Independent Contractor and Consulting Agreements

Independent Contractor Agreements

If you are a freelancer or independent consultant in Sacramento you will need at some point to have legal documents which not only protect you from clients who are less than scrupulous, but also to elevate your chances of getting a contract with someone who seeks a more professional approach to contracting. Many freelancers and 1099 consultants will fall back upon online (generic) contracts to provide the safeguards for contract work that both parties require. Using online software or templates for contracting may work for small business clients who understand startup costs and considerations, but the general loopholes and unwritten events that can assist you in potential legal disputes will be missing. For individuals who have significant dollar value contracts using an online form is probably not the best approach and working with an attorney ought to be considered. Drafting specific independent contractor agreements may be the best option to protecting your rights.

While it is perfectly acceptable to apply skepticism to any lawyer suggesting you use a lawyer for something you can find online, understand that a contract is a method of partitioning a consultant from an employee and for this reason will be very important to the business you are entering into an arrangement with. They are looking for consultants for a reason and will not wish to be involved in a future legal dispute should the consultant begin to meet criteria for “employee” but state of federal standards. In fact, many businesses will wish to provide the contract to avoid this and can limit your opportunities to secure additional tasks.

When you bring your own agreement to the table you are in control. You are formalizing a relationship between two parties and providing needed clarity to the agreement insofar as roles, responsibilities, work product, rates, expenditures, and fee schedules. You are also creating an avenue for adjudication and the means by which it can be negotiated. A formal contract enables both parties to feel secure and have an outlet for dispute.

Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles

On Monday, April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the matter of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. The California Supreme Court rejected the Borello test for determining whether workers should be classified as either employees or independent contractors. The decision has cause huge disruption in the marketplace and dramatically changed the analysis for classifying independent contractors.
Under the ABC test set forth in Dynamex, a worker is presumed to be an employee, unless the hiring entity establishes each of the following:

(A) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and
(B) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
(C) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

(Dynamex, supra, 4 Cal.5th at p. 957.)

As a result of Dynamex, it is now more important than ever to have competent legal counsel assist with drafting independent contractor agreements that properly account for the new ABC test.

Contact Sacramento Business Attorneys

Contact our business law firm to schedule an initial consultation and discuss independent contractor agreements. We routinely create agreements and contracts for independent consultants and contractors at reasonable rates. Sacramento has a large freelance population that requires the type of legal rigor that enables their businesses to grow. Contact our law office to start the process today.

Call Us: (916) 642-9399

Independent Contractors
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact an attorney for a consultation. This post is considered a solicitation and advertisement. The post does not warrant the outcome of any matter. Sacramento Business Lawyer on Independent Contractor Agreements in Sacramento.