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How to Hire an Independent Contractor

Author: Christine P. Corrigan

Hiring independent contractors can provide an employer with cost savings in salary and benefits and give staffing flexibility to address temporary projects or demands. However, there are risks to hiring independent contractors, including the possibility of misclassification, lack of control and workplace disruption.

Misclassification of workers can result in significant liability to the employer if a federal or state agency audit or a lawsuit challenging workers' status occurs. In addition, because independent contractors function autonomously, an employer may lose some control over its workforce. Also, the relatively short-term nature of independent contractors' work may be disruptive to the workplace.

When deciding to hire an independent contractor, an employer should follow the steps set forth below.