When Hiring an Independent Consultant May Be Appropriate


For a specific, discrete project, using an independent consultant may be a viable option.  Because contracting with an independent consultant is typically much easier than hiring an employee, this option is also frequently misused.

Generally speaking, independent consultants work for multiple clients without oversight or management of their work process by a client, supply their own materials, set their own hours and work locations, and are paid for the delivery of the product or service.  Examples of proper consultant arrangements include chartering a bus and driver for a specific trip or engaging a translator to translate a single book or report.  In contrast, a translator needed for a research project over an undefined period should be hired as an employee.  In addition to being unlawful, improper use of an independent consultant, whether in the U.S. or overseas, may expose an employer to unnecessary scrutiny from regulators and costly penalties.  

Review the information in this section to determine whether use of an independent consultant for overseas work is appropriate, and learn what questions you should ask and who to call for guidance.  You may also use the Contact Us link on the top right to request assistance with a specific situation or country.

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