Should my worker be a 1099 contractor or a W2 employee?

The Payroll Setup Team

Whether your worker should be classified as a 1099 contractor (independent contractor) or a W-2 employee depends on various factors related to the nature of the work and the relationship between you and the worker. Here are some key considerations:


If you have control over when, where, and how the work is done, the worker is likely an employee. If the worker has more control over their work, they may be considered an independent contractor.


If you provide training on how the work should be done, the worker may be an employee. Independent contractors are typically responsible for their own training.

Equipment and Expenses:

If you provide the necessary tools, equipment, and cover work-related expenses, the worker may be an employee. Independent contractors usually use their own tools and are responsible for their own expenses.

Financial Control:

If you control the financial aspects of the worker's job (e.g., method of payment, reimbursement of expenses), they may be an employee. Independent contractors are generally responsible for their own financial arrangements.

Duration of Relationship:

If the working relationship is expected to be long-term and indefinite, the worker may be considered an employee. Short-term or project-based work is often associated with independent contractor status.


Employees may be eligible for benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Independent contractors do not typically receive such benefits.


Employees have taxes withheld by their employer, while independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes.

It's important to note that misclassifying workers can lead to legal and financial consequences. The IRS and the Department of Labor provide guidelines to help determine the proper classification. Consulting with legal or tax professionals can also be beneficial in making the right decision based on the specific details of your situation.

If there is any uncertainty, seeking professional advice is recommended to ensure compliance with relevant labor laws and tax regulations.