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Interest has grown in the methods that trade unions can use to organise and represent the substantial proportion of the workforce engaged in ‘contingent work’. This article examines trade union representation of self-employed freelances in the UK. Empirical material is presented from case studies of the media and entertainment unions, with their long history of representing freelances, and more recently established unions representing freelance tour guides, interpreters and translators. The analysis indicates that there is a distinctive form of freelance unionism in the UK which is distinguished by its emphasis on organising and representing workers in the external labour market where they seek work and develop a mobile career. This orientation ‘beyond the enterprise’ distinguishes freelance unionism from the dominant form of unionism in Britain.