IT Umbrella Company
The IT Umbrella Company sprung up after the advent of IR35. IT Contractors were the main people being chased by these new entities. They expanded into other areas of contracting later on. Probably the greatest number of contractors nowadays are IT Contractors. They are certainly the biggest single group of contractors in the Professional Contractors Group.
Most Umbrella Companies are set up by Accountants. However, one of the early ones was set up by two IT Contractors. That was Parasol. They got the idea for it one rainy afternoon when they were contracting at ICL. IR35 was being discussed by the contractors. A good moaning session was going on. They were wondering what they would all do. WOuld it be the end of contracting as they knew it. Things looked grim.
Then one contractor piped up and said that he was in an IT Umbrella Company. “What’s that?” they all asked. He explained what it was. Most of the others either worked out how to stay with their Limited Companies or found brollies. However, two of them decided to set up their own. Parasol now have 8,000 to 9,000 contractors working through them now.
The two guys felt that they knew what contractors wanted and endeavoured to give it to them. They even wrote the original software themselves. What started out just in IT has now spread into other areas of freelancing. Parasol have become one of the biggest players in the marketplace.
Most contractors like to hear a tale of other contractors doing well. One of the guys, Rob Crossland, is still running the company. It appears to be a thriving business. The Government appear to approve of it. you could even say that it is their preferred vehicle for contractors. When you have the Government on your side and they are proactively trying to herd contractors into your vehicle you have a lot going for you. There are currently over 200,000 contractors in these brollies. There were virtually none 13 years ago. One would expect there would be a lot more in 13 more years.