Umbrella Company

10 Best Umbrella Companies UK

Are you a contractor or a freelancer looking for an efficient way of managing your finances? In the world of contracting, handling the tax and administrative complexities can be challenging. That's where umbrella companies come into play, offering a hassle-free solution for contractors. Umbrella companies might be the perfect solution for you. But with so many options available in the UK, it can be overwhelming to choose one that suits your needs best. We have also compiled a list of the 10 best umbrella companies in the UK and highlighted their key features and benefits to help you make an informed decision.

By

Chris Andreou

10 Best Umbrella Companies UK

Understanding Umbrella Companies

Umbrella companies serve as employers for independent contractors, managing payroll, tax, and compliance. Umbrella company contractors receive payment through the company’s payroll, with deductions for income tax and national insurance contributions. They also provide employee benefits like holiday pay sick pay, paternity pay, and maternity pay. This ensures smooth processing of payments and compliance with HMRC regulations.

What is an Umbrella Company? - Umbrella Company Definition

An umbrella company acts as a middleman between contractors and end clients, eliminating the need for a limited company. It provides tax relief, employee benefits, and handles invoicing on behalf of contractors. Contractor becomes employee of the umbrella company.

How does an Umbrella Company Work?

Contractors submit their timesheets to the umbrella company, which invoices the client for their work. The company then pays the contractors, deducting taxes and handling national insurance contributions. Contractors receive pay slips from the umbrella company.

Importance of Choosing the Best Umbrella Companies UK

Choosing the appropriate umbrella company ensures adherence to UK tax laws and affects the contractor's take-home pay and benefits. It also provides transparency, trust, and personalized solutions, while preventing tax avoidance schemes. The right choice can make a significant difference in a contractor's financial responsibilities and benefits. When choosing an umbrella company, consider their experience and background checks. Check insurance cover, including public liability. Ensure compliance with FCSA and professional passport accreditation.

Top 10 Umbrella Companies in the UK

When considering umbrella companies, it's important to compare tax compliance, reputation, and customer service. The top umbrella companies in the UK offer various services with different umbrella company fees. Contractors and freelancers must compare the benefits and drawbacks before making the final decision.

  1. Parasol Group
  2. PayStream
  3. Workwell
  4. Giant group
  5. Umbrella.co.uk
  6. SG Umbrella
  7. Brookson One
  8. Sapphire
  9. Danbro
  10. Fore:Two Umbrella
Parasol Group

1. Parasol Group

  • £29.75 weekly fee
  • FCSA accredited – fully compliant umbrella company
  • Worked with 100000 contractors and 3000 recruitment agencies
  • £20m insurance cover
  • No hidden costs
  • Same day faster payments
  • Dedicated support team
  • Work place pension via NEST
  • Employee benefits - maternity and paternity pay, sick pay, paid annual leave
  • 4300 Trustpilot reviews - 4.6 stars
Paystream

2. PayStream

  • £27 weekly fee
  • FCSA accredited umbrella company
  • APSCo trusted partner
  • Dedicated Relationship Manager
  • Sick pay and paternity/maternity pay
  • Holiday pay and workplace pension
  • £20m insurance cover
  • Tax relief on allowable expenses
  • Voted the UK's Best Umbrella Company
  • 2600+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.7 stars
Workwell

3. Workwell

  • Accredited by the FCSA
  • Simple set-up - register and begin working within minutes
  • 24/7 personal accident insurance up to £500 per week
  • Easily switch between umbrella and your own limited company, depending on your IR35 status
  • pension scheme, holiday pay, sick pay, and maternity/paternity and adoption leave
  • public liability, employers’ liability, and professional indemnity insurance
  • IR35 Advice
  • Real-time payment notifications
  • 1700+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.5 stars
Giant Group

4. Giant group

  • Weekly margin from £22
  • FCSA accredited
  • APSCo trusted partner
  • Payment text alerts
  • Same day faster payments
  • Daily payrolls
  • 24/7 access to a mobile 1st portal
  • Auto enrolment pension
  • holiday, sick, maternity & paternity leaves
  • £30 million insurance package
  • 1300+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.8 stars
umbrella co uk

5. Umbrella.co.uk

  • FCSA accredited
  • APSCo trusted partner
  • Served over 100,000 contractors
  • Easy registration in minutes
  • 24/7 online portal and mobile app
  • No joining and leaving costs, or other hidden fees
  • Claim tax relief on mileage expenses
  • Workplace pension or salary sacrifice
  • SMS notification of payment
  • 700+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.6 stars
SG Umbrella

