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As a contractor, can you claim for for marketing and advertising as business expenses? When you run your own company, there may come a time when you would like to promote your services. When you do this, it may help you pick up more work, and you could pay for some marketing and advertising costs to help you out here.

Therefore, can you claim for these as genuine business expenses and save Corporation Tax?

It is worth noting, many businesses in all sorts of industries will pay for marketing and advertising costs in one form or another. The common methods that they will use are flyers and adverts in the media. They may also use an online presence on social media, and they may have their own business website.

Recent times 

Being a contractor is no different from other businesses in many senses. Many years ago, most would not consider marketing and advertising costs as an actual cost for a contractor. Times have changed though in today’s world, with the presence of the web and now social media.

The internet is also a place where many contractors find their next contract work.

Therefore, to increase your chances of landing your next contract, it may be a wise choice to invest in some advertising costs for your company and personal profile.

The sorts of marketing and advertising costs that you can claim 

The sorts of costs that may be well worth paying for will include:

  • Hire a CV professional to review your CV and help you update it may attract potential hiring managers towards you in the future. This service is quite cheap, and it could be a good investment for your future. 
  • Hire a LinkedIn profile expert to take a look at and `spruce up’ your profile. They can also make sure that the layout is correct, and it shows your experience and achievements. They will also make sure that they show keywords here, which recruiters use when searching LinkedIn for new candidates. This service is also not very expensive, and it could be a good move for the future. 
  • Create and run your website. You could do this in your own home office. Many IT contractors have an idea of where to start here, but if you are not sure about certain aspects, you could use a template like WordPress. WP will help you with the basics. You could hire a web designer for specific elements that you do not understand, such as web templates and a logo, etc. Your website will have annual hosting costs on web servers, and the yearly fee is typically less than £100. 

Other costs that you can claim 

Other types of marketing and advertising costs that you may incur will include: 

  • The cost of a business computer that you can use for your business activities including the marketing and advertising. 
  • The cost of web domains. If you have this, it will give your business a professional image when it has a domain of its own. Also, you should use this in conjunction with your business website. What’s more, you could also use the domain name for business emails. Domains will need renewing on an annual basis, and this normally costs less than £30. 
  • Other web costs such as Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter adverts. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your website. Please note, Google ranks websites on content. What’s more, well-written content is what Google looks out for when ranking sites on the net. 
  • Advertisements in press and media. Such adverts can be both in local and national media. You might also choose to use some of the online business listing sites. 

Final thoughts

Marketing and advertising are a genuine business expense. Therefore, you can deduct these against tax if they are solely for your business.

If you are marketing your business through a form of `entertaining’ (meals out etc) you can still treat these as business expenses. However, they are not tax-deductible.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on 


Published On: March 11th, 2021 / Categories: Expenses, Expenses Guides / Tags: /

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