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Employee/Subcontractor for Maintenance Company

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  • Employee/Subcontractor for Maintenance Company

    Hi there! I am a woman owned landscape maintenance business and am needing to get help for the upcoming season, starting out with a part time person. I have been researching this thing called "Hiring an Employee" and I can see how $$ it can be. I am a one woman show normally.

    I know of someone who has their own lawn business that would be available to mow/edge some of my accounts in close proximity neighborhoods. He also could be someone to aerate for me as well.

    I would pay him a flat rate to do this per job. He would be working independently of me, and would use all of his own tools, equipment. He would need to use my organic protocol on lawn care, so I might have to show him that. He would need to have biz insurance of his own, but because of being a maintenance company, he would not need any licensing, bonding or anything like that.

    After reading the literature out there of what makes a subcontractor, I feel that this would be not over stepping the legal bounds of hiring him as a sub vs an employee. My intention is to stay "above board" and I feel like this might be okay.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Thank you

  • #2
    Your inline with everything but the training part. I think you can get away with that though since its the only employee criteria your crossing. It usually takes 2-3 things to make him a employee.

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    • #3
      Just be careful with this. In Maine Memic is really cracking down on subcontracor status. I dont know how it is in your state but I would assume its the same. Anyway you should have your"sub" fill out a pre determination form and sign it stating they are a sub. This helps. You really need to be on your game with this these days. Again in Maine if your found in violation of the new laws the fine is $10,000 per employee or "sub". Its a big deal and they are getting tighter about it so make sure everything is in order.

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      • #4
        I dont know about your legalities,but it does sound like you have your bases covered,but just a heads up that hiring a competitor might be just opening the front door for him to steal your customers so be carefull .If I was the customer and hired somebody to cut my lawn ,and then somebody else showed up to do the job [especiallyif they had another name on their equipment] ,I would be asking the guy doing the work whats going on ,then quickly figuring out that it would probably be cheaper for me to hire the guy myself directly .

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        • #5
          I have a similar question in nc you don't pay taxes for employees if they work off of commission so I pay commission instead of per hour if I did per hour they could only work 38 hours a week with out costing major money

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          • #6
            I have a similar question in nc you don't pay taxes for employees if they work off of commission so I pay commission instead of per hour if I did per hour they could only work 38 hours a week with out costing major money
            If they take direction from you, dont have insurance and use your equipment, there a employee.

            I use to work for a guy like this and I won unemployment off him.

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            • #7
              This is a very interesting post, I look forward to reading replies from business owners that hire sub contractors (on paper) and treat them like employees (give them direction and pay them by the hour). Most indepentent business owners need help from time to time and can not justify to hire a person as an employee. How does a business owner prove his help is a sub and not an employee? The same goes for the sub contractor, how do they prove they are a sub and not a employee?

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              • #8
                I was payed a flat fee and was considered a employee because I didnt have a license or insurance and my schedule wasnt made by me.

                How does a business owner prove his help is a sub and not an employee? The same goes for the sub contractor, how do they prove they are a sub and not a employee?
                A employee or a sub would fill out a form and take it to a unemployment hearing. If there found to be a employee you would owe unemployment, taxes,SS, etc.

                A BO would provide the contractors insurance/license/contract/earnings.


                IRS and unemployment use the same forms and classifications.

                Consequences of Treating an Employee as an Independent Contractor

                If you classify an employee as an independent contractor and you have no reasonable basis for doing so, you may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker (the relief provisions, discussed below, will not apply). See Internal Revenue Code section 3509 for more information.
                http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-...or-Employee%3F
                Last edited by SECTLANDSCAPING; 01-26-2013, 08:15 PM.

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                • #9
                  Welcome to our forum!

                  How will you handle this subcontractor if a customer comes outside and asks them to perform more work on their property? Can they just take on extra work? Do they need to tell you? Do they need to pay you a %?

                  I know of someone who has their own lawn business that would be available to mow/edge some of my accounts in close proximity neighborhoods. He also could be someone to aerate for me as well.
                  What is your thought to why you would want to do this? How is this better for you vs having an employee?
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                  • #10
                    If they take direction from you, dont have insurance and use your equipment, there a employee.

                    I use to work for a guy like this and I won unemployment off him.
                    Well they use my equipment but in my dads spa the masseuses get paid on commission and he doesn't have to pay taxes on them just the ones paid per hour I would have though it would be the same for mowing as for using my equipment what if I did a lease system on it

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                    • #11
                      Well they use my equipment but in my dads spa the masseuses get paid on commission and he doesn't have to pay taxes on them just the ones paid per hour I would have though it would be the same for mowing as for using my equipment what if I did a lease system on it
                      Masseuses have a license. I think that set up would be like a barber. Where they rent the chair for the day and are self employed.

                      I would check with the IRS.

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