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Working for yourself : law & taxes for independent contractors, freelancers & gig workers of all types
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The all-in-one legal and tax resource every independent contractor and gig worker needs Whether you're starting a full-scale consulting business or booking gigs on the side, Working for Yourself provides all the legal and tax information you need in one place. This twelfth edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect changes and updates to relevant laws, including laws revised as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This excellent, well-organized reference will show you how to: decide the best form for your business (sole proprietor, LLC, or other) make sure you're paid in full and on time pay estimated taxes and avoid trouble with the IRS take advantage of all available tax deductions and credits, including the 20% pass-through tax deduction choose health, property, and other kinds of insurance keep accurate records in case you get audited, and write legally binding contracts and letter agreements. If you're tired of doing endless web searches for the information you need to start and run your business, this easy-to-use and authoritative resource is for you. With Downloadable Forms
You can download all the forms you need, including sample independent contractor agreements, details inside.
Table of Contents
Welcome to the World of Self-Employment: Introduction to Working for Yourselfp. 1
A Golden Age for the Self-Employedp. 4
Six Things You May Not Know About the Self-Employedp. 5
1Working for Yourself: The Good, the Bad, and the Uglyp. 7
Working for Yourself: The Goodp. 8
Working for Yourself: The Badp. 10
Working for Yourself: The Uglyp. 11
How This Book Will Help You Succeed at Self-Employmentp. 13
2Choosing the Legal Form for Your Businessp. 15
Sole Proprietorshipsp. 16
Corporationsp. 22
Partnershipsp. 43
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)p. 45
3Choosing and Protecting Your Business Namep. 51
Choosing a Legal Namep. 52
Choosing a Trade Namep. 53
Choosing a Trademarkp. 59
Choosing an Internet Domain Namep. 63
Conducting a Name Searchp. 64
4Home Alone or Outside Officep. 67
Pros and Cons of Working at Homep. 69
Restrictions on Home-Based Businessesp. 74
Deducting Your Home Office Expensesp. 80
Pros and Cons of an Outside Officep. 91
Leasing a Workplacep. 92
Deducting Your Outside Office Expensesp. 96
5Obtaining Licenses, Permits, and Identification Numbersp. 97
Business Licensesp. 98
Employer Identification Numbers (EINs)p. 101
Sales Tax Permitsp. 103
6Insuring Your Business and Yourselfp. 107
The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")p. 109
Disability insurancep. 122
Business Property Insurancep. 125
Liability Insurancep. 128
Car Insurancep. 133
Workers' Compensation Insurancep. 133
Other Types of Insurancep. 137
Ways to Save on Insurancep. 138
7Pricing Your Services and Getting Paidp. 141
Pricing Your Servicesp. 142
Getting Paidp. 153
8Taxes and the Self-Employedp. 177
Tax Basics for the Self-Employedp. 178
IRS Auditsp. 189
Eight Tips to Avoid an Auditp. 193
9Reducing Your Income Taxesp. 197
Reporting Your Incomep. 200
Income Tax Deduction Basicsp. 206
Business Use of Your Homep. 219
Cost of Business Assetsp. 220
Car Expensesp. 230
Travel Expensesp. 237
Entertainment and Mealsp. 241
Health Insurancep. 245
Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits for the Self-Employedp. 249
Retirement Accountsp. 252
Start-Up Costsp. 252
10The Bane of Self-Employment Taxesp. 255
Who Must Payp. 256
Self-Employment Taxesp. 256
Earnings Subject to SE Taxesp. 258
Paying and Reporting SE Taxesp. 259
Outside Employmentp. 260
11Paying Estimated Taxesp. 261
Who Must Pay Estimated Taxesp. 262
How Much You Must Payp. 264
When to Payp. 270
How to Payp. 272
Paying the Wrong Amountp. 274
12Rules for Salespeople, Drivers, and Clothing Producersp. 277
Statutory Employeesp. 278
Statutory Independent Contractorsp. 284
13Taxes for Workers You Hirep. 285
Hiring People to Help Youp. 286
Tax Concerns When Hiring Employeesp. 290
Tax Concerns When Hiring Independent Contractorsp. 303
14Record Keeping and Accounting Made Easyp. 309
Simple Bookkeepingp. 310
How Long to Keep Recordsp. 326
If You Don't Have Proper Tax Recordsp. 327
Accounting Methodsp. 328
Tax Yearp. 332
15Safeguarding Your Self-Employed Statusp. 333
Who Decides Your Work Status?p. 334
What Happens if the Government Reclassifies You?p. 335
Determining Worker Statusp. 339
The IRS Approach to Worker Statusp. 341
Tips for Preserving Your IC 5tatusp. 347
16Special Concerns for Gig Workersp. 357
Introduction to the Gig Economyp. 358
Your Contract With the Hiring Platformp. 359
Your Worker Statusp. 362
Your Taxesp. 364
Your Insurancep. 369
Other Legal Requirements for Gig Workersp. 370
Where to Find Gigsp. 370
17Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secretsp. 373
Intellectual Propertyp. 374
Copyright Ownershipp. 378
Patent Ownershipp. 388
Trade Secret Ownershipp. 389
Using Nondisclosure Agreementsp. 389
18Using Written Client Agreementsp. 403
Reasons to Use Written Agreementsp. 405
Reviewing a Client's Agreementp. 408
Creating Your Own Client Agreementp. 409
Putting Your Agreement Togetherp. 412
Changing the Agreement After It's Signedp. 417
19Drafting Your Own Client Agreementp. 421
Essential Provisionsp. 424
Optional Provisionsp. 444
Sample Client Agreementp. 457
Using Letter Agreementsp. 457
20Reviewing a Client's Agreementp. 471
Make Sure the Agreement Is Consistent With the Client's Promisesp. 473
Make Sure the Contract Covers at Least the Basicsp. 474
Provisions to Avoidp. 475
Provisions to Consider Addingp. 485
Client Purchase Ordersp. 485
Using the Downloadable Forms on the Nolo Websitep. 487
Editing RTFsp. 488
List of Forms Available on the Nolo Websitep. 489
Indexp. 491
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