What Is a Freelance Contractor?

What Is a Freelance Contractor?

Zeljko Mancic


 min read

You have probably heard of the term "freelancer," as it has become increasingly popular lately. However, its exact definition may be somewhat unclear, so you’ll often hear the question: “What is a contractor freelancer, and how do I become one?”

Though many elements come together to form this particular career path, it essentially boils down to one thing: instead of having traditional employment with a company or being part owner of a business, you set your own terms as an independent contractor. In this guide, we’ll tell you what it means to be self-employed, how to set your schedule, and create an independent freelance worker career. 

What Is a Freelance Contractor?

A freelance contractor works independently on a project-by-project basis, usually for multiple clients. They are self-employed entrepreneurs who benefit from having complete control over their work environment, hours, and schedule. As a result, they can create their unique career paths and work on projects they are passionate about.

Many employees believe that freelance contractors bring a unique and valuable set of skills to the table. Namely, they provide experienced insight from working on a variety of projects with different clients from an array of industries. 

In most cases, freelancers decide whether to work for a fixed fee or get paid hourly. Keep in mind that these workers are responsible for their taxes, health benefits, and retirement savings plans. 

Difference Between Freelancer and Contractor

Freelancers and contractors may seem similar initially, but some essential differences exist. Namely, freelancers typically work on separate projects with limited timeframes or deadlines. They don’t usually have the same level of commitment to any particular company as contractors. In other words, they tend to be independent workers rather than part of a business organization. 

On the other hand, contractors are hired by companies (usually on a long-term basis) and are expected to work as part of the larger organization. They may also have more specific duties and responsibilities when compared to freelancers. 

Lastly, we’ve got hybrid arrangements between freelancers and contractors, where one person works on a project-by-project basis with a longer-term commitment to the organization. This type of collaboration is common in the tech industry when an individual helps with a few key projects on a semi-permanent basis.

Becoming a Freelance Contractor — How to Get Started

For those looking to become freelance contractors, ensuring you have the right qualifications and skills to succeed is vital. This includes understanding different laws, regulations, and tax rules related to freelancing and having an established network of clients. Additionally, it can be helpful to grasp the scope of services you can offer and how they can benefit your clients.

Freelance contracting is an opportunity that allows entrepreneurs to get their message out in the world. By taking control of their schedules, working in their chosen fields, and setting their rates, freelancers can create unique and rewarding careers with financial stability and professional fulfillment. 

That’s why freelance contracting has become an increasingly popular way for individuals to make a living while pursuing passion projects or simply taking on interesting individual gigs.

Tips for Future Freelance Contractors

The possibilities are endless for an aspiring freelance contractor. With hard work and dedication, the potential to create a successful career is within reach for anyone willing to put in the effort. Here are the most important tips every independent freelancer can find useful and ensure success in their chosen profession with their help: 

  • Build an impressive portfolio — A good portfolio is essential for demonstrating expertise and experience. Therefore, you must work hard at the beginning to get experience and learn the ins and outs of your chosen industry.
  • Create a strong network of clients — Whatever gig you decide to do, be thorough and punctual if you want to make a name for yourself among clients and ensure more future projects. 
  • Stay up to date on the latest industry trends — Always keep up with the changes in the industry to stay ahead of the competition.

Final Thoughts

Freelance contractors play an essential role in the modern economy. They provide an economical alternative to full-time employees and allow companies to contact skillful individuals who can complete projects more quickly. With companies looking to outsource more and more tasks, skilled freelance contractors have become essential for many businesses.

And now that you know what a contractor freelancer is and how you can become one, it’s time to polish your unique skills and get to work!


Do I need a contract for freelance work?

Yes, having a contract in place for freelance work is generally a good idea. Having a written agreement helps establish clear expectations and responsibilities for both parties and can prevent misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

Are freelancers considered contractors?

Yes, freelancers are usually considered contractors since a contractor is defined as an individual or business hired to perform services for another company or organization. 

What is the difference between a freelancer and an employee?

A freelancer is a self-employed person who works independently on a project basis for various clients. They are not tied to a single employer and are free to choose the projects they work on and the clients they work for. Freelancers manage their schedules, invoice clients, and pay their taxes. On the other hand, an employee is a person who works for a specific company or organization and is paid a salary or wage.

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