6. SG Umbrella

  • FCSA Accredited – highest standards of compliance
  • advice on IR35 and tax
  • Direct line to named contact
  • Fixed margin, no minimum contract
  • No hidden costs - everything included, even pensions
  • no joining or exit fees
  • Half price for the first 3 months
  • Holiday Pay, Sick Pay, Maternity Pay and Paternity Pay
  • 60+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.9 stars
Brookson One

7. Brookson One

  • Founding members of the FCSA
  • Setup in as little as 24 hours
  • Comprehensive insurance package
  • Support 6 days a week
  • Same-day payments along with SMS notifications
  • No hidden set up costs or exit fees
  • Sick pay, holiday pay, workplace pension and maternity leave
  • Flex solution to switch easily between Limited and Umbrella
  • Claim tax relief on allowable expenses subject to SDC tests
  • 2300+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.3 stars
Sapphire

8. Sapphire

  • Fully FCSA accredited umbrella company
  • sick pay and maternity/paternity pay
  • £25m insurance cover
  • same day payments
  • 24/7 online portal to submit timesheets
  • claim expenses
  • 24/7 private online GP service
  • access to qualified councillors to support mental health and wellbeing
  • 2200+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.9 stars
Danbro

9. Danbro

  • £27/Weekly margin fees deducted from your gross pay
  • Same day payments
  • Trusted by over 7,500 contractors
  • Private medical care*
  • Claim legitimate expenses
  • Danbro Rewards
  • Holiday pay, sick pay & maternity/paternity pay
  • Private pension scheme
  • Public Liability, Professional Indemnity & Employers’ Liability Insurance
  • Online portal & timesheet submissions
  • Dedicated employee support team
  • No set-up costs, no exit costs, no tie-in period
  • 500+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.7 stars
fore:two group

10. Fore:Two Umbrella

  • FCFA accredited
  • £35M insurance cover including the option for personal accident cover
  • Statutory payments such as SSP, Maternity & Paternity Pay
  • offset legitimate business expenses
  • Get paid on time
  • Salary Sacrifice Pension
  • holiday pay - how and when you want it
  • 500+ Trustpilot reviews - 4.8 stars

Umbrella Companies Feature Comparison

Umbrella Company FCFA member APSCo Partner Same Day Payment Dedicated Support Team Workplace Pensions Employee holiday pay Insurance cover Salary sacrifice contributions Weekly Margin Packages Trustpilot Reviews Count Trustpilot Ratings Additional Benefits Contact Number Contact Email Live Chat Link to Join Key Information Doc
Parasol Yes   Yes Yes Yes 28 £20m   £29.75 https://parasolgroup.co.uk/our-offering/umbrella/ 4306 4.6 maternity and paternity pay, sick pay, paid annual leave 01925 645 265 es@parasolgroup.co.uk Available https://parasolgroup.co.uk/sign-up/ https://parasolgroup.co.uk/resources/guides/umbrella-company/
PayStream Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 28 £20m Yes £27 https://www.paystream.co.uk/umbrella/ https://www.paystream.co.uk/umbrella/my-max-exec/ 2602 4.7 Tax relief on allowable expenses 0161 923 0201 newbusiness@paystream.co.uk Available https://portal.paystream.co.uk/Join https://www.paystream.co.uk/media/3646/3-mm3-27-margin-amendable.pdf
Workwell Yes   Yes   Yes 28   Yes £22.5     1800 4.5 24/7 personal accident insurance 01923 257257 hello@workwellsolutions.com https://umbrella.workwellsolutions.com/umbrella-employment-with-workwell/ https://umbrella.workwellsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2023/06/Workwell-Guide-to-Successful-Umbrella-Contracting-FINAL.pdf
Giant group Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 28 £30m Yes £22 https://www.giantgroup.com/umbrella#:~:text=to%20join%20online-,Packages%20to%20suit,-everyone 1354 4.8   0330 024 0946 hello@giantgroup.com Available https://www.giantgroup.com/umbrella-join-us https://www.giantgroup.com/umbrella-faq-booklet-download
Umbrella.co.uk Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 28 £25m Yes       798 4.6    0800 121 6513 newsignups@umbrella.co.uk Available https://www.umbrella.co.uk/contractor-online-registration https://www.umbrella.co.uk/help/user-guides
SG Umbrella Yes   Yes Yes Yes 28     £21 https://sg-umbrella.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/The-Affinity-Group-Information-Leaflet.pdf 69 4.9 pension plan at no extra cost 01962 896954 newbusiness@sg-umbrella.co.uk https://sg-umbrella.co.uk/new-employee/ https://sg-umbrella.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/The-Affinity-Group-Information-Leaflet.pdf
Brookson One Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 29 £25m Yes       2376 4.3   0800 230 0213 newbusiness@brookson.co.uk https://www.brooksonone.co.uk/services/umbrella-company/join-umbrella/ https://www.brooksonone.co.uk/globalassets/documents/downloadable-guides/latest-guides/choosing-your-working-options-guide.pdf
Sapphire Yes   Yes Yes Yes   £25m Yes       2216 4.9 Amazing benefits including; free movies, discounts on food & shopping 01625 539997 newbusiness@sapphireorg.co.uk https://wearesapphire.co.uk/contact/
Danbro Yes   Yes Yes Yes 28     £27 https://www.danbro.co.uk/services/employment-umbrella/ https://www.danbro.co.uk/services/danbro-umbrella-plus-2/ 542 4.7 Discounted self-assessment tax returns 01253 600 140 enquiries@danbro.co.uk https://online.danbro.co.uk/account/signup
Fore:Two Yes       Yes 28 £35m Yes £25.99     576 4.8   0808 196 9601 enquiries@foretwogroup.co.uk https://www.foretwogroup.co.uk/join-us/

