If you live in California and are wondering if you can work as an independent contractor, the short answer is yes. However, there are some important things to know when it comes to the legal requirements for independent contractors in California.
First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that just because you call yourself an independent contractor, it doesn`t necessarily make it true in the eyes of the law. California has strict guidelines for determining whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor, and misclassifying workers can lead to legal and financial consequences for both the employer and the worker.
To determine whether you can work as an independent contractor, you need to meet certain criteria. The California Labor Code considers someone to be an independent contractor if they meet the following requirements:
– They have control over the work they perform and the means by which they complete it.
– They have a specialized skill set or expertise that is not available from other workers.
– They are free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact.
– They have a written contract that specifies the terms of the work relationship.
– They are responsible for their own expenses, such as tools, equipment, and materials.
If you meet these criteria, you can work as an independent contractor in California. However, it`s important to note that the state has recently passed a law known as AB5, which makes it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. Under AB5, companies must use a three-part test to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
The test, known as the ABC test, requires that a worker must meet all three of the following criteria to be classified as an independent contractor:
– The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact.
– The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity`s business.
– The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.
If you are considering working as an independent contractor in California, it`s important to understand the legal requirements and to ensure that you meet the criteria for classification. If you have any doubts or questions, it may be wise to consult with an employment attorney or a tax professional. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can become a successful independent contractor in California.