Millions of Americans work as freelancers in one field or another. They do everything from mowing lawns to researching legal briefs to driving cars to writing Hollywood scripts.
If you freelance, how would you define your job and what you do?
Personal finance blog The Simple Dollar says there are five different kinds of freelancers:
Types of Freelancers: Independent Contractors
Independent contractors do supplemental work on a per-project basis. This includes full-time Uber or Lyft drivers, TaskRabbit employees, and casual businesspeople who receive 1099 forms for tasks like maintenance, trucking, and other frequent projects. These independent contractors often work for more than one client at a time, and juggle multiple assignments.
Types of Freelancers: Moonlighters
Moonlighters have a full-time salaried or hourly job and then freelance in their spare time. This includes teachers who offer tutoring after school or software engineers who work on passion projects on weekends. If you operate an Etsy store on the side, or sell used things on Ebay, you’re a moonlighter.
Types of Freelancers: Diversified Workers
Diversified workers are becoming more and more common, and mix part-time work at one organization with freelance work. This includes Uber, Lyft, and TaskRabbit partners who work to supplement their income, freelance writers or illustrators who have day jobs, and actors and actresses who bartend or wait tables while establishing their careers. Many diversified workers go on to either work full-time elsewhere or become full-time freelancers.
Types of Freelancers: Temporary Workers
Temporary workers are employees who are bought on in an as-needed basis to work on a particular project. This includes short-term employees, talent bought on seasonally, and experts who come in on an as-needed basis.
Unlike other kinds of freelancers, temporary workers only work for one client… for a limited period of time. But even though they’re only working for one client, their workload typically mimics that of other kinds of freelancers.
Types of Freelancers: Freelance Business Owners
Freelance business owners are freelancers who have turned their projects into full-time professions. Depending on their personal choices, they may report taxes as an independent contractor or choose to elect single-employee S Corporations or LLCs. A freelance business owner is someone who, say, runs a full-time single employee dogwalking business or a consultant who works with a steady stable of clients for a living.