I have been contacted by multiple Software Developers on LinkedIn offering to partner up on contracts on Freelance websites.

The proposal is straightforward:

As a U.S. Citizen, I get contracts for foreign developers, and I keep 70% of the total contract pay, and the rest to the developer(s) working the contract.

Has any U.S. software developer run into similar proposals? If so, have you accepted the proposal? Is it a legitimate business? How do you set up method of payments and keep each other accountable to share the work and the pay fairly?


1 Answer 1


The business may not in itself be illegitimate - but the problems involved with international business are easily underestimated.

If you are merely passing money on, you might risk being flagged by an Anti Money Laundering scheme. Ask yourself why the foreign clients are going through you and not directly targeting the end client. That could be a question you will need to answer.

To avoid that, one could provide additional services, e.g. insuring the two end parties against each other. This would however require a whole different level of legal advice. In general, the middle man tends to avoid this role.

A clearly legitimate role could be 'managing' the foreign developers - bridging any language gap, ensuring progress and so on.

  • Thank you! That's a factor I hadn't considered. I would think that while a simple transfer through Paypal would be harmless and legally benign, I didn't think what could possibly happen outside of such a simple transaction.
    – aamirand
    Dec 2, 2020 at 20:06

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