[thelist] Currently Freelancer - Becoming Employee?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Mon May 7 22:06:59 CDT 2001

> From: "Gina K. Anderson" <gina at sitediva.com>
> 1. If I went direct with a firm, I would stop doing subcontracting for
> other companies, however, I need to keep my "business" open and
> somewhat active for three years because of tax reasons. So I guess I
> would need to do a site or three a year with my own name on it in my
> spare time. Anyone  done this before? Is this accepted normally, as
> long as your employer gets top priority of course.

well, depending on your employer, they may have you sign a non-
compete... so, if you work for a company where you aren't the only 
one doing what you do, or where your skills are for sale, you can 
pretty much forget being able to do that without challenging the non-
compete, and eliciting a lot of suspicion... you might consider 
some freebie work for local not-for-profits, or jobs that your 
employer wouldn't touch... either way, this is a conversation you 
have to have with your potential employer...

or, consider the 'tax reasons'... make sure your accountant is 
giving you good advice... 'tax reasons' is way too vague, especially 
for an employer to hear as the logic... it also implies that you 
consider the job temporary...

> 2. I would need a 'telecommuting direct' position. I can't work
> outside my home--so if I need Photoshop 7 for example, and 95% of my
> income comes from the firm I work for, do I buy it and deduct it on my
> biz taxes, or ask the firm?? Obviously I've never been an employee, so
> bear with me. How do you employers handle the needs for software and
> such for your 'working from home' folk? If I wanted a Photoshop
> update, I simply bought it and deducted it--don't know what to expect
> as an employee.

well, as a small business owner, i find hiring an employee who will 
never come to work a not-too-appetizing venture... how can i train 
you?  how can i check your work in progress, instead of the more 
expensive post-production QA?  how can i learn your strengths and 
weaknesses?  how can i schedule you into staff meetings?  check 
your daily progress?  keep you up-to-date on traffic?  how can i be 
sure you aren't screwing me by working on other things or handing 
my clients' sensitive data around, or keeping it unsecured on a 
machine stuck on a cable modem?  how do i distribute software 
updates and patches (which i would do, i would not allow you to 
purchase it and deduct it, we have someone to do that)?  how 
would i ensure you use version control?  or follow our process?  
how would i ensure you are responsive to email and phone calls?

i think you see my point...  i *hope* you see my point...

now, the next question is, why can't you leave your home?  if you 
are disabled in some way, that's one thing, and most employers 
who *can* have someone who can telecommute can account for 
that, but you need to know what your needs are as much as they 

as for buying software, either it's for the job, and they do it, or it's 
for personal use, and you can't deduct it... if you buy it for your 
'freelance' business, you'd better use it on a job, or at least do 
some freelance work, otherwise it's just a tax dodge -- frowned 
upon by the IRS...

> 3. Where's a good place to look for the type of job I'd like? Where do
> you guys hunt for web design jobs?

um, locally... talk to your local ad agency organization... check the 
newspaper... etc... don't discount the value of the old tried-and-true 
method of job hunting...

and where you looking to work?  try trade groups, hang-outs, 
friends, etc...

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