Here's what you need to know about IPSE's exciting new membership categories

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At IPSE, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring about five exciting new membership categories that we believe will greater reflect the ways our members operate. To say the market has changed in the past few years would be an understatement. The onset of the pandemic and the implementation of IR35 in the private sector have changed the self-employed landscape. As a result, wanted to reflect the varying protection needs that now exist within our membership.

So, based on feedback from our members and the wider self-employed community, we have introduced five tailored categories that allows our members to choose whichever suits them best.

Below, we outline the benefits and cover provided by each of the new membership categories.

It’s also important to remember that all IPSE members, regardless of membership level, play a vital role in supporting IPSE’s policy campaigns, with our voice in Westminster and the media championing all types of self-employment.


Existing members will recognise much of the cover offered by the Director membership as our former ‘Plus’ offering. This remains our most popular category for the self-employed, but with the newly-added benefits of free co-working, the Business Hub, 1-2-1 Success Sessions and access to the IPSE member directory, which have a combined value of over £430 per annum if you were to purchase them directly.

Director membership continues to include IPSE’s full suite of benefits and cover and is aimed mainly at people operating through a limited company or for those where IR35 could apply to their contracts.


Our newly-launched Freelancer membership has been tailored based on feedback from our sole trader and freelancer members who felt that there wasn’t an existing level of membership exclusively for the way they worked.

We’ve added illness and injury cover and like the Director membership, this category also benefits from our exciting new additions to membership – namely free co-working, the Business Hub, 1-2-1 Success Sessions and access to the IPSE member directory.


Contractors are now more likely to be operating via an umbrella company which is why we’ve introduced a new membership category to reflect this growing cohort and the way they work.

New to IPSE membership, our Umbrella membership is for those who are no longer providing their service via their own limited company and instead are now operating via an umbrella or the end client directly.

IPSE research has revealed that around a third of all self-employed individuals (30%) now operate through an umbrella company. This of course represents a significant change for these contractors and as such, we’ve developed a membership that we believe will cover you whilst working through a brolly.

If you were previously at risk of an IR35 investigation, we also have you covered as this membership includes ‘run-off’ IR35 enquiries cover in respect of historic contracts. The tax investigation cover included in this level of membership now also provides representation to a member subjected to an enquiry into the Self-Assessment Income Tax Return.

And like our Director and Freelancer categories, members at this membership level now benefit from the recent additions of free co-working, the Business Hub, 1-2-1 Success Sessions and access to the IPSE member directory.


Another new addition to IPSE, the Kickstart membership is specifically relevant to those within the early stages of their self-employed career or about to start their business. We’ve designed this category to specifically provide tailored guidance and support on building a sustainable business for those setting out in their self-employed journey.

In addition, we’ve designed it to include some illness protection as we understand that this newly self-employed cohort will be more likely to feel the pressure of lost income as they’ve had less time to build up a savings pot.

This membership would also suit those with a side hustle and also those that wish to turn their side project into a fully-fledged business.

As part of this membership level, members will have access to the IPSE Incubator, a 12-month step-by-step programme that helps launch a successful business.

This category also benefits from the new additions to IPSE membership - namely free co-working, the Business Hub, 1-2-1 Success Sessions and access to the IPSE member directory.


The Community membership, formerly ‘Essentials’, is aimed at anyone who is keen to be part of the IPSE community but do not wish to have the protection elements offered in the other levels of membership.

It’s also relevant for those that have not yet started their self-employed business but plan to in the future or those that simply wish to contribute to IPSE’s ongoing work to bring about a fairer and more prosperous environment for the self-employed.

This membership contains all the benefits of the former ‘Essentials’ package but with the added enhancements of free co-working, the Business Hub, 1-2-1 Success Sessions and access to the IPSE member directory.

For more information on any of our memberships, we’ve put together a helpful FAQs or alternatively our membership team would be happy to help with your questions at [email protected] or on +44(0)2088979970.

Upcoming webinar: Getting the most out of IPSE membership

We've also got an upcoming IPSE webinar designed for anyone wishing to find out more about IPSE member benefits, whether you are new to IPSE, have recently joined or are a long-standing member.

Register here


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Whether you are an experienced contractor or just starting out, your IPSE membership is a gateway to the best guidance, resources, and information to help you make your business a success.

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Meet the author

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Vicks Rodwell

Director of Membership