, stationary, postage, printing costs, mileage, company formation, business insurance, mobile phone bills, home office costs, & more.

Ltd Company Summary


To summarise we would advise anyone who chooses the Ltd Company route to hire a contractor accountant for ease and accuracy on your accounts. It is highly important you have accurate calculations as you will need to pay the tax man in full at the end of each tax year. The more accurate the calculations the more chance the HMRC calculations will match and effectively you will have no discrepancies when you receive your end of year tax bill.


If you are earning less than £110 per day it would be more beneficial using an umbrella company route as you would maximise your take home pay, using an umbrella company very hassle free and an easier way to process your pay.


To find out more information about using an umbrella company click here.


If you require any additional information please give us a call on 0800 774 7414

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