Become a remote contractor

# Become a remote contractor

Working as a full-time consultant means you get to be your own boss, set your hours, and work from wherever. It also means you are running an entire business. You need to figure out the logistics of sales, getting paid, taxes, insurance, account management, and buying your own office setup.

While you have control over your income based on project proposals and hours worked, you also can go spans of time without working. With great freedom comes great responsibility!

# Incorporation

Running your work as an LLC protects you legally in many ways as an individual, and ensures you have an entity for taxes and accounting.

  • Stripe Atlas: Stripe Atlas is a powerful, safe, and easy-to-use platform for forming a company. By removing lengthy paperwork, bank visits, legal complexity, and numerous fees, Stripe Atlas helps you launch your startup from anywhere in the world.

  • Clerky: Clerky is the only online legal service obsessed with helping startup founders get legal paperwork done safely.

  • LLC pricing through Legal Zoom: Choose the LLC package that fits your needs.

  • Gust Launch: Gust Launch makes incorporation easy and sets up founders for investment and growth.

  • The five minute guide to becoming a freelance software developer: I started my .NET consulting firm with a $35 check for a business license and a drive to city hall. I didn’t worry about anything but writing code and meeting deadlines. I can’t say it was a bad way to go.

  • LLCs for freelancers? Here's why it makes sense: Given the benefits an LLC can provide you as a freelancer, and the minimal resources required to setup and maintain an LLC, there are some very good reasons to consider the LLC model from your freelancing business.

# Contracts

Signing legal contracts with your clients will create peace-of-mind and clarity for both sides. You want to make sure the work expectations, payment, and timeline are agreed upon before you start working.

  • Independent contractor agreement from Rocket Lawyer: Independent Contractor Agreements are simple to make and are a way of clearly outlining the scope of the work, payment schedules and deadline expectations of a freelance arrangement. Our templates also include a confidentiality agreement, insurance expectations and an indemnification clause.

  • Freelance contracts from Hello Bonsai: Freelance contracts to secure your business. Create & e-sign free contracts from vetted templates. Get peace of mind and get on with your work.

  • HelloSign or DocuSign: Get your legal documents signed electronically.

# Taxes

Unless you’re very comfortable with your accounting and finance skills, hire a professional. They will help you understand state and federal laws where you pay taxes, and make sure you save enough throughout the year to prepare. They can also advise you on tax write offs, business expenses, and small business perks.

Hint: your whole life is not a write off.

  • I learned the hard way that doing taxes is totally different as a freelancer: Pretending like taxes don’t exist will only make things more complicated when tax season rolls around. Trust me, I know.

  • The hustler’s guide to understanding freelance taxes: Freelance income is a bit different if you’re getting work as a contractor. Kiss those W2s goodbye and say hello to your little friend – the 1099.

  • Self-employment guide from Bench: If you want to get straight to calculating your taxes, walk through our free self-employed tax calculator. But if you want to learn all about how self-employed taxes work, read on.

  • Freelancer bookkeeping from Xero: Working as a freelancer can be a juggling act. You have to be able to manage lots of different tasks – including basic bookkeeping. Here are some tips to help you keep control of your daily accounts.

  • Business taxes from Stripe: No business owner particularly likes the amount of work required to calculate taxes (to say nothing of the actual amounts paid), but calculating and paying taxes is both a legal obligation and also a responsibility entrepreneurs undertake in return for the substantial support that society affords us.

# Sales prospects

Now that you are your own sales team, you'll need an organized way to manage all your contacts. When you’re ready for a new project, pull out your "rolodex" of contacts and start running down the list to find your next opportunity.

Your contact management system can be as basic as a written list, or as complex as an airtable hooked into automated email marketing tools.

  • Personal CRM from Airtable: Deepen your current relationships and expand your network with this Personal CRM template. Keep track of friends, family, coworkers, mentors, service professionals, and anyone else who matters in your daily life. Typical CRMs are too rigid or too expensive, and relationships fall by the wayside if you rely purely upon memory.

  • How to get more clients as a freelance developer: How can I get more clients as a freelance developer?

  • Finding great clients as a freelance designer: There’s one thing that all freelancers need, and it’s not a fancy website, Dribbble profile, Twitter account, or addiction to coffee: it’s clients. Without clients, you’re without money and have to consider returning to full-time employment. I’m guessing you left for that freedom, and no one wants to give up their freedom.

# Managing Your Payouts

Choose whether you want to be paid hourly, daily, weekly, or based on milestone completion. Think about how big the company is, how large the project is, and how you do the best work. Make sure to record the hours you work, along with notes on what you worked on during that time.

Getting paid on time can be one of the hardest things about running your own freelancing business. Many companies have long procurement processes (often up to 90 days) with antiquated tools that process payments with physical checks. Make sure you know how the company plans to pay you from the beginning.

  • Moonlight: Get access to weekly payment processing through Stripe.

  • Harvest: Time tracking shouldn’t weigh you down. Treat yourself to easy, intuitive timers that just work, wherever work takes you.

  • Bonsai: Smart invoices and integrated payments that make sure you get paid on time.

  • Invoicely: Your Business. Your Clients. One Free, Powerful Invoicing Platform.

  • AND.CO: Send proposals, invoice, get paid and manage your time and tasks. Join over 300,000 businesses who already chose AND.CO.

# Health Insurance

Since you likely won’t have company benefits to lean on, you have to figure it all out on your own. Even if you are healthy, make sure you have quality insurance to cover anything that might happen.

  • Trupo: Brave new benefits for freelancers. Dental, accident, and lots of other insurance benefits.

  • The freelancer's guide to health insurance: A health plan is a year-long commitment with serious implications for your ability to access and afford health care, so you need information and options you can trust.

  • GeoBlue: A leader and innovator in international healthcare. Through our elite network of providers, innovative mobile and online tools, and high touch approach to customer service, GeoBlue provides peace of mind to members anywhere in the world.

  • The guide to health insurance for freelancers: Luckily, it’s not impossible to find excellent health insurance options. Let’s look into the many options you, as a freelancer, have today for protecting your health.

  • Insurance when you're a freelancer: When you’re a 9 to 5er, it’s easy to take your company’s benefits for granted. And now that you’re a freelancer, one of the things you need to tend to is creating your own benefits package.

  • Solopreneur? Freelancer? Here's your guide to getting insured: The downside of working for yourself is that you’ve got extra stuff on your checklist of to-dos that an employer would typically cover: health insurance, retirement fund, life insurance...

# Work insurance

Consider getting errors and omissions insurance, and general liability insurance. These will protect you if someone tries to sue you for the work you perform. As a one-person or small team, it’s worth the added level of protection.

  • The Coalition: Coalition is the best way for a company to manage cyber risk.

  • The Hartford: The Hartford makes it easy to get a quote for Business Liability, Property and Workers' Compensation insurance.

  • Everything freelancers need to know about liability insurance: You’ve taken on a high-pressure, high-priority project for a notoriously demanding client. Things are looking good… but at the last minute there’s an equipment failure and the project is unequivocally ruined.

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