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What is a Bona Fide Subcontractor (BFSC)?

Bona fide subcontractors are generally deemed to be contractors who work on your behalf without direction; they hold their own insurance and usually provide their own materials and tools.

If you can answer “yes” to most of these questions, the worker is probably a bona fide subcontractor:

  • Do they agree to do the job for a fixed price, however long it takes to finish?
  • Do they supply their own materials out of their own pocket?
  • Do they have their own Public Liability insurance?
  • Can they hire someone to do the work for them, or pay helpers out of their own pocket?
  • Can they decide what work to do; and how and when to do it?

What it's important to think about is how much decision-making power and independence the worker has.

Under UK labour law, a Bona Fide Sub-Contractor is a contractor who:

  • works without direct instructions from you as the insured contractor;
  • holds their own insurance;
  • usually provides their own materials and tools

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