I am a sole trader working under my own name in the UK. I previously owned and ran Different Hand Ltd but I wound the company up because of changes to tax rules, and to save accountant's fees.
- First we will need to informally discuss your requirements to see if I can meet them. E-mail is the most convenient way to do this, but I may be able to talk via Skype or phone if necessary. For transcription work, I will usually need to see all of the images, or a representative sample, unless it's a type of document I'm already familiar with. For data cleaning, I will need to see the whole dataset.
- Once I have a clear idea of what needs to be done by when, I will quote you a fixed price in your own currency for the whole project, and an estimated delivery date. At this stage I will also send a sample contract to make sure that you can accept my standard terms.
- If you decide to go ahead, I will send you a full contract for signature, including a project plan that specifies the commencement date, work to be done, milestone delivery deadlines, price, and payment schedule.
- If your institution's payment office requires a purchase order number on the invoice, I must receive a purchase order before commencing the work.
- One week after commencement of a transcription contract, I will send a sample of work done so far. You will have a further week to give feedback on it.
- I will do the remainder of the work and deliver each milestone on or before the deadline. You don't need to do anything while you wait for delivery. I won't contact you before delivery unless I come across something unexpected.
- After delivery I will invoice your institution according to the payment schedule.
UK Tax Compliance
I do not charge VAT as I am well under the threshold for compulsory registration, I have no intention of registering voluntarily, and my services are not classed as e-services.
I am self-employed. This means that your institution has no tax liabilities and should not deduct any tax from my fees. My contracts and working methods are designed to rigorously comply with disguised employment rules so that there is no risk of either party having to pay National Insurance or penalties. I can supply any evidence your admins need to prove that I am properly self-employed.
- I have full right of control. Once the project plan is agreed and you have given feedback on the sample, you will have no further input until I deliver the finished work. It's up to me to decide exactly when and how to do the work, provided that it is delivered on time and meets your specifications.
- I have right of substitution. Although I aim to do all of the work myself, I may use a subsitute if I need to. I will ensure that the substitute's work is of the same standard as my own.
- I always charge a fixed price, not an hourly rate, and I receive payment in the client's currency. This puts the financial risk on me, not on your institution.
- I supply my own equipment.
- I may have more than one client at the same time.
- No mutuality of obligation: I will complete the tasks specified for the agreed price and nothing more.
- Each party will indemnify the other for losses caused by negligence, up to the value of the contract.
I will supply a standard contract written by my solicitor to ensure that these terms are enforced. UK universities' own contracts are sometimes legally dubious, so it's better for both parties to use mine.
I can also work as an employee or casual worker if these conditions can't be met. For example, if you need right of control because what you want doing could change, if the project involves collaborating through your web server, or if I need an hourly rate because the cost is impossible to predict accurately. I can't mix employment and self-employment for the same institution.
US Tax Compliance
I am exempt from withholding because I work outside the US. I can complete any forms or statements that your admins need to document this.