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What is an Independent Contractor?
independent contractor

independent contractor vs employees are not considered “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act and therefore are not covered by its wage and hour provisions. Generally, an independent contractor’s wages are set pursuant to his or her contract with the employer. These contracts often establish a deadline for completion of the work but do not contain set hours where the contractor is required to work on the employer’s job site. This flexibility is one of the hallmarks of an independent contractor relationship. If the person or persons for whom the services are performed ordinarily pay the person's business or traveling expenses, or both, the person is ordinarily an employee.

  • Misclassification of personnel is a significant issue in the US, and infractions can severely punish employers.
  • Independent contractors are not employees, and therefore they are not covered under most federal employment statutes.
  • Independent contractors perform work independently and free from managerial control.
  • If the work is performed on the premises of the person or persons for whom the services are performed, that factor suggests control over the person, especially if the work could be done elsewhere.
  • If you are unsure whether you own the rights to a work you created or a product you developed as an independent contractor, review your contract agreement.
  • An independent contractor agreement is a contract that lays out the terms of the independent contractor’s work.
  • Taxable income is the portion of your gross income used to calculate how much tax you owe in a given tax year.

More than just a repository, it also helps you create and negotiate independent contractor agreements. These challenges, among others, make independent contractor agreements time-consuming and hard to keep track of. Businesses face two major challenges when it comes to the management of independent contractor agreements. In the United States, an Internal Revenue Service computer algorithm matches individuals with Form 1099s to the company that pays them. If an independent contractor reports more than $10,000 of earnings, or majority of income from a single source, the IRS is likely to question the independence of the worker, and investigate the company that issued the Form 1099. You might earn more as an independent contractor, and the tax benefits can include deducting your business expenses.


Whether it be an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration , the Wage & Hour division of the U.S. If the person has the right to end his or her relationship with the person for whom the services are performed at any time he or she wishes without incurring liability, that factor indicates an employer-employee relationship. A contract can be terminated by the mutual agreement of the parties before its completion or by one of the parties to the contract before its completion to prevent a further breach of the contract or to minimize damages.

What is an independent contractor UK?

Independent contractors in the U.K. take full responsibility for their business operations and manage their work without supervision or receiving employee benefits. For example, they bid on their own work, submit invoices for completed work, and pay their own insurance and taxes.

Independent contractors are not employees, and therefore they are not covered under most federal employment statutes. They are not protected from employment discrimination by Title VII, nor are they entitled to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Employers are not required to pay independent contractors overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act or provide accommodations for a contractor’s disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. An employer is also not responsible for an independent contractor’s unemployment or worker’s compensation benefits and is not required to provide an independent contractor with a pension or other employment benefits.

Getting paid: How to pay yourself from your LLC

The importance of this factor depends on the nature of the service involved and the extent to which an employer generally would require that employees perform such service on the employer's premises. Using independent contractors can help minimize employee-related costs, such as payroll taxes, benefits, overtime, and workers' comp premiums. While it may be tempting to classify some of your employees as independent contractors, with the growing risk of penalties, you'll want to make sure your business is doing it right.

  • As an independent contractor, you are your own boss, which for some, is the main reason why they decide to become a freelancer or independent contractor.
  • Self-employment tax is the tax that a sole proprietor or freelancer must pay to the federal government to fund Medicare and Social Security.
  • This clause outlines which jurisdiction’s laws will apply to the agreement in the case of legal action.
  • If your business is not based in the Netherlands, the first option is often prohibitively expensive because it usually involves setting up a legal entity in the country — which can be both costly and time-consuming.
  • However, you should keep in mind that a unit of independent contractors is not subject to the same privileges and protections as a regular union bargaining unit.

Whether my client is a business or an individual, I am passionate about helping my clients understand their rights, responsibilities, risks, and possibilities. Greg Fidlon has been practicing exclusively in employment law since 1998. He represents and advises clients in all aspects of the employment relationship. In addition to his litigation work, Greg regularly negotiates and drafts corporate policy handbooks, employment contracts, separation agreements and restrictive covenants. He also develops and presents training programs and has spoken and written extensively on labor and employment law topics. Clients seldom reimburse independent contractors for expenses such as work clothes, fuel, lunch, or meals.

Is it worth it to be an independent contractor?

Independent contracting has both benefits and drawbacks to contractors. To help you network, gain expertise, and receive discounts on insurance and other self-employment expenses, consider joining professional organizations such as the National Association for the Self-Employed. As a small business owner, you should learn the basics of bookkeeping and recordkeeping, and you may also want to take marketing steps, such as listing your business in the Yellow Pages and setting up a basic website. For more information, see Nolo's Business Accounting, Bookkeeping and Finance and Sales, Marketing & eCommerce areas.

The amount of remuneration from the challenged relationship compared to the remuneration received from other customers. The extent of tools, equipment, vehicles and similar resources. With everything in a central location, you will no longer have to worry about conflicting information.

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