Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

How do I avoid legal issues with an independent contractor?

When you establish an agreement with an independent contractor, the hope is that everything will go smoothly. It benefits all parties involved if the contractor is able to complete your project on time and according to the predetermined specifications. And the last thing you need is for a dispute to arise that either interferes with the work being finished or results in the threat of legal action on behalf of the contractor.

So what can you do to lessen the likelihood of encountering legal problems with your contractor? Well, here are a few suggestions:

  • Make sure you follow IRS guidelines regarding the status of the person or people you hire to do the job. Based on certain factors, an individual could be classified as an employee or independent contractor.
  • Avoid telling the contractor how to perform the required tasks. An independent contractor should be left to complete a job in the manner he or she sees fit.
  • Don't prohibit the contractor from working for someone else. Independent contractors need the freedom to provide their services to other businesses.

It is also important to establish the guidelines for the project through the use of an independent contractor agreement. The agreement can provide specific stipulations regarding the contractor's rights and responsibilities.

Having a detailed independent contractor agreement offers protections and clarifies responsibilities for both you and the contractor. But if a dispute should arise and the contractor files a lawsuit against you, an experienced business litigation attorney could act on your behalf to help resolve the issue. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get the matter settled out of court. But if necessary, the attorney can represent your interests if the case goes to trial.

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5910 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44124

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