There are two primary things to keep an mind when hiring independent contractors for your new business. One has to do with employment law, and the other has to do with ownership of the materials that the contractor might create for your business.
On the employment side, not everyone who is called an independent contractor necessarily qualifies as one. The employment laws may vary from state to state, but whether or not a person can be treated as an independent contractor for purposes of employee benefits, worker’s compensation, and employment taxes has a lot to do with how much control you have over their work and how much of their supplies you provide to them.
A quick example is that your receptionist probably can’t be classified as an independent contractor. You set their hours, assign their defined tasks, require them to be in the office, and give them a desk and a phone to work with. But your web site developer probably does qualify (unless you are in the business of web site development and you have a whole bunch of developers on staff).
Rick Sanders Law can help walk you down the path of determining how crucial resources of your business, be they employees or independent contractors, need to be contracted with to allow your business to survive and thrive. Contact us to see how clarify the situation for you.
Once you’ve determined that this new person who is going to do work with you really is an independent contractor, then you’ve got to worry about who is going own the materials they create for you at the end of the day. If your web site developer was an employee of your company, you would own their work product automatically. But if they are an independent contractor, there has to be a written agreement signed by the developer acknowledging that they are creating your website on a “work for hire” basis. Otherwise, you can pay them thousands of dollars for the site and end up not owning it. It’s a more common mishap than you would think, but we’re here to help make sure it doesn’t happen to you.