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I'm an independent contractor in the advertising business. As the previous post said, there is a very specific list of criteria that you have to meet to be considered an IC. The IRS has come down very hard on companies who use temporary employees. In the past, companies abused the system, classifying employees as temporary even though they were actually permanent to avoid paying benefits. Now they are so afraid of a costly IRS audit, the companies--at least in advertising--are VERY reluctant to treat you as an IC. I work on very short term assignments, typically 2 weeks to a month, and still ad agencies want to put me on payroll to avoid the potential problem.

But I don't want to be an "employee" either for tax and retirement-plan funding reasons. So I do battle with them every time to be treated as an IC.

I've been tempted many times to incorporate, as I've been told that this would solve the problem from the companies point of view. So if you can stand the "other stuff" that goes with incorporating, it may help you out. You might want to talk to the companies you're likely to be working for and see if it's necessary.

Good luck.

Travis Ashby
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