Q&A

What does it mean to be an independent contractor?

Q.

The owner of the salon where I work told me I was an independent contractor. She pays me a 60% commission and collects the money from my clients. What does it mean to be an independent contractor?

A.

According to the IRS, less than 1% of the beauty industry actually qualify as independent contractors. This is because a true independent contractor is brought in to do a single project or service for a company. She does not work on any regular schedule or on an ongoing basis. When that assignment is complete, she leaves and goes on to other projects. Her main source of income is not any one company. It seems likely the IRS would classify you as an employee and the salon owner would be liable for half your social security and other taxes.

— Ken Cassidy is president of Kassidy’s Salon Management Consultants (www.kassidys.com).

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