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Are you an Employee, Freelance or Independent Contractor? Find Out the Difference


Each person has their preference to live their life to the fullest. Some love to be punctual by following a specific schedule and being organized. Some others want to be free of restriction and create their own rules instead.

The difference between the two types is crystal clear in terms of working. You can be comfortable being an employee, doing a 9-to-5 job circle, and taking endless training video sessions.

But, other people may see your life circle as something terrifying, so they decide to let themselves free by becoming a freelancer or independent contractor.

The working hours of an employee, freelancer, and independent contractor are not the only things that are poles apart. Let’s delve more into what makes the three different. 

Am I an Employee, Freelance, or Independent Contractor?

Are you having a hard time identifying your working type? We got your back! Let us guide you through this article. 

1. Employee

An employee is a person who works for another person or a company and gets paid regularly. To become an employee, a person typically needs to undergo hiring procedures.

The hiring process commonly includes submitting an application, taking a psychological test, and getting interviewed. One must go beyond the hiring process to be a part of a company. Also, commonly they need to pass the training period for several months.


Let’s look at some points that define what an employee is all about, such as:


Even though some people don’t prefer working as an employee, it still has some benefits that make sense for your life ahead.


It’s understandable if some people can stand being employees with an exact working hour. There are some downsides of being an employee, as follows:

2. Freelance

The term ‘freelance’ must already be familiar to you. A freelance job doesn’t require a specific working hour, which is in contrast to corporate employment.

A freelancer refers to a self-employed person who works for a specific job or service with a project-based fee. The time frame contract per project is typically short.

Some freelancers’ most popular jobs are writer, translator, artist, performer, and salesperson.


Some characteristics of freelancers are:


There must be reasons why certain groups of people prefer working as a freelancer. Here are some of its benefits:


With a stack of benefits, being a freelancer also has some disadvantages, such as:

3. Independent Contractor

An independent contractor has some similarities to a freelancer. Both of them have the control to decide where and when to work. A client can specify the result, but how to achieve that isn’t on the client’s radar anymore. 

Generally speaking, an independent contractor usually has a more extended client contract lasting from six to 18 months. On the other hand, a freelancer has a shorter time frame per project.

Moreover, an independent contractor has to register their business as a sole proprietor or corporation. In contrast, a freelancer doesn’t have to. 


As we mentioned before, the characteristics of an individual contractor is similar to a freelancer, which are:


There are also many benefits of being an independent contractors, which follows:


If you have a high will to become an individual contractor, don’t let the disadvantages below bother you.

Wrapping Up

You’ve seen an employee, freelance, and independent contract definition, characteristics, benefits, and downsides. Now, you can identify what kind of worker you are.

Sometimes, leaving a stable job to start freelancing or contracting might slip your mind. That isn’t a bad idea if you are well-prepared. Starting a new working environment has never been easy, but always worth trying.

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