Cutting out the middleman, working direct? Cutting out the middleman, working direct?
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  1. #1

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    Default Cutting out the middleman, working direct?

    I might be in a position where I can contract directly with the end user, so no recruiter. Any pointers on where I need to be from a legal perspective (IR35, contract etc) I've never worked on this basis before. Always been through an agent that's taken care of the small print. At the very least I think I'll see if I can push for weekly invoicing. Just worried my chance of being screwed over could be higher.

    If it turns out to be one of those 'payment on delivery' type gigs I'll run a mile.

  2. #2

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    I don't think you're any more likely to be screwed than through an agency, certainly less on the margin.

    The thing you have to watch for is payment terms. They are typically longer, and you do have to chase payments quite often.

    Everything else you leave to the contract reviews (IR35 and commercial), as usual.

    FFP contracts are a different ballgame, yes. In that case, you need to be good at estimating and really clear about the scope of work and acceptance criteria. You can end up making a lot more money on FFP, but there's a lot more risk too, so you need to know what you're doing, else start small. I like to break them into a scoping stage and an independent delivery stage, especially when the customer has woolly ideas about what they want.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbrown View Post
    I don't think you're any more likely to be screwed than through an agency, certainly less on the margin.

    The thing you have to watch for is payment terms. They are typically longer, and you do have to chase payments quite often.

    Everything else you leave to the contract reviews (IR35 and commercial), as usual.

    FFP contracts are a different ballgame, yes. In that case, you need to be good at estimating and really clear about the scope of work and acceptance criteria. You can end up making a lot more money on FFP, but there's a lot more risk too, so you need to know what you're doing, else start small. I like to break them into a scoping stage and an independent delivery stage, especially when the customer has woolly ideas about what they want.
    I use an iterative MVP process but it's there to work on the same principal - keep tasks small (so you don't screw up an estimate by missing something big) and ensuring people can walk away quick if it doesn't work.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  4. #4

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    Most likely you can forget about weekly invoicing. Payment terms can be up to 90 days and still you will have to chase it

  5. #5

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    IPSE provide a reasonable contract template you can use.
    See what the client says through. They may insist on their Ts and Cs.

    IR35 is unchanged. If anything you’re in a better position as there’s be no agency-client contract that you cannot see and review.

    Also ask the client what their view is if April IR35 changes. If they’re a small company it’s not their problem. If not they can’t just ignore it so best to work with them now.
    See You Next Tuesday

  6. #6

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    I have 2 contracts which are direct. For one, they asked me to write the contract so I just copied an old one I had, changing the names and that was fine. Stuck in a standard 30 day payment term and am always paid before that so quite happy with it. The other one I don't even have a contract and have been with them for 5 years now, I send in the invoice at the end of the month and am paid, latest, 2 days after. However, I have had direct ones in the past and as people have pointed out, payment can be difficult and chasing it up even more difficult as you have to do it directly with the client.
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

  7. #7

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    QDOS have a standard contract which is Outside IR35 compliant on their website which you can use. I had to mod this a little to go direct and then had it doublechecked by QDOS.
    I still invoice the client every week, and payment terms can be negotiated but 30 days is still very possible. After having delays in payment for the first few weeks, the client soon sorted it out with their accounts and now its like clockwork.
    So much better to cut out the agent, and what more the client is making a nice saving so is now talking about an extension.

  8. #8

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    I've had a different experience. Gone direct on 3 contracts. 2 were weekly with 10 day terms, 1 was monthly with 30 day terms. Had 1 or 2 missed/late payments but these were much easier to chase up than when I've had same issues going through an agency.

    I prefer to go direct. I'd rather get paid more or be cheaper to the client, both of those benefit me. If I'm cheaper (still making same money) I'll probably be kept on longer and if I earn more well hopefully I don't have to explain why that's beneficial.

    I would work direct 100% of the time if I had the choice.

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    My first contract was direct with a big fashion retailer in the UK. 90 day terms and £10 per day extra over an agency worker.

  10. #10

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    I've done a lot of direct work. All T&M, but no "traditional" contracts - in my world, direct implies ad-hoc. So, generally better rates and a proper B2B relationship, but lots of juggling and less guarantee of work. I've been let down and messed around a lot by projects not starting on time and such.

    Overall, there are pros and cons and I can't honestly say I prefer either.

    Great for IR35, though.

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