Succeeding as an independent contractor is more than just being great at your job, you also have to manage every aspect of your business. Here are some extra resources for any professional, whether you’re new to independent contracting or just looking for some extra information and advice.
Don’t forget to explore all of the topics in the Talent Development Centre for more tips that are great for both independent contractors and professionals seeking full-time work.
Setting Up Your Contracting Business
Depending on your annual income, you may choose to be an employee or set-up your business as a sole proprietor or incorporation. Incorporating your independent contracting business could be a way of keeping more of your hard-earned money where it belongs: in your pocket. As a mid- to long-term strategy, incorporation can be very effective in deferring taxes and producing tax savings.
The decision to incorporate is about more than just number-crunching. How much personal income do you have from other sources? What is your personal commitment to contracting? What are your gross contracting revenues less expenses? What are your lifestyle spending patterns? Nothing can replace the advice of a good Chartered Professional Accountant, of course, each case is different and the tax laws and rates differ from province to province. But for those who do choose to incorporate, there are many generally accepted benefits.
Take a look at the following links for more tips and information on incorporating in your jurisdiction:
- Guide to Federal Incorporation
- Steps to incorporating a company in BC
- How to Incorporate/Register a Business or Non-Profit in Alberta
- Filing Articles of Incorporation in Manitoba
- Incorporating Your Business in Ontario
- Constitute a Quebec Business Corporation
- Registering for a GST/HST Account
Most Federal Government resources are required to go through a security clearance process administered by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to the level of Reliability, Confidential, Secret, and in rare cases, Top Secret.
Security clearances for independent contractors include reference checks, criminal record checks, credit checks, verification of past residences and places of employment and fingerprinting. Depending on the level of security check and your personal history, clearance processes can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years.
In addition to a personnel security clearance, incorporated independent contractors may also be required to clear their business with Designated Organization Screening (DOS) or Facility Security Clearance (FSC). For more information, refer to this post in the Talent Development Centre.
We are always looking for quality candidates for current and upcoming opportunities. If you know a fellow independent contractor with good skills that you think we should meet, then you can earn an extra $500 just by referring them to us.
Here is how the program works:
- The independent contractor must be new to Eagle, and billable at a minimum $35 per hour.
- You get paid if we place the candidate permanently or on contract for 3 months or more. (Payrolling contracts are not included).
- We will pay you half up front and half once the three months is complete.
Insurance for Independent Contractors
Insurance is a wise investment that most small-sized businesses, including independent contractors, consider purchasing. On top of the obvious protection benefits, purchasing insurance as a contractor is another tax-deductible business expense and may help you prove your independence to the CRA should the situation ever come up.
There are various types of insurance to consider:
Commercial General Liability (CGL) protects your contracting business against claims for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, libel, and slander. Errors and Omissions coverage essentially protects you from lawsuits which may arise from mistakes you may make which cause financial loss to a third party. You can find more information and resources in this guest post about securing errors & omissions and commercial general liability insurance.
Traditional health and life insurance plans cover a range of pharmaceutical, medical and emergency situations. These are typically offered by employers to their employees; however, as an independent contractor, you will need to procure all of these on your own. For more information on this topic, this post about health insurance for the independent contractor is a good start with more links to helpful resources.