We all know that to be considered outside IR35 that you have to satisfy a number of conditions. Chiefly these relate to Direction and Control; Right of Substitution and Mutuality of Obligation. But in addition, other factors are considered. Amongst other things, the question of whether you are Part & Parcel of the organisation you are contracting to, or in business on your own account (IBOYA) is becoming increasingly common.
In recent weeks, I am increasing asked whether a contractors LinkedIn profile would have any impact in a status enquiry. While I do not believe it would be a material factor, and is unlikely to stand up in court, if you are saying on LI that you are “Lead Project Manager at Lloyds Banking Group” rather than “Director at Joe Bloggs Ltd contracted to Lloyds Banking Group on the ABC change project” then at the very least you are going to have one less awkward question to ask.
It’s a small part of a very large jigsaw but establishing yourself on LinkedIn as IBOYA at the very least confirms your mindset.
You’d also be well advised to avoid terms such as “when I worked at” or “I was employed to do X” as these would suggest an employed position rather than that of an independent consultant. Similarly, you’d want to keep an eye on the endorsements and recommendations, to ensure that the language used there is appropriate too.
I must reiterate that this is not a major part of any IR35 defence strategy but is merely good housekeeping and might help avoid unnecessary stresses should HMRC actually coming knocking. Picture the scene, you’ve spent the afternoon asking questions from the badly dressed HMRC agent, then he asks in his best Columbo accent “Just one more thing, you’ve been telling us all day how you’re an independent consultant in business on your own account, yet your LinkedIn profile says your job title is Business Analyst and your employer is Royal Bank of Scotland. Can you explain that?”