IR35 & Marketing Go Hand-In-Hand

As part of being a director, you are legally responsible for doing everything you can to ensure your company’s success. Fundamentally, this means ensuring that your company is getting contracts.

There are a number of ways in which you can get your company out there and winning contracts, but before you start you should take some time to develop your business profile. It is important to get your sale right first.
The dominant marketing tool today is of course, the internet. Social media marketing is a relatively new concept but has taken off astoundingly and is now used by most businesses from the giant corporations to the one-person limited companies like you. Many contractors now have their own websites as well which act as a confirmation of their business for anybody looking.
Secondarily are the more traditional methods which has received little focus over recent years but are no less effective. These may include networking and direct marketing such as sending letters and making calls to potential clients. A professional business card is essential.

Besides getting you contracts, marketing has a knock-on effect to your IR35 efforts. With all of the IR35 tests and questions and hazy rules, there is one ultimate idea that they all enthral: are you acting like a business or an employee? All of the IR35 tests are simply trying to answer this question.

Taking time and likely putting some financial investment into marketing your business to win more contracts naturally displays that you are acting as a genuine business. The Business Entity Test, a series of questions introduced by HMRC to try and help contractors assess their risk of investigation, even includes the question “Has your business spent over £1200 on advertising in the past 12 months?” It is worth noting that the monetary amount is there to suggest that disguised employees cannot make contrived efforts to fool HMRC as to their employment status by just buying some business cards for example, but some substantial marketing efforts would need to be made. In reality, if your marketing efforts are genuine, it is highly improbable that not meeting this target price is going to affect your status in any way.

By:Jane Hailstone

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