Companies, how to engage with external Software Service Providers.


If you use Software Professional Contractors in your business, then you will be aware that as from April 2020 you will be responsible for determining their IR35 status. Yep, it's crazy, but we are dealing with HMRC, so it's all a bit of a nightmare.

In this article I give you some pointers to how you can continue to use Contractors with their own Limited company and for the contract to have a good chance of being classed as outside of IR35.

Firstly, I have no legal or accountancy capacity. You will need to work with your legal department and your IR35 insurer to determine the contract status.

External companies

Most businesses such as yours already make use of external companies. For example, your whole restaurant/canteen might be run by an outside supplier. How about the company that cleans your office windows? Landscape maintenance, office cleaners, fire alarm maintenance, security. You make use of a whole range of external companies.

To get straight to the point, that is how you need to engage with external Software Service Providers. Stop seeing them as part of your permanent team. This probably means not going via your HR department.

When you get on office cleaner I doubt if you get HR to arrange the contract.

With each of the above trades, you probably decide what needs to be done and then get a few quotes.

Well, now you must do the same when you want to make use of external Software Service Providers.

This could end up meaning that you have far better software created. You need to think about what you need instead of getting a Contractor and treating them like a member of staff, moving them between projects and getting them to do unrelated bits of work.

We can match you with Software Services Providers

At UK Software Jobs we have a facility to match your project requests with our registered Software Service Providers. Here’s a quick overview of how it works.

Click “Add Request for Quotes”

Project Title

Enter the name of the project. Your reference number and an estimated completion date.

Project Type

Indicate what sort of project this is. In this example I have selected Software Development. This helps us match your requests with suitable service providers.


This is where you need to be very specific about the project. It is essentially a draft of part of the contract that you will eventually have with a Service Provider. You can see that it is very different from a lot of job adverts that essentially say “Wanted, Angular Developer required for several Front end projects including maintenance.”

When you publish your request, you may get questions from Service Providers to clarify certain points.

Service provider attributes.

This is a list of attributes that must be in place for you to be able to state that the contract is outside of IR35. Your legal department and IR35 insurance provider will have determined what attributes must be in place. The service provider will supply evidence that they have these items in place. (We currently have over 40 attributes but let us know if you need anything added and we will notify our registered Service Providers.)


You'll get an email from us when someone provides a quote.

Is this guaranteed to be outside IR35?

No, there is nothing that can be done to guarantee that a contract is outside of IR35. But if the Service Providers implement all the points. And if you as an end client do not have Mutuality of obligation (MOO) and have minimal control. And it all reflects reality then you should be in the best position possible to prove that the contract is outside IR35.


External Limited companies will be able to supply a contract such as the following from IR35 Shield.


If you would like to be put in direct contact with with Software Service Providers, please register at the following link:

At the following document, HMRC makes the following statement:

“This reform does not prevent people from working through their own limited companies and does not affect the self-employed. Contractors who are following the existing rules correctly will feel little impact.”

Image by Ortega Ulloa from Pixabay