Contracting in Leeds

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The first thing contractors usually think of when looking for an accountant is to find a local ‘high street’ company, but they are rarely specialist contractor accountants, so may not have knowledge of specific schemes which can benefit you as a contractor.

There are also telephone and Internet-based contractor accountants, however, we have always felt it’s far better for clients to have their own accountant that they can meet up with even if it’s just once a year to discuss their business and personal financial goals.

Tax is complicated and sometimes there is simply no substitute for meeting with your accountant face to face.

Sure we could cut costs and reduce fees by closing offices and going telephone/internet only but this would ultimately reduce the level of service we provide. It’s also interesting that most telephone and internet only companies aren’t really that different in price anyway.

If you’re just starting out contracting in Leeds, find below a few details which you might find helpful.

Specialist Accountants – Leeds

SJD Accountancy is the UK’s largest firm of contractor accountants providing tax advice to over 15,000 contractors, all of whom work through their own limited company.

We have offices in Leeds and across the UK and have won more awards for customer service and accounting excellence than any other firm in the contractor accountant sector, including three Accountancy Age Awards, six Contractor UK ‘Best Contractor Accountant’ reader Awards and two National Customer Service Awards.

CUK 12 Years

Contracting in Leeds

Leeds is the commercial financial and cultural heart of West Yorkshire, it’s one of the largest centres for UK financial services, legal and business outside of London. It’s a city for the ambitious, and now aims to become the capital of the North, with a 24 hour ‘European city economy’.

With a vibrant population that includes many different groups and cultures, Leeds is a very lively place in which to live and work. With manufacturing and mining at its heart, the city was once one of the industrial powerhouses of the North. And after a downturn on the 1980s, it is now rapidly progressing again with an especially strong service sector.

  • Leeds is particularly known for its strengths in the finance, retail and legal sectors, with many large firms in both industries being based in the city. Some of these include Gordons LLP – One of the largest law firms in Yorkshire, Gordon’s has been in business since 2000 and is a Top 100 law firm in the UK. Clients include Morrisons, Next, Grattan and Halfords and the firm also represent many of the region’s most wealthy individuals. It has offices in both Leeds, Bradford and London.
  • Asda/Walmart – A supermarket chain that needs little introduction. Its head office is at Asda House in Leeds and it became a subsidiary of the American retail giant Walmart in 1999. Asda is the UK’s second largest chain by market share after Tesco and promotes itself as being ‘Britain’s Lowest Priced Supermarket’.
  • First Direct – This leading UK bank was formed by HSBC (then Midland Bank) in 1989 and was unique at the time in offering 24/7/365 UK call centres, one of which is based in Leeds, along with the organisation’s head office.

Rates of pay

Typical rates of pay for contractors in Leeds do of course vary depending on individual experience, but as an example, an IT project manager might expect to achieve a rate of £380 per day, whilst a specialist programmer with a sought-after skill set could achieve rates of £420 per day. Most UK-wide recruitment agencies carry a number of Yorkshire-based contractor jobs, so try all the usual options and then search for Leeds specifically and the industry sector that you are interested in.

It’s also worth keeping an eye out in the local papers, with the best read being the Yorkshire Evening Post and the Yorkshire Post. There are also a number of specialist local job websites including www.leedsjobs.net.



Graphic of a green pound sign

There are a number of developments happening in Leeds which will provide opportunities for contractors in many sectors over the coming months and years. Some of these include:

  • The 182-bed Hampton by Hilton hotel (formerly British Gas Northern HQ, demolished in 2017)
  • The Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone. When fully developed, it could deliver £550m of additional economic output by 2025.
  • Wellington Place Government Hub – creating 378,000 square-foot of office space for HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Direct.
  • The Majestic is undergoing a £40 million project after it was ravaged by fire in 2015.

On the downside, Leeds still holds a reputation as an ‘industrial, working-class city’ and indeed some of the areas around the centre are still being developed. But on the upside, it has an extremely vibrant nightlife, excellent shopping, a lower cost of living and beautiful countryside right on the doorstep.

For information on other regional contracting guides, see the links below (we will be adding more guides over time):

Contact us today.

Our short overview is just to give you a flavour of the city, ultimately part of the beauty of contracting is the flexibility to choose. If you want to discuss your options get in touch today.

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