Main / Glossary / 1099 Form Independent Contractor

1099 Form Independent Contractor

A 1099 Form Independent Contractor, also known as a self-employed individual, is an individual who provides services to a company or organization on a contractual basis, rather than being an employee. The designation 1099 refers to the IRS form number used to report income earned by a self-employed person. This form is used to report payments made to independent contractors, freelancers, and other self-employed individuals who are not classified as employees. Independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes, including self-employment taxes, and are not entitled to benefits or protections typically afforded to employees.


Unlike traditional employees, who are hired and receive regular paychecks, independent contractors work independently and are responsible for managing their own businesses. They often work on a project-by-project basis, set their own rates, and provide services to multiple clients simultaneously. The 1099 Form Independent Contractor status offers flexibility and allows individuals to pursue their interests and build varied professional portfolios.

One key distinction between employees and independent contractors is the level of control exerted over their work. Independent contractors have the freedom to determine when, where, and how they complete their work, as long as they meet the agreed-upon deadline. Conversely, employees generally work under the direct supervision and control of their employers, who provide specific guidance regarding tasks and working conditions.

When engaging the services of an independent contractor, companies are not responsible for withholding income taxes, Social Security taxes, or Medicare taxes. Instead, they are required to report all payments made to independent contractors that exceed $600 in a given tax year on the 1099-MISC form, which is commonly used for reporting freelancer payments. This form must be furnished to both the contractor and the IRS, enabling the IRS to track the earnings of self-employed individuals for tax purposes.

It is important for both the company and the independent contractor to establish a written agreement outlining the terms of the working relationship. This contract typically details the scope of work, payment terms, and any non-disclosure agreements or intellectual property rights.

Many individuals choose to pursue independent contractor work to have greater control over their careers and the opportunity to work with diverse clients. However, being classified as an independent contractor also means that individuals are responsible for managing their own business expenses, marketing themselves to obtain clients, securing their own healthcare and retirement benefits, and ensuring they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

In summary, a 1099 Form Independent Contractor is a self-employed individual who provides services to a company on a contractual basis. They are responsible for managing their own business affairs and taxes, providing flexibility and autonomy in their professional pursuits. This type of working arrangement allows businesses to engage specialized skills and expertise without hiring additional employees and carries important implications for both the contractor and the company.