Ipse what-we-do

IPSE works hard to support those working for themselves in the UK.

Representing over 67,000 freelancers, consultants and self-employed people from each sector of the economy, IPSE, The Association of Independent Professionals and The Self-Employed is the largest association of independent professionals in the EU. We are a not-for-profit organisation owned and run by our members.

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IPSE membership offers peace of mind: we’ll defend and protect your business, meaning that you’re able to focus on running it without worry.

IPSE Standard members can make the most of:

  • Free tax and legal helplines
  • Specialists to defend you in a tax investigation at no cost
  • Debt recovery - special member rate

On top of this IPSE Plus members receive business interruption support including:

  • £5000 life assurance cover at no charge
  • Up to £1000 if an agency breaks contract
  • Up to £10000 compensation for failed payments
  • Up to £2000 if you are ill/injured for 3 weeks or more
  • Up to £500 per day compensation for tax compliance meetings
  • Up to £500 per day compensation for jury service for up to two weeks


IPSE Advantages’ scheme offers thousands of consumer discounts on items such as Apple products, Dell & HP hardware, software, gym memberships, and cash back at a variety of stores such as Dixons, PC World and Sainsbury’s.

IPSE Advantages offers the widest choice of voucher, card and SMS offers on the market with over 2000 offers, meaning you can save hundreds of pounds each year!

IPSE members can make the most of:

  • Access to IPSE Advantages, a consumer discount site, giving you the opportunity to save hundreds of pounds on household brands like Apple and Dell


We offer you the resources you need to make working as an independent professional that little bit easier for you.

IPSE members can make the most of:

  • Guides to - Freelancing, Retirement Savings, Mortgages, Agency Conduct Regulations and more
  • Toolkits with business templates, client contracts and more
  • IPSE Magazine – our bi-monthly magazine with news, views, hints and tips for independent contractors


IPSE lobbies for you to make sure your voice is heard both in government and across industry.

We are proud to represent you. Our core issues include:

  • IR35
  • Creating a simpler, fairer tax system for the self-employed
  • Ending the scourge of late payment
  • Building an infrastructure fit for the new economy 

It is our core belief that our way of working should be supported, promoted and encouraged not just in the UK, but across Europe too, where we represent you through EFIP – the European Forum of Independent Professionals.


IPSE Futures helps you plan for tomorrow and leads you to financial independence by giving you the opportunity to take advantage of group rates for a variety of flexible benefits. Members can join pension, life assurance and private medical insurance schemes, usually at a fraction of the cost you would pay as an individual.

With IPSE Futures you can get group rates on

  • A pension scheme with a negotiated charge of 0.43%
  • Life assurance starting at just £2.80 a month
  • Private medical insurance


Working for yourself should be made as easy as it can be. We bring you services to make your life easier and save you money at the same time.

IPSE members can make the most of:

  • Discounted contract review service
  • Access to IPSE Approved Accountancy services
  • Specially negotiated Professional Indemnity Insurance rates 
  • Access to Club Workspace workhubs across London, with one day a week free and discounted rates for additional use
  • NearDesk flexible workspace membership (worth £20) with special offers at selected regional spaces


We offer opportunities for you to develop as an independent professional so you can become the best at what you do.

IPSE Standard and Plus members can make the most of:

  • Events across the UK on subjects from tax to negotiating rates
  • Webinars on subjects writing the best CV to using Social media for marketing
  • Access to discounted classroom and online training, often with certification or CPD points

Designed for you by people who work like you

IPSE membership entitles you to a myriad of direct benefits which will defend and protect your business and also gives you access to dozens of member-only offers, many of which can save you hundreds of pounds a year. Take a look at the short descriptions of all IPSE does for its members.

IPSE is committed to providing its members with the best-in-class benefits at the best possible value. Even IPSE Plus, the premium membership level designed to provide you with the best levels of benefit, tax defence and business protection, is only about the same price as a grande cappuccino and a biscotti a week from a high street chain. The average IR35 enquiry costs about the same as 30 years of IPSE Plus membership.

Can you afford not to be a part of IPSE?

Member Benefits Standard Plus
A specialist to defend you in a tax investigation at no cost Ipse what-we-do
Free tax and legal helplines Ipse what-we-do
Access to IPSE Advantages with thousands of money saving offers Ipse what-we-do Ipse what-we-do
Debt recovery: special member rate Ipse what-we-do Ipse what-we-do
Toolkits with business templates, client contracts and more Ipse what-we-do
All news and guidance on changes that affect you Ipse what-we-do
Extensive networking Ipse what-we-do Ipse what-we-do
Free use of seven inspiring workspaces in London Ipse what-we-do Ipse what-we-do
Lobbying for you with Government and industry Ipse what-we-do Ipse what-we-do
Tools and tips for winning better work, faster, through HiredByMe Ipse what-we-do
A specialist to represent you in all HMRC compliance checks at no cost  
Up to £10000 compensation for failed payments  
Up to £5000 compensation for jury service  
Up to £2000 compensation if you are ill/injured for 3 weeks  
Up to £1000 compensation if an agency breaks its contract   Ipse what-we-do
Up to £500 per day compensation for tax compliance meetings  
£5000 life assurance cover at no cost  
Annual membership fee (discounts available for more than one fee earner*) £154.73 + VAT

£247.65 + VAT


*A fee earner is someone who bills clients for their work from your company, membership is not required for employees, officers or shareholders who do not perform client-billable work for your company.

