Essential Components of an Independent Contractor Agreement

An independent contractor agreement / freelance contract agreement is a legal document that clearly defines the working relationship between an employer and a freelancer. Our guide to essential elements of a independent contractor agreement is a handy checklist to ensure you’ve got all the fundamental components.

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Essential components of an independent contractor agreement

What's an independent contractor agreement and why do I need one?

Working with independent contractors and freelancers is a cost effective for companies to get specialized work completed quickly and flexibly.

Let’s assume you’ve carefully evaluated whether a freelancer is an employee or an independent contractor, and you’ve determined they he or she can be classified an independent contractor.

But without a fully executed independent contractor agreement, what you agreed on via phone, email, or text can be lost in translation (or even forgotten). This can lead to misunderstandings and unfortunate surprises (i.e., failure to deliver services or problems that arise during the working relationship). Plus, it is not enforceable.

This independent contractor agreement checklist equips you with the knowledge to evaluate your existing legal document or create your own.

There are many essential components of an independent contractor agreement. Most people know to include a Scope of Work (SOW) and payment terms, but there’s much more than that.

Given the importance of having a well-written independent contractor agreement, we created this guide to help make it easy to evaluate your existing documents or create new ones.

Kick off your working relationship with your independent contractor properly, and you’ll save yourself from future headaches.

Talk to your employment attorney for additional insight.

What's in the Independent Contractor Agreement Guide?

  • A breakdown of the essential components of an independent contractor agreement

  • Examples of key sections of the independent contractor agreement

  • Information on the purpose of each section

  • A quick guide to help you write or evaluate your independent contractor agreements

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