I believe that when you think about something, in more cases than not, you’ve already made a subconscious decision. Be it a change of car, house, job. I had always wanted to try out contracting. Something about independence and being held responsible for all your actions felt enourmously captivating. I started contracting this week and wanted to share how easy the setup process was.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - Wayne Gretzky
- find an agent/client you would like to contract for
- come up with a name for your limited company
- find an accountancy company
- set up a business bank account
- sign and return all the papers sent to you by agent/client, accountancy company, bank & HMRC
find an agent/client you would like to contract for
I answered one of those ‘Are you currently or speculatively looking for a new work?’ emails for full stack developer from an agent. It had a good mix of technologies ranging from backend C#, WebApi to frontend React and AngularJs. Also mentioned some interesting things I hadn’t been exposed to too much before: Azure, complex event processing, Rx, offering a great daily rate. Telephone and face-to-face interviews went fine. There were questions I didn’t know answers to. I really liked the client and felt that I could learn a fair bit so I accepted a 6 month contract. It seems to me that contracting market is dominated by agents that ‘assign’ contractor to clients. Some of the agents that operate in banking and financial services are: Huxley, Hunter Bond, Red Rock.
come up with a name for your limited company
This shouldn’t be too hard since you most probably already have an idea. If not, think of something you are passionate about or relate to. Check desired name against already registered ones on Companies House website.
find an accountancy company
Agent suggested Paystream accountancy company with which I’m super happy. Most of the things are done online and visibility into your business bank account can be setup so that you can sit back and relax while accountants manage finances on your behalf. All actions are communicated so that you’re always on top of things. They manage all the setup for you. All you need to do is sign, date and return necessary forms. The setup of a limited company took less than 24h. It makes sense to evaluate accountancy suggested by an agent. Most important things for me were costs, how much can be delegated and how much can be done online.
set up a business bank account
Application for HSBC business bank account can be submitted online if you already bank with them. It will save you weeks waiting on a branch appointment, quick and easy. It took me around 3 days to have account allocated. The final phone interview was quick and in few minutes I had the account opened.
It might feel overwhelming to deal with a large amount of forms. Not so much if the only thing you need to do is sign&return.