Associate Membership

Bauer & Cottrell IR35 Associate Membership Scheme.  Please note that this service is likely to change, once the off-payroll reforms are in place.


IR35 status is the most important decision that has to be made not only when an individual is starting out as a contractor but also for each and every contract that is undertaken. IR35 has never before seen so much attention, from Government, HMRC and the media. The days of ignoring IR35 or managing around it are long gone. Those affected by IR35 are seeking accountancy service providers with the appropriate level of skills, or access to such skills, who can provide technically accurate advice and guidance on their IR35 status. End clients and agencies too need to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of IR35. Simply stating that contracts are “IR35 friendly” is not good enough.

Why should I consider this Associate Scheme?

If you can answer “no” to any of the following questions you may want to consider becoming a Bauer & Cottrell Associate.
  • Are you completely up to date with IR35?
  • Do you know what the changes from April 2021 involve?
  • Do you know how IR35 enquiries are now handled?
  • Do you know how IR35 has changed for those engaged in the Public Sector?
  • Do you train your sales staff in IR35 and/or give them rapid access to IR35 experts?
  • Do you thoroughly review the client’s day-to-day working practices?
  • Do you put your IR35 opinion in writing?
  • Do you defend your clients against HMRC for free?


If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions you may want to consider becoming a Bauer & Cottrell Associate.
  • Do you believe that the “traditional” use of contractors in certain industries automatically puts them all outside IR35?
  • Do you believe that the risk of an IR35 enquiry is so small that IR35 is not worth bothering about?
  • Do you believe that having IR35 insurance or being part of a membership organisation protects clients from IR35?
  • Do you just look for a substitution clause in a contract to put the engagement outside IR35?
  • Do you just look for a lack of mutuality of obligation clause in a contract to put the engagement outside IR35?
  • Do you just look for a lack of control clause in a contract to put the engagement outside IR35?
  • Are you uncomfortable telling clients that they should be operating inside IR35?
  • Do you think dealing with IR35 properly is too costly?


Are any of these statements true for you?
  • We have to pay for various “badges” of IR35 “compliance” or “accreditation” to keep up with the competition.
  • We have had some IR35 training for a couple of the senior staff but have not trained the accountancy or sales teams.
  • We try to distance ourselves from IR35 because of the possibility of being found to be a managed service company or because of the transfer of debt provisions.
  • We used to pay a firm to do independent IR35 reviews but our clients are not prepared to pay for the service so we do what we can.
  • We want to offer the best services and be fully supported and prepared when our client has to explain to HMRC why IR35 does not apply to them.


Bauer & Cottrell Associate Scheme

Bauer & Cottrell enjoys an excellent reputation, based on our principles of honesty and integrity. Our IR35 opinions consist of a comprehensive review of the working practices and the written contracts.

We are able to negotiate appropriate changes to written contracts and have developed lasting relationships with agencies and end clients of all sizes. If our opinion is an outside IR35 one, then for our Guardian Plus service clients, we will defend them against an HMRC IR35 enquiry completely free of charge. It does not matter to us whether an engagement is inside or outside IR35. We just want to give an opinion that can be relied upon.

We are currently dealing with lots of IR35 enquiries and dealing with a number of very distressed clients. Perhaps the most common things we hear these days are “my accountant said it is OK for IR35” or “the agency said it is an IR35 friendly contract” or “everyone who works here is outside IR35”. It is a sad fact that many contractors have put all their faith in these remarks which have no substance and have often been used simply to gain a sale or secure a placement.

If you share our principles and would like to be considered as a Bauer & Cottrell Associate please read on. If you are simply seeking another “badge” or think our association is just good for marketing then please stop reading now.


What is included for each year of association?

  • Up to date IR35 material. We can provide detailed IR35 material for your use and IR35 guides
  • Regular associate updates
  • Workshop – designed to improve your staff’s overall knowledge of IR35 and any associated topics and to understand the benefits of Bauer & Cottrell Association. This will be fairly informal with plenty of time for questions
  • Free IR35 Helpline which can be used by your staff and clients/contractors, including current and potential clients
  • Discounted contract reviews/contractor guardian fees
  • Events, seminars and client meetings – significant discounted fees for attendance at your events, seminars or client meetings to offer expert support and guidance. We will attend for one 2 hour session per annum for which we will charge travel expenses only. Other meetings will be by arrangement








You will be provided with a Bauer & Cottrell Associate logo. The logo will be updated annually in line with your period of paid membership, providing reassurance to your clients and associates that your firm is knowledgeable and up to date with all IR35 matters.

What does it cost?

To become a Bauer & Cottrell Associate the fee is £2500 per annum plus VAT for the first year. Subsequent annual renewals are charged at £1500 per annum plus VAT. Fees may be increased for some agencies or very large providers.

Who should apply?

This scheme is suitable for accountancy service providers, agencies and others providing services to or with an interest in IR35 and tax/NIC status issues.

Benefits to you

Demonstrates your commitment to ensuring your staff, clients and potential clients have access to the latest information, guidance and support on IR35 issues in association with Bauer & Cottrell who are independent and impartial. Demonstrates commitment to shared principles of honesty and integrity.

Enhanced marketing and business development opportunities and much more!

If you would like to become an Associate Member, please complete and submit our order form.

It is not necessary to purchase any of our IR35 contract review services or to make use of any other Bauer & Cottrell services/material supplied, as part of our association.

We do not want to be associated with any organisation or individual who does not share our principals of honesty and integrity or with those who blatantly ignore IR35 or mislead individuals regarding IR35 or any other legislation. We therefore reserve the right to terminate an Association, remove links and request the removal of Bauer & Cottrell material from web sites and from all marketing material. No refunds of fees in whole or in part will be made in these circumstances.


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