Documenting an independent contractor’s project is a waste of time.
Welcome back to the blog series on the 13 Myths of Independent Contractors. Above all, we created this series to help you navigate some of the potential legal minefields caused by the complex legal environment surrounding independent contractors. The content from this series comes from the whitepaper: Independent Contractor Myths versus Reality.
Myth: Documenting an independent contractor’s project is a waste of time.
Unfortunately, this is less of a myth and more of a common practice. Time-starved managers simply want to get work done as soon as possible.
However, documenting independent contractor projects is critically important. This is a best practice to ensure projects are delivered on time and within scope. Additionally, it provides important supporting documentation. Should an agency challenge your independent contractor’s classification at some point in the future, you’ll have more information on the scope of the project.
Unquestionably, it is a best practice to create a Statement of Work (SOW) for every independent contractor’s project. This important document provides a description of a given project’s requirements. Typically, it includes:
- Purpose of the project
- The scope of work to be performed
- Location of the project, project length, and any work requirements
- Expected deliverables and associated deadlines
- Any hardware and software required
- Performance-based standards to be met
- Acceptance criteria
- Payment terms and conditions.
Additionally, by providing supporting evidence of an independent contractor relationship, creating a thorough SOW can help to eliminate any risk that might arise from misunderstandings or disputes between parties on any of the above elements.
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