Chapter 03: Independent contractor issues

Freelancing for design firms and agencies is a great way to gain experience, expand your professional network, and grow your portfolio. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s not unusual for a freelancer to get into legal and financial trouble as a one-person business. This chapter explains the IRS definition of an independent contractor, reviews the benefits that self-employed people have (and do not have), and gives useful advice about the essential documents that define freelance relationships.

Many designers seek full-time staff positions, but it’s also possible to build a very successful career as a freelancer. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that three out of ten designers ...

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