Consulting in UK

Contracting in UK - FAQ

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in UK? 

Between 3-12.5% 

Consultancies can, not Umbrella Companies.

How long does it take to get a work permit in UK?

Between 2 and 8 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in UK for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?


What is the estimated net retention in UK for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?


More questions? See the rest of the FAQ for more information on the UK work permit process

Getting Started

Taking a contract in UK means tackling numerous administrative headaches. Before you even begin working as a consultant, there are complicated payroll, tax, and immigration issues to work out.

For any consultants from outside of the EU, they must also have an employer sponsor them in order to gain a work permit in the UK. All this complex admin comes on top of any personal matters you need to sort, as well. Even worse, it can be a huge nuisance when you’re already in UK, trying to adjust to a huge relocation – and a new contract!

Streamlining even a few of these obstacles can dramatically improve your experience.

UK Requirements


One of your first hurdles will be securing the proper work permit. To get one, you usually need an employer to sponsor you. This means they take full responsibility for you while you’re working in the country.


Additionally, you need to figure out what you owe (if anything) in taxes for your work in UK.

Of course, there’s also your country of tax residency; you’re likely to owe something on that front, too.


Benefits of working through an Umbrella Company in UK

You can outsource a lot of these admin problems to specialists at an Umbrella Company (or contractor management company).

An Umbrella Company basically becomes your full-time “employer,” even though you stay in control of your workload, clients, and schedule. The Umbrella Company simply collects and processes your payments, filtering out social security and any necessary fees.

Even better, most specialise in tax law for contractors in UK and can ensure you’re keeping the largest amount of your earnings as possible. They can even assist you with reducing your tax liability back home.

In short, you get all the benefits of a working for an employer, without sacrificing your autonomy as a contractor.

How to get started with the right Umbrella Company

There’s a lot of Umbrella Companies out there; finding the right one for you can be daunting.

We’ve done the research on Umbrella Companies in UK, and know how to match consultants with the perfect company. If you’ve already secured a role, get in touch with us and let us know your situation. We can get you started with the best Umbrella Company for you, or simply offer feedback on contracting in UK.

Oh, and we don’t charge anything. Drop us a line and get free, honest, simple advice.

Send your details for more information

Additional FAQ - work permits & payroll


What is the cost of Work Permit in UK?


What documentation is required for a work permit in UK?

Passport, 2 passport photos, certified copies of education certificates, employment contract, police clearnance certificate (dependent on nationality).

What is the work permit process in UK?

Depends on the visa status of the candidate but simply put the company sponsoring the visa needs to lodge a Resident Labour Market Test for 28 days for the candidates skill set. After which they can lodge an application with the UKBA for a COS (Certificate of Sponsorship), this should take 5-7 days if the candidate is in country on a relevent permit, if not the application can only be made on the 5th of any given month. Once the COS is approved this is sent to the candidate and if they're making an out of country application they need to book an appointment with the UK Consulate in their home country to obtain entry clearance, this can take between 3 days to 3 weeks. If the candidate is in country on a relevent permit that allows switching of visa categories in country, the candidate books an appointment with a UKBA office to obtain entry clearance. Only once the candidate has Entry Clearance can they commence work.

Can you transfer from a business visa to a work permit in UK?


Can we organise a business visa for UK?


How long does it take to process a business visa in UK?

5 to 10 days.

How much does a business visa cost in UK?


Can nationals of certain countries enter UK without a business visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?

Yes, nationals of most first world nationals and all EU nationals.

Depends on the skill set. These ranges from £25K upwards.

How does payroll work in UK?

Tax and National Insurance is deducted at source by the local company and paid to the local tax authorities.

Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping