Independent Contractor

Understand the difference between being a business owner versus working as an employee.


Independent Contractor

For some D.C.s, practicing as an independent contractor (IC) is the ideal mode of practice. It can offer several benefits but should be entered into carefully since it has its own unique business concerns.

As an independent contractor, you may need to rent space, equipment and staff services from an already established doctor. But independent contractors are considered business owners and need to set up the legal structure of their business as if starting their own practice.

If you are considering practicing as an independent contractor, review the sole proprietor section for options available to you. (link to sole proprietor section under legal structure)

Benefits of Being an Independent Contractor

For those who choose this mode of practice, there are several advantages, including:

  • Flexibility in hours – you can set your own hours of practice (typically within the parameters of the hiring individual’s office hours).
  • Flexibility in location – you may find an opportunity to work in another D.C.’s office or possibly in a location that does not already offer chiropractic care.
  • Flexibility in employer – potentially you could find yourself working in multiple locations for multiple employers to be able to work more hours and see more patients.

Additional Considerations

As an independent contractor, your first job is to find existing practices or other businesses where you can practice. This may be something you need to address on a regular basis, depending on the hours you want to work.

The biggest downside for many independent contractors revolves around benefits you might receive as an associate or solo practitioner, including:

  • No company-sponsored benefits (health insurance, vacation days, paid holidays, etc.)
  • Not covered by the employer’s liability insurance
  • No permanency to the position, so there is less job security than you might have as an associate

NOTE: When entering a relationship as an IC, the agreement must not have any hint of control over the IC. If the relationship is determined to be one of employment rather than independence, it can have serious tax implications to the involved parties (both to you and the doctor who owns the physical office). Anyone entering into an IC should be sure it passes the IRS test used to classify employees vs. independent contractors.

The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.