Free Independent Contractor Agreement Forms & Templates

Employers recognize the merits of sourcing niche skills without additional staffing costs in the gig-centric economy age. To maximize independent contractor efficiency, you need an Independent Contractor Agreement that protects the freelancer relationship with the employer. We guide you on the best practices for writing the agreement and unravel the legalese in the agreements.

What Is An Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is a freelance, self-employed person who temporarily provides services to a company or entity. Independent contractors are not employed; therefore, they don’t enjoy employee perks like insurance and health care.

What Is An Independent Contractor Agreement?

An independent contractor agreement is a legally binding document outlining the employer’s work relationship and the independent contractor. Independent contractor agreements outline the scope of services, deliverables, payment terms, work timelines, indemnification, and any other element that ensures professional work from both parties.

What Is An Independent Contractor Agreement Template?

An independent contractor agreement template is a predesigned customizable form you fill with details of the IC agreement. There are different templates for each independent contractor’s job.

Tip: The secret to avoiding the hassle of template designing is finding a good template, customizing, and saving it. You can then replicate the template for different jobs as you go.

Independent Contractor Agreement Forms & Templates

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Sample – Independent Contractor Agreement

Sample Independent Contractor Agreement

Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement

    Types of Independent Contractor Agreement Template

    • A non-compete agreement where you will not provide your services to other competing companies while working for your client.
    • Non-disclosure agreement where you will not disclose confidential information while working.
    • Service contract where an IC will provide the services stated until the completion date.
    • Consulting services agreement where the IC provides consultancy services to the client.

    The Must-Haves of an Independent Contractor Agreement

    While IC agreements vary significantly, there are must-haves of any reliable agreement. The essentials include:

    • General information about the client and the IC
    • Scope of work
    • Brief description of independent contractor relationship with the employer
    • Work timeline
    • Terms of payment
    • Non-disclosure section for confidential information
    • Contractor obligations
    • Termination provisions
    • State laws regulating the agreement
    • The effective date of the contract
    • Indemnification clause
    • Ownership of intellectual property.

    Depending on your industry, you may need a non-compete clause in your agreement. It is best to seek legal counsel before drafting the agreement.

    How to Hire an Independent Contractor

    Once you have your contractor of choice, verify their identity with companies’ registrar. Ensure they have up-to-date legal certifications such as W-9 forms. Negotiate with the IC to establish payment terms and scope of services, among other essential aspects of the contract. Once done, you can begin drafting an independent contractor agreement.

    How to Write an Independent Agreement Contract

    • Step 1: Download an independent contractor agreement template based on your client’s needs. Alternatively, you can contact an attorney to help you draft one at a reasonable fee.
    • Step 2: Capture the basic data in the client and contractor section. The information includes address, legal names, contact numbers, and state.
    • Step 3: Declare the date when the agreement is effective and the end date.
    • Step 4: Describe the scope of work, expectations, payment terms and period, and the expected completion date. A standard template has sections where you fill in all the information.
    • Step 5: Outline the contractor’s insurance obligations, if any, or the employer liability insurance. Indicate the amount for the insurance.
    • Step 6: Provide termination provisions and write the contract’s jurisdiction authority.
    • Step 7: State any additional provisions you find essential to your agreement.
    • Step 8: Provide dated signatures from both parties in the agreement.

    Tip: Always read through the fine print to understand what you are signing. Seek clarification for clauses you do not comprehend.

    Independent Contractor Tips

    • Register as an LLC to limit your liability in legal dissensions.
    • Include realistic delivery terms and timelines.
    • Pay attention to termination clauses.
    • Ensure the terms of payment are reasonable.


    How do I know if I’m an independent contractor?

    You are an independent contractor if companies contact you to provide services or work as a non-employee.

    Who is an independent contractor in law?

    An individual or entity performs work or provides service to another entity under their terms and is independently accountable for their actions.

    Do independent contractors need a contract?

    Yes, independent contractors need contracts to ensure professional work or service delivery and protect employer-independent contractor work relationships.

    Who needs an independent contractor agreement?

    Companies who require niche skills for a certain period and independent contractors who want to ensure every party understands their expectations.

    What is the difference between a self-employed and an independent contractor?

    An independent contractor is a self-employed entity. However, an independent contractor provides services to other entities on a contractual agreement, while a self-employed individual provides services to the general population without a contract.

    What do I need to know before signing an independent contractor agreement?

    Before signing an independent contractor agreement, you need to know the expectations, terms of payment, liabilities, termination provisions, and the correct contact details.

    Can an independent contractor terminate a contract?

    Yes, the employer and the IC can terminate the agreement while following the termination provisions. Failure to comply with termination provisions attracts lawsuits.

    How long is an independent contractor agreement good for?

    The timeline significantly varies. The agreement will specify how long the contractual relationship will last.

    How do independent contractors avoid paying taxes?

    They deduct self-employment tax, deduct business-related costs and take advantage of the 2020 CARES Act to reduce the overall amount they owe.

    Can an independent contractor get a tax refund?

    Yes, if your estimated payments are higher than your overall tax liability, you will get a refund.

    Is an independent contractor considered a small business owner?

    The IRS considers ICs businesses. However, you have different tax obligations from a small business owner depending on whether you are registered as a company and have employees.

    Final Thoughts

    Independent contractors supplement much-needed skills in today’s workforce. Write an independent contractor agreement with your IC to ensure efficient work and service provision.