What is a payroll umbrella company?

The worker, who may work on numerous different assignments, at various locations, either through agencies or directly for end-clients, will in most cases be required by their agency or end-client to use an umbrella company, but a worker may also choose the umbrella route because of the administrative simplicity that umbrella working offers.

‍A payroll umbrella company is a company that employs freelance workers such as contractors, interim managers and consultants.

What happens when you join Competex Pro?

If you’re new to contracting, then working through Competex Pro is arguably the most straightforward way to work.

step 1

You register with Competex Pro and sign an employment contract with us, while we sign a service contract with your end-client (or agency if there is one).

step 2

We invoice your end-client or agency every week, fortnight or month, depending on the frequency that has been agreed. The end-client or agency pays the funds direct to us.

step 3

After making all statutory deductions and deducting the umbrella margin, we pay your net pay direct to you, along with any expenses that have been authorised and approved by the end-client or agency.

The relationship between the end-client, agency, worker and payroll umbrella company.

When working through a payroll umbrella company, you do not have an employment relationship with your end-client or agency. Whilst the initial contact, discussions about the assignment, the scope of the job and the proposed day-rate, as well as the assignment itself, is all carried out between you and the end-client (and the agency if there is one), it is not you who is entering into a contract with them.

The end-client sets out the scope of the job and any requirements or conditions, and communicates these details to the agency (if there is one) or directly to the payroll umbrella company, in order to arrange a services contract for the assignment.

If an agency is involved, there are two different service agreements for your assignment – one between the end-client and the agency, and a subsequent contract between the agency and your chosen payroll umbrella company.

Simultaneously, the payroll umbrella company, which assumes the role of your employer, will arrange an employment contract with you.

As you work on the assignment, the ‘fee-payer’ (either the end-client or the agency) pays your fee income and the VAT due on the amount to the payroll umbrella company. The payroll umbrella company is responsible for processing and taxing your income, and also deducts a margin to cover its own costs. Once all deductions have been made, you receive your net pay through the payroll umbrella company’s payroll.

Want to find out more?
Receive a free consultation to help you understand the benefits of working through an umbrella payroll company.
call 01737 234560

Working with Competex Pro

Competex Pro offers a compliant, user-friendly experience which is designed to give you complete peace of mind while you work on your assignment. We believe that you will find Competex Pro to be a professional, simple and easy way of working.

Competex Pro deducts a ‘margin’ to cover the costs of the payroll umbrella services provided to you. This is a small deduction from the fees paid by your agency or end-client before applying the remaining funds to process expenses and payroll. This will be discussed with you at the initial stages and confirmed to you. The margin amount does not change during your assignment and there is no VAT to be paid on this.

Your arrangement with Competex Pro allows you to stay with one employer for several subsequent or parallel assignments if you wish to. However, we also make it easy to leave after your completed assignment. This flexible arrangement is designed to suit whatever your needs may be.

Using specialist in-house software, Competex Pro is able to help you estimate your day rate and your expected pay rate based on details that you provide us with for an expected assignment.


Competex Pro has undergone full compliance audits with EY (Ernst & Young) in 2020 and with Professional Passport in 2021.

Ready to get started?

Book your initial consultation today to get started with Competex Pro.

Need some time to think, or have a question?

Why not read our Frequently Asked Questions or get in touch we’d be happy to help.

“I was really impressed with the fast, efficient and streamlined application process at Competex Pro having used many umbrella’s over my years contracting this is certainly the best.”

Mrs. Walker, Consultant

What our clients say about us…

Our Digital Guide

We have produced this free and useful guide to working through a payroll umbrella company, with the aim to help you understand the benefits Competex Pro can offer you as a contractor, interim manager or consultant.


Latest News

view all news

Flexible and hybrid working could open up jobs for four million

Research has found that up to 3.8 million parents, disabled people and carers who were previously ‘locked out’ of certain roles could re-join the workforce as a result of organisations implementing hybrid working solutions for their employees.

How compliant umbrella companies demonstrate transparency around workers’ pay

When choosing a payroll umbrella company to work with, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re given full transparency around what your pay will be for your upcoming assignment.

We're here to help

Whether you want to call us or request more information about our services please get in touch we're here to help. You can also register your interest online today.
Office Opening Hours – Monday to Friday | 9am until 5pm