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 discuss your requirements to see if I can meet them. E-mail is the most convenient way to do this. 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 aim to quote you a fixed price in your own currency for the whole project, although an hourly rate may sometimes be more appropriate, and an estimated delivery date.
- If the work is for an institution, I will use your institution's standard terms and conditions provided that they allow me rights of control and substitution, and do not have unreasonable indemnity clauses. If your insitution does not have a standard contract, or if its terms are not suitable, I can supply my own contract. In this case I will send a draft of the contract so that you and your admin staff can check that it is acceptable to your institution.
- If you are a private individual, I will supply a simple contract written in plain English. This will not affect your statutory rights as a consumer. Because of your staturory rights, it goes without saying that the work must be of reasonable quality and that you are entitled to free corrections or a refund if the work is not satisfactory. In practice, you will not have to pay until you have had time to make sure you are satisfied.
- If you decide to go ahead, we will agree on a project plan that specifies the commencement date, work to be done, milestone delivery deadlines, price, and payment schedule. We will sign the contract at this stage if we are not using your institution's standard terms.
- If your institution's payment office requires a purchase order number on the invoice, I must receive a purchase order before commencing the work.
- I will deliver each milestone on or before the deadline. You don't need to do anything while you wait for delivery. I won't ususally contact you before delivery.
- After delivery, you may request free corrections if the work is not satisfactory. If you need an opportunity to give feedback early in the work, we can make the first milestone very small so that it will be delivered shortly after the work commences.
- After delivery I will send an invoice. Invoices should usually be paid within 30 days, but this can be changed if your institution's standard payment terms are different.
- I will delete all images and transcripts after delivery and payment. I will keep your identity and all information about the work confidential unless you choose to reveal anything in public.
US Tax Compliance
I am exempt from withholding because I work outside the US. I can complete any forms or statements that your admin staff need to document this.
No sales tax will be charged because I am providing services outside the US.
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. If your institution is in the UK, my services should be classed as outside the scope of VAT on purchase orders and invoices.
I am self-employed. This means that your institution has no tax liabilities and should not deduct any tax or National Insurance 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 admin staff need to prove that I am properly self-employed.
Because I am self-employed, my working methods always meet these criteria:
- I must always have full right of control over how the work is done. We will negotiate a project plan beforehand, but once the plan is finalised and the work has commenced, you will have no further input until I deliver each milestone. 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. You may have the right to approve of or reject a particular substitute if your institution's standard terms give this right, but in principle I must have the right to use substitutes.
- 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.
I will often also meet these criteria, but they are not vital provided that I have full right of control:
- I usually charge a fixed price for the whole contract, but I can accept an hourly rate if this is more appropriate.
- I usually receive payment in the client's currency. This puts the financial risk on me, not on your institution.
If these conditions can't be met, I can also work as an employee or casual worker. For example, if:
- you need right of control.
- copyright issues require the work to be done in house.
- you need me to train or supervise other employees.
I can't do self-employed work for an institution that has recently employed me, but I can be brought in-house by an instution that has previously contracted out work to my self-employed business.