Independent Contracting

Do you want to run your own business, but don't know what business is right for you? How about becoming a independent contractor, doing what you know best? As an independent contractor you are your own boss - you hire your skill and/or services out to someone else.

An Independent Contractor is someone who follows an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the public. The person contracting for their services must have the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result. In other words, they contract for certain work to be done, but do not tell you when, where or how to do the work.

Independent contractors can be found under a variety of different names - independent professionals, consultants, freelancers, temps. All are self-employed, although there are subtle differences in the actual work description of each:

Independent Professional
Someone with an advanced academic degree or specialized training or experience. They are usually a professional in a particular field of work. Examples are lawyers, doctors, auctioneers, and public stenographers.

Consultant
Someone brought in for a limited time to solve one or more specific problems. This can be done under a contract for a specific problem or on a longer term contract for ongoing needs related to a specific problem.

Freelancer
Someone who pursues a profession, usually in the arts, under no long-term contractual commitments to any one employer or company. They are on their own to find work, negotiate the terms and compensation for that work, and deliver the work to the satisfaction of the paying client. Freelancers are frequently found in editing, writing, design, broadcasting, and advertising.

Contract Employee
Often also called a "temp". Temps work for an agency that contracts out their work to various employers. The agency usually provides Worker's Compensation insurance and withholds taxes. Desirable agencies also have health insurance and other benefits available at a group rate, i.e., you pay for them, but at a discounted rate.

You don't need to use one of the labels above. Calling yourself an independent contractor is perfectly legitimate. Or, you can simply state your profession as the business that you contract out to do. For instance, if you contract to do writing, you can simply say that you are a writer. That you do it as an independent contractor is your business model.

Here is some information about various aspects of being an independent contractor.

Opportunities in Independent Contracting

Pros & Cons of Independent Contracting

Getting Started as an Independent Contractor

Pricing Your Services

Finding Work as an Independent Contractor

This is just a flavor of what to expect when you choose the Independent Contracting path. There is no question it is hard work, yet the rewards personally and financially can be tremendous.