Staffing your company is such a creative puzzle. You need people you can count on every business day all day. Those are your employees, who are loyal to the company and aligned with your vision. You also have projects that pop up now and again, that are not full-time, and may need a certain expertise from a certain individual during that short period. Those are your independent contractors. The upside of working with independent contractors is that they are engaged "on the if/come”. If you have a project that fits their expertise, then you come to them with the project and pay them for the work. Think of them as a consultant that bills your company by the hour.
How you determine if someone is an employee vs. an independent contractor is the subject for another blog post in and of itself, but we would be remiss not to at least mention it here. The IRS has developed a 20-Facotor Test, and the Missouri Division of Employment Security references it here: https://labor.mo.gov/sites/labor/files/pubs_forms/M-INF-310-AI.pdf
Stock Legal’s fixed fee Independent Contractor Agreement incorporates many of those factors, and provides flexibility in the working relationship by building in a “Statement of Work” format. Statements of work can have different projects, timelines, deliverables, and even payment mechanisms. In this manner, our clients can easily document the project work, and move from project to project with their independent contractors. Additionally, we incorporate into our fixed fee independent contractor agreements:
- Confidential Information: We ensure that any information you share with a contractor is not shared and is not used by the contractor for anything other than providing you with the services you’ve requested.
- Protection of Intellectual Property: We protect your intellectual property by ensuring that any work product developed by your contractor for the company remains the property of the company. An early stage company would be crushed by a contractor who repackaged its intellectual property and used it for a competing business.
- Non-Solicitation: When appropriate, we incorporate a non-solicitation restriction on the contractor, which restricts them from soliciting the company’s employees and clients. This protection is often negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
*The choice of a lawyer is an important decision, and should not be based solely on advertisements.*