When you own a business or are in charge of making personnel decisions, you can struggle with finding reliable team members who excel in their jobs. Talent management is a field of its own, and many businesses are turning to freelancers to complete projects that would otherwise go incomplete. Working with a freelancer can be an excellent business decision; you get the talent without having to commit to a long-term relationship and without paying expensive benefits. However, you should be prepared and protected before you begin your relationship.
What is an independent contractor?
An independent contractor is not an employee of your business. Instead, the independent contractor is paid for a specific set of services or a specific outcome.
What should my independent contractor agreement feature?
Before committing to working with an independent contractor, it is wise for you to have a formal agreement signed by both parties. The agreement can include any expectations of non-disclosure or highlight a non-compete clause if you find it necessary. Reiterate the independent contractor is not an employee as well.
What about taxes?
Independent contractors are responsible for paying their own taxes, and you do not need to provide an earnings statement for tax purposes unless you have paid the contractor more than $600 over the course of the year.
How should I communicate expectations?
Excellent communication is key to having a successful outcome, and a pleasant relationship with your independent contractor. Be clear with expectations and the scope of work of the project. Set deadlines and include time for edits or feedback before the final project is due. Allow for flexibility, and check in regularly via email or phone call to track progress.
How can I get started?
Before you begin working with an independent contractor, and even before you start searching for an independent contractor, make an appointment with the team at Bell & Shah. We have years of experience working with businesses of all sizes, developing custom contracts and templates that allow for an independent contractor relationship.
Give us a call today to set an appointment to discuss your situation, as well as your goals. We will work to give you the legal tools to meet your goals while protecting your business.