How to Register with an Umbrella Company in the UK?

  1. Research and Shortlist: Identify and shortlist umbrella companies based on initial research and above list of umbrella companies.
  2. Compare Rates and Services: Evaluate the shortlisted companies, comparing their rates and services.
  3. Request KID (Key Information Document): Request a Key Information Document (KID) from each umbrella company for detailed insights.
  4. Read Reviews and Seek Feedback: Explore reviews of the umbrella companies and seek feedback from friends, colleagues, and recruiters.
  5. Thoroughly Review Terms and Conditions: Review the terms and conditions of the chosen umbrella company thoroughly.
  6. Complete Paperwork: Fulfill the necessary paperwork, including contracts and service agreements.
  7. Inform Recruitment Agency or End-Client: Notify your recruitment agency or end-client about your finalized choice of umbrella company.
  8. Submit Necessary Documents: Submit all required documents to the chosen umbrella company for the registration process.

How can You Find Umbrella Company Reviews?

To find umbrella company reviews, consider checking platforms like Trustpilot and Google. These platforms host user-generated feedback, providing insights into the experiences of individuals who have utilized umbrella company services. Browse through the reviews, positive aspects, and potential concerns to make an informed decision.

List of FCSA Approved Umbrella Companies

Below listed are FCSA accredited umbrella companies that have been tested for compliance with the FCSA Codes. Explore the whole list of all FCSA accredited firms for more details.

  • Advance
  • Amaze
  • Azebra
  • Black Diamond
  • Bright Sky Contracting
  • Brookson One
  • Carrington
  • Champion Contractors
  • Churchill Knight Umbrella
  • Clarity
  • Clipper Contracting Group
  • Contractor Umbrella
  • Crest Plus
  • CWC Solutions
  • Danbro
  • Dasa Umbrella
  • DNS
  • Eden Group
  • Exact Payroll
  • Exchequer Solutions
  • Fair Pay Services
  • Focused
  • Fore Two Group
  • Generate
  • Giant
  • Global Challenge
  • Granite BPO
  • Husp
  • iConsult
  • ICS
  • Key
  • Liquid Friday
  • Mango Pay
  • Mortimer Childe
  • My Pay
  • Nasa
  • No Worries
  • NumberMill
  • NWM
  • Oasis Umbrella
  • Orange Genie
  • Orbital
  • Parasol
  • PayMe
  • Payments Pro
  • Paystream
  • Pendragon Consultancy
  • Sapphire
  • SD Payroll Services
  • SG Umbrella
  • Smartwork
  • SSC Services
  • Sterling
  • The Indigo Group
  • Trafalgar
  • Umbrella Company UK
  • Umbrella.co.uk
  • Umbrellaphant
  • We Contract
  • Workr
  • Workwell

List of Professional Passport Approved Umbrella Companies

Professional Passport acts as a self-regulatory body, doing an outstanding job in promoting compliance among temporary worker supply chains. It conducts audits for contractor service providers. Check this list of professional passport approved umbrella companies to know more.

Choosing the right umbrella company is crucial for contractors looking for a smooth and stress-free experience. With the market flooded with unlimited options, it is essential to consider factors such as reputation, compliance, customer service, and fees while making a decision. Above listed each of the top 10 umbrella companies UK brings its unique strengths to the table.  Whether you prioritize competitive rates, personalized support, or advanced technology platforms, there is an option for everyone. Evaluate your specific requirements, consider the services offered by each company, and make an informed decision to enhance your contracting journey. As you embark on this decision-making process, consider the invaluable guidance of contractor accountants to your support team.

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