What Are Your Rights As an Independent Contractor?



Independent Contractors have rights and they should be aware of them before they enter into any engagement. MBO Partners shares some of the rights of independent contractors in its recent blog post including:

Right to Control

As a general rule of thumb, your client cannot control the work you are doing and how you are doing it—they cannot dictate when, where, and how you do your job. These are all fundamental aspects to independent contracting and when a client attempts to control how you choose to do your work, they risk treating you as an employee.

As an independent, you are an expert in your chosen field of work. This means that a client should by and large not provide guidance or training; instead, you should be allowed to complete your work as you see fit.

Right to Work How You Like

As an independent, you are free to work where and when you like. The exception to this may be if a particular project requires you to be on-site with a client. This means you are also generally responsible for providing your own equipment or tools necessary to do your job.

Keep in mind that the services you are providing are likely ones that your client cannot fulfill with internal employees. They are engaging you to complete work that is not part of their normal business activity. If you find yourself placed on an internal team or completing the exact same job as a W-2 employee, this can be a misclassification red flag as your client is treating you like an employee.

Right to a Contract

A contract is an essential legal component of establishing a consultant-client relationship and you should always make sure a signed contract is in place before starting work. A contract should clearly define the relationship between you and your client, stating that you are an independent contractor. At minimum, a contract should also include: a description of the project that you will be working on, a specified time period for completion, payment and billing terms, and termination conditions.

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