Top tips on setting up as an interim executive

Top tips on setting up as an interim executive

Becoming an interim can be incredibly rewarding, with interims looked to as experts in their fields, and often being relied on to identify, assess, and find solutions for issues, “steady the ship” or lead on specific projects or programmes. It can create the opportunity to work in a variety of sectors, with a variety of clients, in roles and to face different working cultures and challenges.

When making the decision to set up as an interim executive, it is worthwhile thinking of the following:

Limited Company Vs Umbrella Company

Limited Company

If choosing to go down the Limited Company route you will need to decide on a name for your Limited Company and register on Companies House - if you are the director of any other companies you will need to declare this when setting up a new Limited Company.

Whilst it is important to choose your Limited Company name carefully, it can be tempting to get distracted by the “right name”. Perhaps think about:

  • the professional impact of the name and if it stands out?
  • Does it state what you do / offer?

There are many website/companies that can be used to set up a Limited Company – research which is best for you. An accountant can also advise on the responsibilities associated with a Limited Company – including PAYE/National Insurance, IR35 legislation and VAT. They can also advise on the differences between working via a Limited Company or an Umbrella Company.

Umbrella Companies

Some interim executives may choose to register with an Umbrella Company, who will calculate the amount they should be paying themself. The Umbrella Company will take off VAT returns, company accounts, Tax, and payroll, with the interim essentially being an employee of the Umbrella Company – there is a fee for this service.

If trading under an umbrella company, it can be a good idea to trade with umbrella companies that are accredited, i.e., FCSA.

Business Bank Account

When the limited company / umbrella is set up, spend time researching the best business bank account and business savings account to open. A Business saving account is a useful place to set aside taxes – including VAT, NI Corporation Tax.

Interim executives need to register their business for VAT with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if their VAT taxable turnover is more than £85k – more can be read about this here: VAT registration - GOV.UK

An accountant can help with advice around setting up a business bank account and or business saving account as well as being able to advise on registering for VAT.


Interim executives will need Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover them in the unlikely case of litigation costs / damages – typical cover ranges between £150k-£1M. Interims may choose to also take out Public Liability and Employer’s Liability as well.

Do your research on the level of cover you will need to take out – view the Institute of Interim Managers (IIM), speak with colleagues, fellow interims, and an accountant for further guidance.

Please note – at Odgers Interim, we ask interims to have minimum indemnity cover of £1 million.


Think about the day rate you would be seeking for roles both inside and outside of IR35 legalisation – will this flex for the right role, what will you need to charge for longer or shorter roles, or for roles that may require more time on site?

Take advice from others in your network, executive search agencies, colleagues, and an accountant. When working with executive search agencies, your contact should be able to offer guidance on what the role is being offered at.  


Research and understand the IR35 legislation and what it means for you as an interim executive.

There are many free guides online detailing IR35 – please also check out our IR35 video with our Operations Manager Ilana Samuels providing an overview of the legislation as well as answering some of the frequently asked questions we receive from interim managers.


Ensure that your CV is suitable for the types of roles you are looking for? Read post looking into 'How to write a great Interim CV' for some of our top tips.


It is important to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is kept up to date and current – often recruitment agencies, others in your networks and clients will view your LinkedIn profile.

If you are seeking or available for work, it may be useful to make it clear on your LinkedIn profile that you are open to work.

You can also increase your LinkedIn visibility in several ways:

  • Connect with people within your network – including clients, colleagues, recruiters, and other interims
  • Engage with posts, blogs, podcasts, articles, or other marketing in the sector you are interested in – or create your own content
  • Check the profile photograph – how will this be viewed by others?
  • Follow relevant companies and groups.


You may wish to set up a website to detail further information about your work, testimonials, your skills as well as listing ways to contact you. The website can also be listed on your CV, LinkedIn profile and any business cards you may have.

These are some of the things to consider when setting up as an interim executive – take your time to do the research, speak with colleagues, other interim managers, executive search firms, and seek advice from an accountant.

For more information, please contact Zoe Spalding


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