Can I hire salespeople as Independent Contractors?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I hire salespeople as Independent Contractors?

I am a sole proprietor. I would like to hire independent contractors
as salespeople for travel memberships. They would work completely
independently, only bringing me the end result, which is the sale. I
would like to know if I can hire them as IC’s, and should I issue them
an IC agreement.

Asked on January 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can, but make sure they are independent. That means that while you can set sales goals, provide leads, and provide them product training and marketing support, you do NOT set their schedule for them, tell them what potential customers to see or where to travel, don't tell them how to present (you can offer training and suggestions, but not a rigid script), etc. They must have a large degree of independence to qualify as independent contractors. You also can't bind them to only represent your products: salespeople who are independent contrators can carry multiple lines or products.
An I/C agreement will also help, by making it clear that this is an I/C relationship and that the salesperson has to provide his/her own insurance, including health and worker's comp (as applicable).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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