The right way to conduct an umbrella company comparison

The right way to conduct an umbrella company comparison

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a Sherlock Holmes when it comes to identifying a deal? We certainly don’t blame you if you do! When it comes to looking for an umbrella company, we suggest you make a real effort comparing the providers out there. We’ve put a few tips together to help you make a fair and reliable umbrella company comparison.


We say this a lot on our website, but any excuse to repeat it – ONLY CHOOSE A COMPLIANT UMBRELLA COMPANY FOR YOUR PAYROLL, AND NEVER BE TEMPTED TO USE A TAX AVOIDANCE SCHEME! Tax avoidance schemes are evil and you could be in serious trouble if you engage with one – even if it’s a genuine accident.

With that out of the way, we recommend you start your umbrella company comparison by looking at compliant umbrella companies only! The easiest way to do this is to look for companies that have achieved FCSA accreditation. Why? Because the FCSA is the UK’s leading professional body dedicated to ensuring the supply chain of temporary workers is compliant! If a company has FCSA accreditation – you can be sure they have your best interests at heart.


A lot of contractors think that the most important thing to look out for when conducting an umbrella company comparison is their projected pay retention. Don’t make this mistake. Ever since umbrellas became a popular payroll solution, many have tried to sneakily increase the pay retention they calculate for potential clients. The reason for this is pretty obvious – to mislead people into choosing them over the competition.

Take it from us – the only thing that’ll vary between compliant umbrella companies is the margin they charge for their service. The margin is the only thing that’ll alter your take home pay because umbrella companies process your payroll in exactly the same way (PAYE). They have to – it’s the law!

So, here’s what we think. When you are conducting an umbrella company comparison, by all means look for an umbrella with a lower margin. However, if one umbrella has an ever so slightly lower margin than another – don’t let this necessarily sway your decision. A small variation in margin between providers will make a very, very small difference in what you take home.


We’ve mentioned margin; now it’s time to reference service. Your umbrella company comparison must look at the service provided by umbrellas. Some will offer a load of extras such as an Account Manager, Same Day Faster Payments, insurance, access to an employee discount scheme, and more. Others will have a low margin, but will not take pride in the service they offer you. Service is really important because we assume you want to be paid on time, every time?


This one is fairly obvious – when carrying out an umbrella company comparison, make sure the company you choose has a history to be proud of. In such a busy marketplace, umbrella companies that have been around for a while are definitely doing something right, and we suggest you have a look at these first.

There are certainly some newer umbrellas that are worth looking at as well – we’re not saying you shouldn’t consider them! After all, the more thorough your umbrella company comparison is, the more informed and dependable your decision will be.

Track Record

Have a look online – does the umbrella company your considering have a good reputation? Do they have good reviews? Are people saying positive things about them? Track record is really important and something you must consider during your umbrella company comparison. Our top 10 umbrella companies are a pretty reliable bunch – have you had a look at them yet?

Top 10 Umbrella Companies

We’ve conducted our own umbrella company comparison and have come up with our top 10 umbrella companies. All of our top 10 are FCSA accredited – so you can be sure you’re in the very safest hands. And, some of them have some really exciting deals on at the moment!

Click here to see our top 10 umbrella companies!

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