MBO Partners provides superb advice on how to avoid reclassification of independent contractors as employees. They write:
Be the Client, Not the Boss
Working with independent contractors is a business-to-business relationship and must be managed accordingly. When working with independents, shift your mindset from boss to client. With on-site, traditional employees you manage the process and outcome. Independent contractors, on the other hand, are tasked with managing both process and outcome to meet agreed upon results—process management and results are not your responsibility.
While you can’t control the method or hours independent contractors work, you can set expectations to help effectively measure progress and work toward desired results. Having a written contract that clearly spells out the scope of work and the expected outcome is essential. You’ll want to ensure you clearly outline activities that need to be done, a process for communicating progress, and a method for evaluating results. Set deliverables and milestones that can be measured throughout the course of the project to ensure a successful conclusion.
Keep Employees Close and Contractors Remote
One of the benefits of working with independent contractors in your local area is the ability to spend time with them in person. Meetings and the occasional work sessions are fine, but it’s best to ensure that their primary work—unless critical to the job such as hardware instillation—is performed offsite. When independents work onsite, this can put you at risk for misclassification. If and when contractors are onsite, another best practice to maintain the client-contractor relationship is to have all independent contractors perform duties with their own equipment.
Read the full story at How to Avoid Independent Contractor Reclassification | MBO Partners