New York State Independent Contractor: Everything You Need To Know

If you are exploring the world of contract work in New York State, it is important to understand what an independent contractor is and the legal implications of being classified as one.

What is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is a worker who provides services to a company or individual on a contract basis. Unlike employees, independent contractors work for themselves and are responsible for their own taxes and benefits. They are generally hired for a specific project or length of time, and their payment is usually determined by a set fee or hourly rate.

Independent contractors are free to work for multiple clients and have more control over their work schedule and methods. However, they also bear the risks and expenses associated with their work, such as liability insurance and equipment costs.

Legal Implications of Being an Independent Contractor

In New York State, the classification of an independent contractor has significant legal implications. It is important for both contractors and companies to understand the criteria that determine whether a worker is classified as an independent contractor or an employee.

The New York State Department of Labor uses a 20-factor test to evaluate whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. Some of the factors include:

– The degree of control the company has over the worker`s work schedule and methods

– Whether the worker provides their own equipment or uses equipment provided by the company

– The degree of skill required to perform the work

– The duration of the working relationship

If a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor when they should be an employee, they may be denied benefits such as unemployment insurance and workers` compensation. Companies that misclassify workers may face fines and legal action.

Tips for Independent Contractors in New York State

If you are an independent contractor in New York State, there are several things you can do to protect your rights and ensure that you are properly classified. These include:

– Keeping detailed records of your work and payments

– Obtaining liability insurance and other necessary licenses

– Negotiating clear contract terms and payment schedules

– Staying up-to-date on changes to New York State labor laws


Becoming an independent contractor can be a great way to gain flexibility and control over your work. However, it is important to understand the legal implications of this classification and take steps to protect your rights. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, you can ensure a successful career as an independent contractor in New York State.