Applying for a Lorimer Letter (LP10)

This is another one of those posts that are intended only as a general outline of the subjects covered. It shouldn’t be regarded as comprehensive nor sufficient for making decisions, and it should not be used in place of professional advice, but I hope it’s a useful starting point for members who want to know about Lorimer Letters.

Many Bectu members qualify for self-employed status mainly on the basis that they have a lot of multiple and overlapping engagements (i.e. that they are not only working for only one or two productions during the course of the year).

This is not to say that working for only a small number of engagers automatically means you are not self-employed. But such a pattern is a strong indicator that you are – and you may have many of the other characteristics of someone who actually is in full employment (complicated, isn’t it?).

For this reason, having a Lorimer Letter (or “LP10”) is very useful as it confirms that HMRC recognises your working patterns as those of someone who is self-employed.

If you have an LP10, it indicates that HMRC accepts you are self-employed, so no PAYE or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) need to be deducted from your earnings. Supplying an engager with an LP10 will often persuade them to treat you as a self-employed sole trader.

This may prove useful because the CEST test (that is otherwise used to check your employment status) looks mainly at the specific relationship a worker has with a specific engager, so it is possible that the engager will conclude that you are ‘caught’ by IR35 and you should be on-payroll even though the wider picture of your employment says otherwise, to the LP10 is a useful document to have.

One important update: In the past, LP10s were only issued to Self Employed Sole Traders, but since the IR35 changes were fully put in place, HMRC will now also issue these to people who are trading through their own Personal Service Company (PSC).

Your LP10 can be used on all engagements for as long as the letter is valid. So you can take the letter with you from job to job.

How to get an LP10

You need to contact the Film Production Unit at HMRC on…

  • Tel: 0300 123 2326
  • Email:

…and request an LP10. They will then send you out a questionnaire, and a spreadsheet that you can fill in to list jobs that you have done in the last 12 months. This will help to show how many engagers you have worked with.

Once you have returned these, and HMRC are satisfied that you meet their criteria, they will issue you with an LP10. The LP10 will only last for one year, but you can request a replacement each year and they generally won’t ask you to complete the full application again before issuing it.

David Thomas (a Bectu partner small business adviser) has this page on his website with useful advice.

This entry was posted in ESM4118, Freelance working, IR35 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Applying for a Lorimer Letter (LP10)

  1. Pingback: Getting an LP10/Lorimer letter – video (captioned)

  2. Baldev Rayat says:

    Nobody answers that number and the email keeps bouncing back.

  3. Pete Burton says:

    Hi there, I’m planning on becoming a self-employed TV producer at the end of June – will I still require a Lorimer letter? I’ve been staff for past 12 years so won’t different locations I’ve worked hence the patterns they’re looking for?

    Kind regards.


    • Paul Evans says:

      Hi Pete, I think I’d need to know more about your personal circumstances and the kind of work you do – what kind of Producer with what kind of relationships, etc. Generally, a Producer is going to have a good chance of being treated as self-employed by HMRC (if you google ESM4118 or search this site for it), but it will depend on the relationship you have with the engagers that you work with. If you’re a union member, please feel free to contact me through the switchboard?

  4. Harry says:

    Hi there, I’m a freelance designer, but worked solely for one agency for the last 12 months with no contract. Would you think they would deny an LP10?

  5. George says:

    Hi There,

    This is a question on behalf of my partner. He’s been staff as a Camera Operator and stepped up to Supervisor last year, for a TV broadcaster. He’s now moving to the freelance world. Would he be able to apply for an LP10 even though he’s worked for the same broadcaster for the past 12 months? He obviously has a contract he can provide.
    Many thanks in advance

    • Paul Evans says:

      Hi George,

      Thanks for the reply. On the face of it, it may not be easy but I’d recommend that your partner contact his Bectu official and we can look at it a bit more closely. I’m not really sure whether “working for the same broadcaster for the past 12 months” is the same as “working for the same employer” as sometimes there are other intermediaries involved….

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