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Hiring somebody for work

But not a legal employee?

7:44 pm on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I need some work done for my ecommerce site...mainly just busy-work like going through 1000s of product descriptions and adding in color headers, formatting them nicely, etc. Nothing that requires specific knowledge or great skill - but if I were to do it myself it wouldn't be done for months (college student running ecommerce on the side).

I am ready to start paying 1 or more people to get this done for me. Living in a college town, students are a great source of cheap labor. Is there a way I can hire someone under contract without making them a legal employee?


8:15 pm on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would check out your state labor department website for definitions of employees. Don't take someones word for it.
8:40 pm on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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you could go through a temp agency - sometimes colleges have setups for that sort of thing too. When I was a college student, I did work for professors and the library via a setup like that.
8:46 pm on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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IRS Form 1099 [irs.gov].

[edited by: digitalghost at 8:50 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2008]

8:49 pm on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The safe legaly acceptable answer: Yes, it's possible. However if the rules would view them as employee, handle it that way. Getting caught cheating the tax man is not going to be a pleasent experience.

The blunt answer and carefree answer: Hell ya you can, pay them under the table. Just make sure they know your doing it that way. College kids want cash and pay without taxes taken out means more cash. Also pay them in cash, not by a check cause then if it does come back to bite you, it is going to be harder to prove.

[edited by: Ledfish at 8:53 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2008]

5:54 pm on Jan 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Since all the money for an ecommerce site is coming in by card, the only way you get cash is by taking it out of the bank. I'd really advise against this unless you are CONVINCED you are under the radar. Even then I'd think three times.

Regarding employee vs temp/casual staff, those taxes you're paying are employing lots of people whose job it is to deal with things like that. I'd advise calling whatever department deals with that sort of thing in the US and getting some value out of them. ;)

7:08 pm on Jan 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I second 1099. Don't hire temps who should be temps as employees.
8:15 pm on Jan 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Another avenue to the same conclusion would be to use an online freelance service. That way you can write in the cost of work as a simple expense and you're protected by the service to guarantee quality of work, etc.

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