When Is A Freelancer an Independent Business?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq., owner of Ask The Business Lawyer, is an award-winning business attorney, speaker, and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She saves consulting and professional services companies time, money, and aggravation by serving as their outsourced legal counsel.

Posted on August 24, 2014 in Employee Issues

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Ummm, virtually all of the time . . . !

However, they tend to operate as sole proprietorships, which has its dangers, not the least of which is unlimited liability in the face of lawsuits. There’€™s also a tendency not to see oneself as operating a business, but more like an employee in search of a next project (but without the health insurance benefits).

That lack of cohesive business planning can have a negative affect on your ability to get work, too, if you don’€™t put the right “€œspin” on who you are and the value you can provide. As Lord Brar points out in his post, “When the Word ‘€˜Freelancer’€™ Can Totally Screw Up Your Sales Pitch,” perception is the golden rule. He cautions freelancers to avoid referring to themselves as such at (1) networking events, (2) sales materials, and (3) seminar presentations.

I would take it one step further and say avoid it altogether. Not that there’€™s anything inherently wrong or embarrassing or illegal about it, mind you, but I think it keeps your focus on the ground in front of you instead of “€œabove the dashboard.” Picture yourself walking along the sidewalk. What’€™s your mindset and attitude when you’€™re looking down And how do you feel when you’€™re standing upright, shoulders squared, head level. There’€™s a difference. That difference plays out, too, in business. When you’€™re focused on the minutiae of how you’€™ll get to your next project, I liken it to looking down. When you have given thought to creating a pipeline of contacts so that business flows to you, you’€™re looking up.

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