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Contractors' Handbook: The Expert Guide for UK Contractors and Freelancers Paperback – 12 Dec 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: ContractorCalculator an imprint of Byte-Vision Ltd; 1 edition (12 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956074502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956074508
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 675,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dave Chaplin has lived and breathed contracting since he first took the plunge and became a professional contractor in 1997. He spent seven years working as an IT contractor in the City of London on critical, cutting-edge IT infrastructure and development projects for global players like HSBC, Merrill Lynch, Cable and Wireless, and many others. Dave's contracting career has seen him survive and thrive through the highs of the boom years and the lows of the dot-com crash; and through bright periods of plenty and gloomy times of belt-tightening recession. He founded the popular contractor website, ContractorCalculator.co.uk, and has been its full-time CEO since 2004.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a "permie" looking to spend a bit of time contracting, this book pretty much matched exactly what I was looking for and it was well worth investing in the book, and investing the time required to read it properly. I found that for me, the best way to use it was to read the chapters in order, one at a time, and spend a couple of days reflecting on the contents of the chapter and doing my own research into the topic it covered, as a kind of dry run while I was still in my previous job.

For example after reading the chapter about finding contracts, I spent some time searching on various jobs websites and looking at the rates on offer for my own speciality; after the chapter about starting your own business, I looked into how to go about forming my own company and looked around for accountants and so on in my local area. Then, once I'd gone through it once at leisure, once I was ready to put my plan into action I read through it again as I was doing each of the steps for real.

The content is pretty much what I needed- there are sections about the various different options for starting up a company, and contract law. There's a suitably massive section about IR35 (which took me a couple of goes before I got through it). There are also sections about personal finance and working abroad, although these are a bit lighter in content and the section about working abroad in particular is more of a pointer towards doing more research rather than a comprehensive guide in itself.

So all in all it was extremely useful, and will probably continue to be useful as I start to get used to life as a contractor.
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Format: Paperback
Really pleased to have read this, and read it I did, from cover to cover, all 500 pages! I'd really just wanted to find out more about keeping out of IR35, what with HMRC going after contractors like me who work through limited companies. But having started, I realised I could have done with this book about four years ago when I began my contracting - especially useful are the bits on starting up a company, sorting out a proper "contractor's CV", negotiating with agents, getting the contract right, knowing when to get advice from a lawyer or accountant, etc.

The Contractors Handbook has encouraged me to start doing a lot of the stuff that I ought to have been doing anyway, like keeping contract files in case HMRC ever wants to look into my IR35 status. Even better, it prompted me to get in touch with all my old contacts, and I've got my next six-month contract sorted on a good rate, without even having to jump through all the usual hoops. So the book has been a bit of a lifesaver, and this review is my little way of saying thanks to the author.

Buy the Contractors' Handbook and it will probably save you making costly mistakes by knowing how to avoid bad deals, etc. If you're lucky, like me, it could also help you find your next contract!!

Greatly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I've been thinking about contracting for a year now, and bought this book after a friend recommended it to me. And a great recommendation it was. Whilst some parts of it are a bit heavy (like the large section on IR35) it is very easy to read and very informative. The author clearly speaks from experience and his "been there, done it" sections offer some really great insightful tips. This book has given me the confidence to finally make the leap to contracting and I'm sure I'll be referring to it often to help me with my contracting career. Worth every penny!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good introduction to contracting within the IT sector. I can see though that if you are looking at contracting in sectors other than IT then this book will be less relevant if not entirely useless.

The content of a number of Sections is Aimed primarily at 'permies' looking to take the first step into contracting and will be a bit 'noddy' if like me you are already in the game. Be aware also that a very rosy picture of contracting is painted here, Mr Chaplin expects you to be rolling in cash.

That is not to say that there is some great stuff in here even if you are already contracting. Advice on the lurking monster that is IR35 is always welcome, and sound advice is offered on this topic in this book.

There is also sound advice on how to sell yourself as a contractor and some great sections on putting together a contractor CV.

Also of great use to me were the sections on running a limited company and this even included references to online templates that you can download from the website.
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