Independent Contractors

Independent contractor agreements are essential in Florida if you are a self-employed worker, not an employee of a particular company. Knowing whether you are a self-employed contractor or an employee of a company is crucial, in part because it affects your eligibility for workers’ compensation and pensions.

There are specific laws for independent contractors in the state of Florida. Federal law covers most issues, but Florida law governs compensation, minimum wage, and unemployment taxes. Employers get benefits from using independent contractors but need to ensure that they are, in fact, independent contractors and not employees.

Employers sometimes hire an independent contractor when there is particular work to be done that is not related to the employer’s general business. The employer can only control the acceptability of the work and cannot control the way the work is completed.

Independent Contractors:

  • Are responsible for paying their own taxes; employers do not pay taxes or withhold taxes on their paycheck.
  • Are not eligible for health insurance or retirement plans.
  • Do not receive unemployment benefits.
  • Are not subject to laws regarding discrimination or wages.
  • Employers do not train independent contractors since they already have the skill set necessary to complete a job.
  • Set their schedule and decide how the job will be completed.
  • May hire, supervise, and pay people to perform specific jobs.
  • Are temporary workers.
  • Can take on as much work as they want with as many clients provided they finish their jobs by the required date.
  • Are paid by the job, not by the hour or week.
    Are responsible for travel expenses, equipment, and supplies.

Independent Contractor Agreements

An independent contractor agreement is a legal document between a business and an independent contractor. It is a document detailing the work to be performed, the agreement terms, and compensation.

Before finalizing any agreement language, be sure to have your lawyer review the agreement and make any appropriate changes required by your state or industry.

All Independent contractor agreements should include contract terms, work to be done, payment information, confidentiality agreements, and should be signed by both parties.

  • Terms of the agreement should include the names of the business and independent contractor, work location, date, and description of the job or project to be performed.
  • Any responsibilities and goods or services that will be provided should be included.
  • Compensation details such as how and when the contractor will be paid should be included. It is best to pay a fixed rate and not pay by the hour. Include the payment schedule with percentages and not dates as well. For example; 50% up front and the remainder to be paid when the job is complete.
  • An independent contractor may not want their work resold by a business and may wish to protect their work with a noncompete agreement.
  • Include language pertaining to a contractor quitting a job or contract termination.
  • Integration ensures an agreement is still valid even if one section isn’t.
  • Include language relating to proof of independent insurance coverage that independent contractors must have.

Independent contract agreements protect a business from paying an independent contractor and getting little in return and protects an independent contractor with an agreement guaranteeing they will be paid for the work they complete. This agreement in and of itself can prevent misunderstandings and disagreements.

Paul J. Burkhart

Paul J. Burkhart can help you with independent contractor agreements.  Paul J. Burkhart is an experienced attorney and can offer legal advice and ensure your agreement meets your state’s laws. Paul J. Burkhart can include additional clauses depending on your specific circumstances.

Business Attorney Palm Beach Gardens

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Phone: (561) 880-0155

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