Independent Contractor - What to Consider
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.
Posted in Planning on Sunday, April 10, 2016
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 solo proprietor section for available options.
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 at a location that does not already offer chiropractic care.
- Flexibility in employer – potentially you could find yourself working in multiple locations for multiple employers in order to work more hours and see more patients.
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 not obtaining the 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.