Should I hire an employee or independent contractor?

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Whether to hire an employee or independent contractor for your North Carolina business depends on several factors, including your business needs, the nature of the work, and the level of control you need over the work being performed. Here are some general considerations:


  • If you need someone to perform work that is essential to your business and requires ongoing direction and supervision, you may want to hire an employee.
  • Employees typically work on a regular schedule and are managed by the employer, who has control over how the work is performed.
  • As an employer, you are responsible for withholding taxes, providing benefits, and complying with employment laws and regulations.

Independent Contractor:

  • If you need someone to perform a specific task or project that is not part of your regular business operations, you may want to hire an independent contractor.
  • Independent contractors typically have their own equipment, work on their own schedule, and are responsible for their own taxes and benefits.
  • As a client, you have less control over how the work is performed, but you may be able to negotiate specific terms and deliverables for the project.

It’s important to note that misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can have serious legal and financial consequences, including fines and back taxes.

The North Carolina Department of Labor provides guidance on the difference between employees and independent contractors and can help you determine the proper classification for your situation.

Overall, it’s a good idea to consult with a qualified attorney or accountant who can help you navigate the legal and financial implications of hiring employees or independent contractors for your North Carolina professional service business.

Will Blackton is a business lawyer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can reach Will at or (919) 636-5979.

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