Q & A – Do I need an independent contractor agreement?

Q: Do I need an independent contractor agreement?

A: Agreements are recommended, but not required.  Agreements are evidence that the intent of the parties was to create an independent contractor relationship—not an employment relationship.  Having an agreement does not, however, mean that the worker is an independent contractor.  Courts and administrative agencies will look beyond the agreement to examine the relationship between the parties to determine whether the worker is in independent contractor.
If you have an independent contractor agreement, state law may require that it meet certain requirements.  Most likely the state will require the agreement to contain specific language especially concerning the contractor’s responsibility for his or her own income tax payments and the lack of eligibility for workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits.  And, state law may require the agreement to be notarized.