IPSE provides its members with tax defence for a wide variety of situations. IPSE appointed industry experts will deal with HMRC on your behalf and fight your corner for you. Sometimes this is called “professional expenses insurance” but unlike many other providers IPSE actually pays the bills! IPSE is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to its members so we strive to keep our membership fees down – and just one average IR35 enquiry could cost you as much as 30 years' worth of IPSE Plus membership fees!

For IPSE Standard members we’ll provide an expert representative to handle your case at no cost, giving you the best chance of a successful outcome.


  • Income Tax Full Enquiry (All books & records requested by HMRC)
  • Income Tax Aspect Enquiry (HMRC just interested in specific entries on the tax return)
  • Corporation Tax Full Enquiry (as income tax above, but into your company’s return)
  • Corporation Tax Aspect Enquiry (into specific entries on the company’s return)
  • VAT Disputes
  • Employer Compliance (PAYE/P11D/NIC) Disputes
  • IR35 Disputes

For IPSE Plus members we’ll do all of the above, but we’ll also provide an expert representative to handle:

  • Compliance Visits (VAT & PAYE)
  • Business Records Checks.
  • The ‘Check of Employer Records’ Letters which are the precursor to an IR35 Dispute
  • The limit of professional fees for any single claim is £75,000

Tax and Legal Helplines

Our members have access to expert guidance for tax issues (business hours) and legal questions (24/7)

Contractors and freelancers are one group of people who just can’t afford to lose valuable working time. That’s why IPSE has an unbeatable suite of business interruption cover which will help soften the blow if you’re forced to spend time not working when you could have been or when your client or agency lets you down. Our business interruption compensation makes IPSE Plus the best choice for every member. 

These benefits are only available to IPSE Plus members.

Jury Service

We all have to do our civic duty, but for an independent professional this can come at a high cost. IPSE’s Jury Service Cover allows a member to make a claim if the they have to take time away from working to take part jury service. We’ll compensate you for up to a maximum of 10 days away from your client work.

To calculate the daily amount payable, the member will need to provide details of the length and value of the current contract/engagement.

Compensation: up to £500 per day

Tax Compliance meetings

It can be a bit galling to have to take time off fee-earning work just to meet with the taxman so IPSE will compensate a member if they’re taken away from business to attend meetings with HMRC and/or IPSE’s designated expert advisor.

To calculate the daily amount payable, the member will need to provide details of the length and value of the current contract/engagement.

Compensation: up to £500 per day

Agency or client default

If your client or agency goes into administration and you’re not paid for the work you've done, IPSE will compensate you for the amount your company is owed up to a limit of £10,000.

In addition to the individual claim limit, IPSE has an aggregate limit of £750,000 to cover all agency or client default compensation in any one calendar year with an aggregate limit per individual agency or individual end client of £150,000.

Agency fails to honour a signed contract

Sometimes agencies just get things wrong, so IPSE will compensate a member if:

the contracted role is not as described by the agency and/or contracted for by the member and the member’s contract is terminated by the Agency
the agency terminates without the required notice period stated in the contract
the contracted role does not exist or is withdrawn after the contract is signed but before the on-site date
Compensation: £1000


If bad luck happens – a broken leg or a dose of the ‘flu IPSE is there to help out a little with compensation for illness or injury for a member who misses out on work for an extended period of time.

If a doctor or hospital certifies that the member is unfit to work for three weeks or more, as long as their engagement started a minimum of four weeks prior to the extended absence.

Compensation: up to £2,000 per claim

At IPSE we never forget that you have to run your business as efficiently as possible, so as we’ve developed a whole range of services and partnerships to make sure that you get the most from your membership. From bolt-ons to forums via a superb knowledge base and training and growth opportunities, IPSE brings our members access to a wide variety of useful resources.

NearDesk Membership

NearDesk is a service that allows you to rent a desk or meeting room at over 150 business locations around the UK. NearDesk offers you access to professional working environments, as and when you need them, without having to pay up front.

An activated IPSE card gives access to a professional working environment in locations across the UK and, by touching in and touching out, allows you pay just for the time you use. Plus, a single monthly invoice means less paperwork.

With four regional hubs welcoming IPSE members and NearDesk's online "who's here now" software, members will quickly get to know who else is sharing a space, giving them the opportunity to connect with fellow members and other professionals.

IPSE members also get an initial two free days to use at any of the four regional hubs and will benefit from an ongoing 15% discount on desk use at each of them.

Activate your card.

