Checklist for Independent Contractor Agreements in Florida

Checklist for Independent Contractor Agreements in Florida

Florida Independent Contractor Agreement Checklist

There are a lot of advantages to working with an independent contractor, but going forward without a well-written independent contractor agreement could end up costing your Florida business more in the long run than if it had hired traditional employees in the first place. Although working with a business attorney is the best way to ensure that your independent contractor agreements are all in compliance with state and federal standards, here are some provisions that it just won’t be complete without

Essential Independent Contractor Agreement Terms

A word of warning – don’t try and use one standardized independent contractor agreement. It’s worth the effort to draft one for each individual arrangement. All independent contractor agreements should be customized for the job, but there are some general terms that should just about always be included, such as:

  • Language specifying that the contractor is separate from the business
  • Provisions in which both contractor and company agree to the worker’s status as an independent contractor
  • An accurate, detailed description of the services that the contractor will provide
  • The compensation that the independent contractor will receive for the performed services
  • Situations in which each party can terminate the relationship
  • Confidentiality provisions to protect trade secrets and other confidential or proprietary information
  • Restrictive covenants such as non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disparagement clauses
  • Indemnification provisions in which the contractor agrees to compensate the company for any damages or liabilities resulting from the contractor’s tax obligations, negligence, and actions outside of the scope or in violation of the agreement.
  • An attestation that the agreement does not violate any preexisting third-party arrangements

Establish Independent Contractor Status

In addition to codifying contractual terms, your independent contractor agreement is also instrumental in protecting your business from accusations that your employees have been misclassified as independent contractors. This can be done by establishing in the agreement that the independent contractor:

  • Is not entitled to unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, or company benefits
  • Can work for other entities or organizations
  • Controls how they do the job
  • Can subtract or take on assistants
  • Is in charge of their own workplace and schedule
  • Must supply their own tools
  • Has the necessary skills to satisfy the terms of the contract
  • Cannot legally bind the company, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates
  • Is responsible for their own expenses and insurance
  • Accepts responsibility for legal compliance
  • Is responsible for their own tax withholdings and payment

Include Standard Contract Provisions

Your Florida independent contractor agreement should also cover some areas found in most other standard contracts, including:

  • Successors and assignments
  • The legal jurisdiction governing the agreement
  • Interpretations of section headings and special terms
  • An acknowledgment that the contractor’s rights under the agreement cannot be assigned to someone else without the company’s prior expressed written consent
  • Details as to how the company and the contractor should provide notice to one another during the arrangement
  • Procedures for modifying or amending the agreement
  • Integration clauses
  • Acceptable means of executing the contract, such as electronically or in counterparts

Does your independent contractor agreement have all these terms? For more on protecting yourself against liability when engaging with independent contractors, schedule a consultation with our business attorney today by calling (727) 279-5037 or visit our flat fee service page.

Image by Andrew Kyle on Pixabay.

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FL Patel Law PLLC is a boutique business law firm dedicated to entrepreneurs and companies.

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