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Independent Contractor Agreements: Should You Use Them In Your Internet Business?

By September 28, 2009October 10th, 2017Business Contracts, Business Lawyer

independent contractor agreements

Let’s make one thing clear…

Never Use Independent Contractor Agreements to Hide Employees

Independent contractor agreements should not be used in your Internet business to disguise an employer-employee relationship. However, like an employment agreement, it’s an important legal tool you’ll use to handle your labor needs.

If you get caught treating an actual employee as an independent contractor, you could be held liable for payroll taxes and some nasty penalties. There’s also the potential to deal with unemployment and worker’s compensation claims with an unhappy state government involved because you haven’t been paying the related employer contributions to those systems.

Related Article: How To Use An Independent Contractor Agreement

In other words, it’s simply not worth the risk.

When to Use Independent Contractor Agreements

If there truly is an independent contractor relationship, such as a work-for-hire web design gig for a single site, you’ll want a signed written independent contractor agreement in place to protect your legal rights.

Although the terms of the contract will vary depending upon the type of work to be performed and the unique circumstances surrounding the relationship, there are some general provisions that most of these types of agreements have in them in order to be binding (legally enforceable) in a way that offers you protection.

Related Article: Non-Compete Agreement And Independent Contractors

These terms include:

  • Scope of work
  • Price (amount and time(s) of payment)
  • Expense allocation (including any reimbursements)
  • Deadline for completion
  • Milestones (often tied to payment)
  • Existence of an independent contractor relationship rather than employment
  • Ownership of intellectual property rights for work created and protection of trade secrets
  • Governing law and jurisdiction
  • Alternative dispute resolution provisions

How to Get Independent Contractor Agreements

Of course, an experienced Internet lawyer can draft customized independent contractor provisions that are designed to protect your interests while keeping you out of court in case of  a dispute. If you’d like to talk with Business Contracts Lawyer Mike Young about getting an independent contractor agreement, be sure to set up a telephone consultation.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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