Actinium has flourished by taking the pain out of paperwork for well-paid contractors, the recruitment agencies that supply them and the employers that use them. The London company helps some 500 contractors, supplying them with legal documentation, doing their invoicing and giving them tax advice in what is a notoriously difficult area. It targets contractors earning an average of £120,000 a year, focusing on the IT, oil and gas, engineering and accountancy sectors.
Actinium’s growth has been fuelled by the introduction in 2000 of the complex IR35 tax laws affecting freelance professionals. Not slow to spot an opportunity, Paul Bishopp had the company up and running by 2001 and was offering to administer a limited company on each contractor’s behalf to reduce their tax and national insurance liabilities. Actinium earns its money by invoicing the employer that uses the contractor and adding a fee of about 4% for its services. This covers giving advice to the contractor’s recruitment agency and the 300 blue-chip companies with which it deals on matters such as tax and employment-law compliance. Actinium hopes to capitalise on the building activity for the 2012 Olympics in London and believes the Inland Revenue has given it another business opportunity by introducing changes next April that will affect the construction industry. A new division will target big construction companies, offering to take over the nightmare of ensuring that their contractors and subcontractors comply with the new legislation. Bishopp remains managing director of the company he founded. Finance director Wayne Barnett and chief operating officer Crawford Temple bought into the company at the start of 2005. Actinium’s sales have risen 282% a year from £728,000 in 2002 to reach £40.7m in 2005, but profit margins are very low.
This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.