IPSE Advantages

By taking advantage of the combined buying power of IPSE’s 22,000 members, the ‘IPSE Advantages’ scheme offers thousands of consumer discounts including Apple products, Dell hardware and software and cash back at a variety of stores such as Dixons, PC World and Sainsbury’s. A regular user of this service could easily save more than the IPSE membership fee every year!

Debt Recovery

When a client or agent doesn’t pay, it can be a real pain trying to get the debt paid. That’s why IPSE has arranged a great deal with a leading UK and International Debt Recovery and Credit Control company, Safe Collections. Standard UK collection rates are discounted for both IPSE Plus and Standard members.

Flexible workspace

Club Workspace welcomes IPSE members at any of its fantastic co-working hubs across London – perfect if you need an inspiring, professional space to work from when visiting London. Members can use a complimentary hot-desk for up to four days a month, between 09:00-17:30 on any working day. This includes free shower facilities, Wi-Fi and refreshments.

View the Club Workspace site

IPSE members are also eligible to book private meeting rooms, starting at £20 an hour depending on the location. And if you need a desk for more than four days a month, you get 25% off the normal rate.

To access the workspaces, please take your IPSE membership card or your membership number, as well as supporting proof of identity to your chosen location. On arrival, go to the main reception at your chosen Club Workspace location. You will be given a short form to complete.

You can bring a visitor with you as long as you have booked a meeting room – please book your meeting room in advance at any of the Club Workspace locations.

The IPSE Magazine

Every IPSE member receives a copy of the IPSE Magazine. With articles and resources to inspire, encourage and advise we want to celebrate the choice to go freelance and underline the importance of freelancing in the modern world of business.

The Forums

IPSE’s forums are a vibrant online community where there’s a bit of this, a bit of that and sometimes heated debate. As well as a great source of knowledge and wisdom based on the real-life experiences of IPSE members, there’s also a place to let off a little steam when you need to take the pressure off and share views, thoughts, ideas and tales, tall or short, with hundreds of your fellow independent professionals. 

IPSE has developed a comprehensive range of toolkits for both independent professionals and end-clients. Our vast knowledge and expertise in all things freelance and our long experience at the forefront of contracting has enabled us to put together a series of definitive resources to help you get the most out of your business and to be sure that you give the best value to your clients.

Toolkits for contractors

From contract, invoice, dividend and Board meeting templates to mortgage calculators, business risk spreadsheets and how-to guides, IPSE has the lot and IPSE members have access to them free of charge. Our Guide to Freelancing, which takes you the whole process of starting up all the way to closing down, is widely regarded as the best single resource in the industry.

For first time contractors there’s even a comprehensive suite of bolt-ons to your membership – we’ll set you up with a IPSE Accredited Accountant who’ll look after your company structure, VAT and PAYE registration and all the other bits-and-pieces you need to get your freelancing business started with minimum fuss.

Toolkits for clients

Clients sometimes need guidance too, and IPSE is there for them. Want to make the best use of a freelancer? Need to ensure your company complies with all the rules and regulations? Then IPSE’s guides are an essential. For both hiring managers and procurement professionals the wealth of knowledge about how to engage contractors to help your business is second to none.

Winning Better Work, Faster

When you’re looking for your next contract it’s important to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your skills. IPSE members have free access to advice on wining work through our extensive advice guides.

IPSE organises almost 100 events a year throughout the UK. Ranging from practical seminars and workshops to our flagship National Freelancers Day, these are mostly held on weekday evenings (to avoid members losing client time!) and are almost all free to attend. Many events are run in conjunction with industry experts from the worlds of accountancy, tax advice, marketing and networking. As well as learning you’ll also get the chance to socialise with fellow independent professionals over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Being a IPSE member means that you get early notice of events in your area – and you can choose to receive information based on where you live, where you work or both – and substantial member discounts for ticketed events. Event subjects include:-

  • Tax (paperwork, compliance , remuneration, IR35 etc)
  • Financial planning (pensions, mortgages, investments, banking)
  • Social media (twitter, Linkedin)
  • Personal skill development (CV & covering letter writing, interview/business pitch)
  • Policy changes

IPSE’s raison d’etre is to lobby on behalf of members at local, national and European levels. We have an expert lobbying team who make sure your voice is heard on every subject that could affect your freelancing business or your activities as an independent professional. We’ve been successful in watering down or negating a variety of proposals which would have harmed contracting in the UK, such as the Agency Workers Regulations and we strive to make sure that your interests are taken account of when the UK Government or Europe are considering new legislation or regulations.

It is IPSE’s core belief that the UK’s flexible labour market is unique in the EU and should be supported, promoted, and encouraged as one of the country’s main competitive advantages on the international stage. IPSE’s objective is to demonstrate the economic value of freelancing to those in power and ensure freelancing is both considered and supported in all areas of regulation and policy. We do this by supporting extensive research into freelancing and by maintaining strong relationships with politicians, Government departments and trade associations.

We believe that freelancers are often overlooked in policymaking, with most policy made either for employees or employers. This is something IPSE works hard to change. By showing the value of freelancing to the economy, and feeding in the views of freelancers to policymakers, we strive to create the best possible working environment for freelancers.