How to Spot a Shifty Umbrella Company

How to Spot an Unscrupulous Umbrella Company

Umbrella payroll companies are essential to freelance workers, but there are many companies in the UK that are looking to trick their way into extra money. But how do you spot the difference?  

In this blog, we give you tips on key things to look out for to ensure an umbrella company is above board.  


What should I look for?  


1- Established

Do your research to see if the company is established and respected in the sector to be sure you’re working with a tried-and-true company.


2- Customer Service 

Ask yourself, how easy is it to get in touch with my umbrella company? Can you speak someone on the phone, or do they dodge calls and only respond to your emails with an automated message? Put your trust into companies who, at the very least, are willing to speak with you.  


3- Recommendations 

Look out for recommendations, or lack thereof. If the company you’re looking at has little or no recommendations, this is a bad sign.  


4- Preferred supplier list 

Check to see if the umbrella company is on the preferred supplier list of your employer. If not, you may want to do some more research before you make a decision on which umbrella company to go with.  


5- Accreditation 

Has the Umbrella received accreditation from Professional Passport? This is an indicator that the Umbrella has rigorous compliance standards 


Causes for Concern 


  • Lack of transparency 


An untrustworthy umbrella company might have hidden tier margins or may not be willing to divulge a breakdown of your calculations. If either of these is the case, then this is a bad sign.  

  • Few or no third-party accreditations 


Accreditation by a third party shows that a standard of performance has been achieved and recognised by an external body. If the umbrella company doesn’t have this, are they compliant and can they be trusted? 

  • Offshore arrangements or loans mentioned 


This may indicate that the company use non-compliant offshore trusts with low tax jurisdiction 

When choosing an umbrella company, make sure you check the points above to ensure that the company is legitimate and trusted. 

How we can keep your business ticking over by offering compliant payroll solutionsContact our friendly, knowledgeable staff today to discuss what we can do for you.