Re: Incorporated Independent Contractors?

Subject: Re: Incorporated Independent Contractors?
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 19:19:36 PST

Sue Ellen Adkins writes:

>Are most freelance tech writers incorporated? Is there a need to be? A
>recent posting in contained the following comments:
> If you are set up to work from
> home, you can do so for slightly lower rates. If you have good
> liability insurance and are incorporated, you can work as an
> IC.

The posting is peculiar in more ways than one. Personally, I would
never pay LESS for consultants who are independent enough to work
from home. The suggestion that you need good liability insurance
or incorporation (which limits your liability to the assets of
the corporation) implies a strong possibility of being sued.

I would stay far, far away from these people. They are far too weird
for me, and people who worry about liability lawsuits in the middle of
a job posting have ominous things on their minds. Scary.

But, to answer your main question, no, most freelance writers are not
incorporated. I am in the middle of turning "High-Tech Technical Writing"
into "High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc." I am doing this for three

1. Incorporation provides very powerful protections against having your
house sold at a sheriff's auction if your business fails messily or
if someone slaps you with a nuisance lawsuit. (Basically, the
corporation, not you, foots the bills, and the corporation's liabilities
are limited by its assets, which will not include your house or your
retirement fund if you have any sense.)

2. There are generally substantial tax advantages: your tax burden
shifts from heart-stopping to merely shocking.

3. The people I know who have had corporations for years and years will
stop rolling their eyes when I say I'm not incorporating.

While I'm not tremendously worried about lawsuits, the fact that the
tax savings will allow me to recoup the expenses of incorporating within
a month or two made the decision a no-brainer.

-- Robert

Robert Plamondon * High-Tech Technical Writing
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (503) 453-5841
"I regret that I have but one * for my country." -- Nathan Hale

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