View Full Version : Introduction and questions in order to begin

3rd July 2012, 03:01
This is a little introduction to myself as I have some questions before I will be working in England.

I am French and I live in London since 3 months.
Yesterday a company gave me the chance to work for them as a “freelance” or “independent” (I still don’t know the right word for my status maybe you will tell me).

My job will be about graphic design (3D motion design) and I am very glad because I love living in London but I need money to stay, hopefully I’ll get it.

But…I know very little about what I should do to work here, witch status is the best for me. This company just wants me to be a contractor.
First I have to make estimation; I would like to put something “serious” on this paper so they will not chose somebody else. (something to prove I am creating my business here)

Basically I just need a way to be paid and I found this website about contracting, but I want your advice and learn from you experience in order to know if this is a good choice for my situation.

Thank you in advance for any help! :)

3rd July 2012, 19:50
Yesterday a company gave me the chance to work for them as a “freelance” or “independent” (I still don’t know the right word for my status maybe you will tell me).

Bonjour! :wave:

We would call you a contractor. You could also be called a freelancer or self employed though the phrase "self employed" has a special meaning to the tax man. "Freelance graphic designer" is probably a fair description.

You need to have a read of the links on the right, especially the First Timers (http://www.contractoruk.com/first_timers/) guide which will answer most of your questions.

As for setting yourself up as a Limited Company or Umbrella, have a look at this link (http://www.contractoruk.com/first_timers/setting_up_your_contractor_company.html).

You may also be offered work as "self employed" in which case you have to do a "self assessment" tax return at the end of the year and pay the tax due. Generally you don't get this option though, probably because foreign people are tempted to come here, work as self employed and then go home without paying any tax. :wink

If you are in London for a few years then you should consider setting up a Limited company (LTD) but if you aren't sure how long you can put up with the rubbish British summer, you may want to stick with an Umbrella company which is much simpler though you pay more tax.

I'd recommend that you go with an umbrella to start with...

Bonne chance!

3rd July 2012, 19:55
A very warm welcome to London and cuk!

I presume you are working as a permanent(employee) in London now? If so, are you sure you want to go for the riskier(but more lucrative) contract route?

If you have confidence in your own ability then go for it!

Very best of luck.

5th July 2012, 10:24
Thank you very much for this warm welcome.
Actually I am unemployed and just working on a personal project; I’m an Indie Videogame maker, that’s why this job opportunity sounds like a salvation in this expensive city.
(You may ask “why staying in London just to do a personal project at home?” well… My girlfriend is working in London, maybe that’s why I don’t really need a sunny weather haha, she gives it to me every day)

I did my estimate and wrote I am a freelance graphic designer while I’m waiting to sign with them, in order to move to the next (serious) step.
A limited company I think. I would like to stay a little while here so maybe I can chose that.

I tried a little “simulation” (about creating it) and it leads me to an invoice (something like £100), that’s why I’m waiting to sign the “contact” before.
But I was also asking myself about something while I was doing my estimate: can I invoice the tax also (vat) if I have a limited company (or umbrella) ?

Sorry about theses questions and thank you again for all these useful links. I’m halfway about reading all of this, as a first timer I can also get confuses easily so I’m taking the time to read carefully.


5th July 2012, 22:05
But I was also asking myself about something while I was doing my estimate: can I invoice the tax also (vat) if I have a limited company (or umbrella) ?

Most of your answers can be found in the CUK Navigation links on the right side of the page. As for your question about VAT, read the link VAT / Flat Rate VAT (http://www.contractoruk.com/vat/). :wink

You really want to get an accountant, there are some really helpful ones who post here. Check them out and ask them about setting up a company.

The other option is to join the PCG (http://www.pcg.org.uk/cms/index.php), they are good guys who can get you set up with everything you need.

You must get an accountant to guide you through the complexities of running a LTD company or you will get yourself in a lot of trouble and mess.

10th July 2012, 08:13
Thank you again for these answers, I took time to read carefully.

An accountant in order to setup Ltd company? Now I understand why you told me I should use the umbrella system to make it easy.

Then maybe I should add some information about the job:

It will be about making 3D videos, each video is paid around £2000 and I'm the only one working on it.
They plan to ask me to do around 20 videos (maybe just 1 per month or at least every 3 weeks) and... Well that's it basically.

Do I really need an Ltd for this? And if I do it, do you think I really need an accountant to guide me running this considering this quite “simple” case?
Because after all: I am alone, I don't have physical product to sell, no stock or things like that, just a guy who does the computer job and gives the files...

But indeed I would like to contact an accountant to speak about it.
Because, when my game will be done, I will also need a way to get paid, and this time I think running a company will be required.
I heard it is more interesting to set up a company in England than in France, and I’m sure it’s not a legend haha.