How to Become a Security Cleared Contractor

(4 minutes to read)

Discover what is involved in becoming a Security Cleared Contractor. We will cover everything from tax to finding work in this plain English, easy to read guide.

If you are a security cleared IT contractor, then your unique skillset is in great demand. The good news is that as the demand for Security Cleared Contractors increases, so does the average daily rate of pay. That means that not only will you be increasingly well compensated for your work, you will also find it easier to receive a steady stream of work and minimise any periods of unemployment.

There are a lot of checks and other vetting processes involved in becoming a security cleared contractor, which makes many individuals reluctant to pursue the industry. However, there are many advantages of choosing to work as a contractor via your own limited company, particularly if you already have added security clearance, to appeal to potential high level clients. It is important to note that you don’t have to have already secured your security clearance in order to apply for Security Cleared Contractor roles, but it will certainly make you a much more appealing prospect to future employers, if you have.

Thinking of entering the freelance arena as a Security Cleared Contractor? Allow plenty of time before making the switch; it can take anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months to obtain the security clearance you will need and until your clearance has been approved, you shouldn’t give up the security of the position you already hold. There are many different security bodies and depending on the roles you are looking for, you may need to apply for clearance with more than one of them. Those bodies are:

  • The Defence Vetting Agency
  • National Security Vetting
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Metropolitan Police Service

Enhanced Rates of Pay

It may seem like a lot of hard work and hassle to secure the security clearance needed to become a Security Cleared Contractor, but the payoff is that Security Cleared Contractors are paid a significantly higher rate, than their non-cleared counterparts. Recruiters estimate that the difference in average rates of pay, between the two kinds of contractors, is around 24%. Depending on the length and complexity of the contract, your level or experience and the level of security clearance that you have, rates of pay for Security Cleared Contractors can vary from between £250 and £1,000 per day. By contacting specialist recruiters and discussing your specific experience and the types of roles you are looking for, you will be better able to assess what kinds of daily rates you could command, were you to make the move into working for yourself as an independent contractor.

These figures may seem high, but it is worth noting that your take home pay will be a lesser amount than the full daily rate you are paid. If you work through an umbrella company that you will take home between 60-65% of your income, whilst if you work through your own Limited Company then you will take home between 75-80% of your daily income.

The average net pay that you will receive when working through a Limited Company is higher than any other option available to an independent contractor, which is why so many freelancers and contractors choose to establish their own Limited Companies. Many new contractors wrongly assume that this is a process that will be complicated, but the reality is it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to create your own company. After that, you will need to allocate just 15-20 minutes a month to organising the paperwork and administration needed to administer your company, provided you hire a good accountant. The payoff for this minimal amount of work is that you will retain a much bigger percentage of your annual salary, making setting up as a Limited Company the most financially lucrative option for almost all contractors.

Do you want £105 + VAT per month accountancy?

Yes I do

Why Choose Dolan Accountancy

When you establish your own limited company, it is recommended that you secure the services of an experienced accountant who specialises in contractor led Limited Companies, such as Dolan Accountancy. When you choose to work with Dolan Accountancy you are choosing to work with the best in the business. We have years of experience working with contractors across the country and keep abreast with the fast-paced world of contractor taxation, to ensure you keep hold of as much of your money as possible.

Dolan Accountancy can offer you:

  • Your own dedicated accountant. Your accountant will be available to take your calls and emails on a schedule that suits you, no matter where you are in the UK.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed. We promise that when you email or call, we will do our very best to be available for you and if we don’t return your call within 1 working day, your next monthly fee will be free; it’s all part of our satisfaction guarantee.
  • A name you can trust: Dolan Accountancy is an accountancy firm you can trust. With a well deserved reputation for excellence, when you hire us you can rest assured that you are choosing the best.

If you have any questions about becoming a Security Cleared Contractor, establishing your own Limited Company, or securing the services of an expert accountant then why not call our dedicated team on 01442 795 100? We are ready and waiting to help!

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or