An independent contractor is a person or entity who provides goods or services to another person or entity under the terms of a contract. Unlike an employee, an independent contractor is not under the direct control of the person or entity that hires them, and they are responsible for managing their own work and schedule. Independent contractors are generally considered to be self-employed, and they are responsible for paying their own taxes, obtaining their own insurance, and managing their own business expenses. Examples of independent contractors include freelance writers, consultants, and graphic designers.
Employers may choose to use independent contractors because it allows them to access specialized skills and expertise without the long-term commitment and expenses associated with hiring a full-time employee. In addition, independent contractors are not entitled to the same employment standards legal protections that employees are entitled to such as, for example, overtime and termination pay rights.