Independent Contractors

We have independent trainers and sales agents who currently have a company e-mail address and business cards with our company name. Are there any legal issues with this? I'm sure I could identify them as idependent agents on the business cards, but not sure how I would do that if they have a company e-mail address. I just want to ensure they can't argue that they are ee's for the company if we allow them to have these rights.


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  • [URL=""]Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding[/URL]

    I found this link on the IRS website. Since none of us on the forum seem to know the answer to your questions, you might want to get it from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
  • The use of company email addresses and business cards is among the evidence that can be considered in determining whether they are independent contractors. But it's not the biggest factor. If you look at Employment Law Letter articles on independent contractors, a number cite the fact that the worker had a company business card, or didn't have a business card identifying an independent business. But there are cases in which the company paid for business cards, and the worker was held to be an independent contractor.

    Look at the Topic page on independent contractors and the articles citing that category. Or do a search for articles in your state. Several of the cases involve independent insurance agents, for example.

    You could minimize the risk by putting language into a contract saying you are providing cards and email addresses for the company's convenience and that they shouldn't be construed to create an employer-employee relationship. You could make the contractor pay something for the business cards. But if it's a close question, nix the cards & emails.
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