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I was proposed the following scenario as a freelancing opportunity:

  • Work in their office
  • 40 hours / week, M-F
  • Using their equipment
  • Work on multiple projects, not one ongoing project
  • Following their direction; they choose how work is completed
  • Length of time, 6 months

This is essentially a full-time job, but with no benefits.

They are asking for an hourly rate, but I am not sure how to propose a fair number or work agreement.

My last gig was very similar to this, but almost worse, and in the end they cut me when the direction I received and implemented wasn't to the liking of their client.

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That, as you posted, is a full-time employment position. It doesn't matter what they "call" it. To you, it's a full-time job with no benefits. Do you want a full time job with no benefits? If you want a full time job, don't you think you could get one with benefits?

For me, I wouldn't even contemplate taking it. I'm a freelancer.


I would not provide an hourly rate. Instead I'd propose a contract......

If someone wants to hire me as a contractor in-house, then a contract needs to be written up where I have as much to say about our business relationship as the client and the contract can't simply be evacuated on a whim. And my fee for such a contract would be steep. It means due to the time involved, I would be unable to work for any other clients. So, a contract which essentially forces me to "put all my eggs in one basket" must provide security due to that risk - in the form of known payment for a given time frame. Nothing would be left "open ended".

Pay or play.. contract for 6 months/40hrs a week. Total contract of $XXXXX payable in weekly installments of $XXXX/24 (24 equal weekly payments, but you could do 12 bi-monthly payments). Payable in full under any circumstances. Meaning, even if they no longer want me to work.. if it's been less than 6 months, they still must pay me for the 6 month contract.

  • Thanks. Can you explain how you came up with 24 payments? – user70848 Mar 14 at 1:38
  • 6 * 4 / 24 weeks in 6 months. I guess it depends upon the months, It could be another week or two, give or take, depending upon the actual months. – Scott Mar 14 at 7:03
  • I guess you could also say there are 52 weeks in a year, minus 4 weeks of vacation/holidays = 48 weeks. Half of that is 24. – user70848 Mar 15 at 16:53
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This reads like a relatively standard contractor gig, in the UK it would risk falling under something called 'IR35', which would mean you would pay tax as an employee, so depending on where you live, there may be tax implications of taking a contract on which has you function in a similar way to a regular employee.

If you do it, you would more usually charge a day rate, and it would work out at somewhere from 2 to 4 times what an employee would cost. That is your benefit.

If you want to avoid being treated like an employee, your only options are to push back on the things that are most important to you, and you believe they may have some flexibility on, or look for another contract.

  • Thanks. This is in the US. Some employers that offer gigs like this do not always intend to extend the tax burden to the contractor, though some will withhold taxes, and they don't want to pay extra to cover lack of benefits. – user70848 Mar 18 at 14:31
  • @user70848, that does not sound good, had a little Google, and I'm not sure it's legal: irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/… - if you treat them like an employee, they are an employee appears to the be the basic idea. – ThomasRedstone Mar 18 at 23:46
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    No, it’s not legal. You can have the IRS determine for employment status for you, you can inform on them anonymously, or you can sue them in court. Or you can ignore it and avoid the situation in the future. – user70848 Mar 19 at 3:45

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