Independent Contractor vs Freelancer: What Are the Differences?

 Independent Contractor vs Freelancer: What Are the Differences?

Statistics show that more than 90% of US workers would consider freelancing or independent contract work.

What is an independent contractor? Can freelancers work for more than one company? How do you decide who to hire?

If you are looking to hire new people to help grow your business, it is important to understand the different workers that make up the gig economy.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between an independent contractor vs freelancer:

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors typically work on one larger project at a time with one particular client. While it is possible to work for more than one, the demands of the project and its financial payout are often high enough to sustain the worker for a period of time. 

Unlike a salaried employee, there is no ceiling for the earnings each year. Without any guaranteed paycheck, the independent contractors need to have projects lined up in order to keep bringing in any income.

An example of an independent contractor is someone who works as an interior designer. They will have a list of clients who hire them for their services to design their homes based on a specific style.


To put it simply, a freelancer is more likely to work for multiple clients through one-time gigs or in an as-needed capacity. This project-based work can be inconsistent until retainers are put in place with different businesses.

A benefit of this type of work is being able to work for different companies that may offer different pay incentives or allow a worker to design their schedule for specific hours or specific days.

This type of work is done with 1099 forms by businesses for tax purposes. If you are looking to hire freelancers for projects within your business, start your search here.

Independent Contractor vs Freelancer: Similarities

While there are clear differences between the two roles, they also share some similarities. 

First, both types of workers will be in charge of paying their own taxes. Their paychecks will be given in a gross amount and they need to pay in to the federal and state governments on their own. The amount will vary depending on how much they are making total and the rules in each area.

Both are self-employed and have control of their schedule, as far as the projects they choose to take on. The details of the project or agreements with different clients may take away some of this control but they typically get to set their rate before the job starts.

Hire New People Today

Now that you have read more about the differences between an independent contractor vs freelancer, you can hire new works for your business right away. The benefit of hiring them is that you will be able to add new talent to your workforce without having to spend money on providing an extensive benefits package.

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