Does freelance mean independent contractor?

Are you wondering if the terms "freelance" and "independent contractor" mean the same thing? It's a common question, and understanding the difference between the two can help you make informed decisions about your work or hiring needs.

In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between freelancers and independent contractors, and why it's important to know the distinction. By the end of this post, you'll have a clear understanding of what sets these two types of workers apart and how they can impact your business or career.

Let's dive into the world of freelancers and independent contractors and uncover the key differences between them.

What is a freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed individual who offers their services to clients on a project-by-project basis. They typically work on short-term assignments and have the flexibility to choose which projects they want to work on. Freelancers often work in creative fields such as writing, graphic design, photography, or web development.

Freelancers are responsible for managing their own taxes, insurance, and other business expenses. They usually work remotely and have the freedom to set their own schedules, allowing them to balance multiple clients and projects at once.

What is an independent contractor?

An independent contractor, like a freelancer, is a self-employed individual who provides services to clients. However, independent contractors usually work on longer-term projects or have ongoing relationships with their clients. They can work in various industries, including construction, consulting, and technology.

Independent contractors are also responsible for managing their own taxes, insurance, and business expenses. They may work remotely or on-site, depending on the nature of their work and the agreement with their clients. Independent contractors typically have more control over how they complete their work, as long as they meet the agreed-upon deadlines and deliverables.

What are the key differences between freelancers and independent contractors?

While freelancers and independent contractors share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two:

1. Duration Of Work

Freelancers usually work on short-term projects that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. They often juggle multiple projects and clients at once. Independent contractors, on the other hand, tend to work on longer-term projects or have ongoing relationships with their clients. These projects can last for several months or even years.

2. Industries and Fields

Freelancers are commonly found in creative fields such as writing, graphic design, photography, and web development. Independent contractors, however, can work in a wider range of industries, including construction, consulting, and technology. This is not to say that freelancers cannot work in these industries, but the nature of their work is often more project-based and short-term.

3. Level of Control

Both freelancers and independent contractors have a certain level of control over their work, but independent contractors typically have more autonomy in how they complete their tasks. As long as they meet the agreed-upon deadlines and deliverables, independent contractors can decide on the best approach to complete their work. Freelancers may have more specific guidelines or creative direction from their clients, depending on the project.

4. Work Location

Freelancers often work remotely, using their own equipment and resources to complete their projects. Independent contractors may also work remotely, but they are more likely to work on-site, depending on the nature of their work and the agreement with their clients.

5. Client Relationship

Freelancers typically have a more transactional relationship with their clients, focusing on completing specific projects and moving on to the next one. Independent contractors, however, may have a more ongoing relationship with their clients, working on multiple projects or providing continuous services over an extended period of time.

Understanding the Freelancer vs. Independent Contractor Distinction

Now that you know the key differences between freelancers and independent contractors, you can make more informed decisions about your work or hiring needs. Whether you're considering becoming a freelancer or an independent contractor, or you're looking to hire one for your business, understanding the distinction between the two can help you find the right fit for your needs and expectations.

Key Takeaways

  • Freelancers work on short-term projects, while independent contractors work on longer-term projects or have ongoing relationships with clients.
  • Freelancers are often found in creative fields, while independent contractors can work in a wider range of industries.
  • Independent contractors typically have more control over their work, while freelancers may have more specific guidelines from their clients.
  • Freelancers usually work remotely, while independent contractors may work on-site or remotely, depending on the nature of their work and client agreements.
  • Freelancers have a more transactional relationship with clients, while independent contractors may have more ongoing relationships.

With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently navigate the world of freelancers and independent contractors, ensuring that you make the best choices for your career or business.

What is Workmade?

WorkMade is an all-in-one banking and accounting app designed specifically for freelancers! WorkMade gives you access to: zero-fee business banking, automated bookkeeping, fast and easy invoicing, and quarterly tax estimations and payments.

About Workmade
An artistic photograph of a freelancer getting paid

The banking app that pays your taxes, finds write-offs and gets you paid fast.

Free to download. Sign up in 60 seconds.

Learn More

Do your thing.

It only takes 60s to

Get Started

Scan to download the app.