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Umbrella Companies

Umbrella Companies have been around for a long time now and they are invaluable in providing contractors, consultants and freelancers with a hassle-free, compliant and profitable alternative to setting-up and running your own limited company.

The Crystal Umbrella Company solution involves considerably less paperwork and general admin than either running your own Limited Company or working through many alternative Umbrella Companies due to the cutting edge web portal "My Crystal" we use to manage your account 24/7.

Umbrella Companies

An umbrella company is essentially an intermediary between you and the company you contract for. You are employed by the umbrella company, which means IR35 is never an issue, because you pay PAYE/NIC on your earnings and the umbrella company handles all your specialist contractor accounting administration, including invoicing, tax, VAT and NIC, for a fixed fee.

Though you are not on the umbrella company’s payroll, your pay is still determined by your contract agreement; the umbrella will take care of invoicing and chasing your money for you. It will also help you claim any agreed business expenses as part of your payment package.

Using an umbrella company is a great way to get started with freelancing or contract work, especially if you are not sure if this kind of venture is right for you. Working for an umbrella company allows you to test the waters of contracting without making the serious commitment of setting up as a limited company. You can always consider a more permanent option, such as forming a Limited Company, further down the line if things work out for you.


Unlike freelancers, who tend to work on multiple projects at once, independent contractors are usually hired on by a specific client for a fixed period of time.

Some of the most popular sectors for contractors include (but are not limited to): Aviation, Engineering, Oil and gas, Information technology, Medical locums, Media and creative services. These are some of the fields where contract work has traditionally been in high demand, but the development of communications technology has boosted the relevance of independent contracting across nearly all industries.

Toying with the idea of leaving your permanent job and becoming an independent contractor? Been made redundant and now considering your options for starting over? Decided that contract work is right for you? No matter how you got here, if you’ve decided to embark on a career as a contractor you’re in the right place.


If you’re offering your services as a consultant, chances are you’ve been consistently working in your field for a number of years and have achieved a relatively senior position.

Like freelancing, consultants generally manage several projects at once. While juggling multiple jobs is great for your bank balance, keeping up with the financial and administrative tasks associated with managing your own accounts can be confusing, frustrating, and a colossal waste of your valuable time.

Crystal Umbrella can offer you an escape from financial admin, as well as provide solid advice and assistance on more complex matters related to billing and payroll. Just as your clients turn to you for your trusted expert opinion, you can rest assured that choosing our proven umbrella services will provide you with the tools to point your business in the right financial direction.


Thanks to the incredible advancements in remote work technology, telecommunications and the internet, it is now easier than ever to work virtually in any number of industries. Today’s freelancers are able to operate in ways that were impossible just five or ten years ago.

Freelance work is increasingly attractive to many people. It affords you many more options than traditional employment — you can choose how many clients or projects to take on at one time, you’ve got total flexibility in your business structure, you can charge more for your work than permanent employees, and you are free to work around your personal schedule.

While fields like writing, journalism, photography and design have long been favoured by freelancers, all manner of freelance businesses have emerged over the past several years. You can now find freelance engineers, sales professionals, marketing experts, web developers, project managers, administrative service providers, to name but a few.

Even though freelance workers have more freedom, and can command a greater salary than their permanently-employed counterparts, they give up a lot of benefits that regular employees enjoy. You need an Umbrella Company that understands the freelancer’s way of life, and at Crystal Umbrella, we can help guide you through the tax, legal, and financial administration issues that can get in the way of your creativity. We’re the freelancers’ choice of Umbrella, with the knowledge and experience to help you flourish in your market.

Hassle-free Contracting

Umbrella Companies have been around for a long time now and they are invaluable in providing contractors, consultants and freelancers with a quick and easy, compliant and cost effective alternative to setting up and running your own limited company. For starters, the Crystal Umbrella Company solution involves considerably less paperwork and general admin than either running your own Limited company or working through many alternative Umbrella Companies due to the cutting edge web based software we use to manage your account.

Simply completing a weekly timesheet and expense claim in seconds via our cutting edge web portal “My Crystal” is all you need to do to get paid on time every time, leaving the rest of the administration to us. That’s more free time either to concentrate on earning money or to enjoy yourself spending the money you’ve earned! And unlike Limited Companies or Umbrella Companies there are no costs to start using the Crystal Umbrella Company solution. We won’t charge you a penny to join, nor will we charge you when you want to leave.


Crystal Umbrella meets full HMRC compliance. Our solution is fully compliant with all current UK taxation and employment legislation. In fact, working under Crystal’s contractor tax solution means contractors, freelancers and consultant’s benefit from a full UK employment status and all the benefits that entails. Similarly, here at Crystal we offer all our contractor employees the extra bonus of employer’s liability cover, professional indemnity cover and public liability cover. With everything handled by your own dedicated account manager, you’ll never need to worry about all the annoying stuff that comes with contracting again.


The Crystal Umbrella Company solution offers contractors a significant improvement in their gross to net take home pay, meaning that Crystal contractors are often bringing home 10 or 20% more than their permanent employed counterparts via the correct processing of legitimate business costs incurred as part of a business journey. When you consider that Crystal is fully compliant with HMRC legislation we think there is no better Umbrella Company Crystal Umbrella.

Limited Companies

Trading as a limited company does carry certain responsibilities from day 1. You will essentially be running your own small business, which means not only setting up the company, but also arranging insurance cover, finding an accountant, managing your own business accounts and bookkeeping, checking your IR35 status and making sure you are calculating and paying the correct taxes and VAT.

For many individuals going it alone these responsibilities are reason enough to hand over the controls to someone else. However; the setup costs of creating a Limited Company, let alone the mounds of paperwork required are enough to send a lot of people running for the hills of fulltime employment.

It may seem sensible to go with an umbrella company first and then move on to limited company formation later, if contracting turns out to be something you enjoy and excel at, rather that committing to venturing out on your own from the start.


Why Choose Crystal?

Here at Crystal Umbrella we keep your contracting life simple and hassle-free so you can spend your time and efforts elsewhere. Simply submit your timesheets and expenses via our cutting edge web portal "My Crystal" and leave the rest to your dedicated Account Manager, it really is that easy!

My Crystal

My Crystal is the cutting edge web portal for Crystal Umbrella contractors, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year.

It allows Crystal contractors to submit timesheet and expense claims quickly, securely and directly to us for processing. The portal links seamlessly into our main systems here at Crystal Umbrella so all the data you see is updated in real-time.

Status updates of your submissions. From initial entry – “Submitted” to watching us approve it – “Approved” then seeing it sent to your Agency - “Invoiced”. As soon as we receive the funds and process your payroll, WHAM! In lands your payslip which is again stored securely online along with your other important contracting document, easily retrievable, downloadable and printable anytime from anywhere with an internet connection.

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Our extensive list of benefits speaks for itself, from £20 million of inclusive insurances, full statutory employment rights to payments processed on receipt of a remit rather than cleared money show our commitment to being the most customer focused Umbrella Company available today.


As standard all Crystal Umbrella employees receives £20 million in professional insurances, which is broken down as follows:

  • £5 million Professional Indemnity (this is the most important)
  • £5 million Public Indemnity
  • £10 million Employers Liability

This package is fully inclusive within the standard service and doesn’t cost a penny extra!

Employment Rights

As a Crystal Umbrella employee you receive full statutory employment rights and benefits such as:

  • Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • Paternity Pay (SPP)

Plus access to a Stakeholder Company Pension scheme (for tax free savings).

We also have a CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) qualified team of HR professionals on hand to help and support with any queries, concerns or issues you may have which affect your employment.

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