What to do if you’ve lost your UTR number
Whether you're someone who likes to file your annual self-as...
By Lynne Gowers on 3rd September 2014
Having a good, solid contract is one of the most important things that is to be considered when taking up work with a company. Here we have created some information about the most important things to think about before signing on the dotted line.
This may be the most obvious point to make, but it is one that mustn’t be overlooked. When you are given a contract by a company, it is imperative that you read through it until you feel like you know it like the back of your hand. You should feel fully comfortable with all fine print and know that should any issues arise, you would be able to protect yourself if need be.
You may be surprised that this is a possibility, but stranger things have happened. Some contracts can be quite generic and just a copy of a previous one that the company has used. With this being the case, sometimes you can read through the contract only to find that the specifics aren’t there.
This is especially of concern should a third party, for whatever reason, become involved in an issue in which your contract is brought into play. How would they know what the particulars of your deal is if it’s not written down and fully explained? It is so important that a contract is specific and to the point.
The commercial provisions, such as the dates on which the work will commence, payment dates and specifics, and the services you will provide, to name but a few, need to be clear.
If it is a fixed-price contract, then it is particularly imperative that the specifics of the services are laid out so that both parties can identify where the boundaries are set. You need to know what you are actually agreeing to, and if any part of this is unclear, it must be dealt with before the contract is agreed.
Again, this may seem like an obvious factor, but as the saying goes ‘you say tomato, I say tomato’. Basically, what something may read as meaning to you may read differently to someone else and when it comes to a contract, there isn’t really room for blurred lines.
If something in the contract is somewhat vague, then it is more likely that the chance of it being breached is higher, and this is something to be avoided at all costs. If anything does seem as though it could cause confusion, bring it up and ensure it is written clearly.
A lot of contractors will wait until after a contract has been agreed and signed to start thinking about IR35, but it is well worth your time to see where you stand prior to this. The contract should make it clear that you are not a disguised employee, that you are in fact a freelancer.
Having a contract professionally reviewed is the best way to ensure it passes IR35, and would allow you peace of mind. Otherwise, there are a few things you can do to check it yourself – try our guide for starters.
The first thing to do is to go back to the advertised role and ensure it states that it is a contractor role, and if it suggests that it is a cover position, then the chances are the contract will have the characteristics of one used for an employee, rather than a contractor. Another warning sign would be if the contract states that you can’t work for another company.
As a general rule of thumb, anything that suggests exclusivity would cause you problems should HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigate the IR35 status of your contract.
Take a look at our recent blogs below.
If you have made the decision to set up and run a limited company, one of your priorities should be ...
Published: 11th December 2018
Over the holiday period, we are closed on the Bank Holidays and the office will close slightly early...
Published: 10th December 2018
We want to warn all of our clients and readers about a sharp rise in the number of phone scammers pr...
Published: 6th December 2018
HMRC are dogged in their efforts to recoup unpaid tax through schemes that they view as tax avoidanc...
Published: 8th November 2018
Operating as a sole trader does exactly what it says on the tin – you are running your busines...
Published: 1st November 2018
Yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Budget to the House of Commons, promising an end ...
Published: 30th October 2018
The director of an engineering company based in Aberdeenshire has been banned for seven years from r...
Published: 26th October 2018
Making Tax Digital, aka MTD, is HMRC’s project to modernise and digitise the tax system by 202...
Published: 22nd October 2018
October’s here and the Summer’s heatwave is fast becoming a distant memory. As well as a distinc...
Published: 4th October 2018
Registering for VAT (value added tax) allows your business to claim the VAT back on VAT rated busine...
Published: 28th September 2018
50,000 people, including nurses and teachers, are facing life-changing tax bills going back over 20 ...
Published: 21st September 2018
If you need a little help to find the right accountancy service, don’t worry.
Thousands of contractors, freelancers and locums turn to Boox for help and advice with their limited company accounting. They love our personal service and app.
Specialist accounting for sole traders and the self employed, Boox combines easy online tools with expert support to take away the stress of handling your accounts.
Our combination of market-leading accounting software and expert personal advice gives you greater financial control and more time to grow your business.