Got Subcontractors? Protect Your Interests with a Subcontractor Agreement

Sep 30


Jim Cochran

Jim Cochran

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It’s hard to find a talented independent contractor you can trust to represent your company when working with a client. Once you do find a good one, h...

It’s hard to find a talented independent contractor you can trust to represent your company when working with a client. Once you do find a good one,Got Subcontractors? Protect Your Interests with a Subcontractor Agreement Articles however, it's a person that you want to keep on your team for future projects. The downside is, your favorite independent contractor is more than likely someone that your clients would love to have on their team – and in the absence of a subcontractor contract, they could very well hire your best contractor away.No matter how much you trust your freelance contractors, there’s always a risk that your client could try to lure him or her away with a job offer. If that happens, you stand to lose not just your subcontractor’s skills and experience, but also your client’s hard-earned business.The good news is, you can protect yourself against this and other scenarios, including the risk of your subcontractor stealing your company’s intellectual property or specialized expertise and selling it on his or her own. The place to start is with a 1099 independent contractor contract, signed by both you and the contractor you hire.What’s in a subcontractor agreement?Independent contractor agreements typically address two key concerns for IT consultants: preventing your subcontractor from taking a job with your client, and protecting your intellectual property. But these agreements can also do much more to protect your company and sustain healthy relationships with your freelance contractors.A 1099 subcontractor agreement governs the relationship between a consultant and the independent contractor who has been hired to perform services. It typically includes a statement of work, which clearly defines the duties, obligations and services the contractor will perform on your behalf. The scope of work might define key project tasks and milestones, reimbursement of expenses, time and cost estimates, and project organization and resource specifics.By clearly setting the scope of services you expect your independent contractor to provide, you set the stage for a successful relationship while providing a blueprint for meeting your client’s needs. At the same time, you can use the contract to establish price and payment terms, as well as how it will be handled should you or your client be unhappy with the level of service your contractor provides. Generally, such agreements also give you the authority to terminate your relationship with the independent contractor for any reason.You can also use this type of contract to protect your intellectual property rights and ensure that your subcontractor keeps confidential information private. It also establishes the rights and responsibilities of each party when providing consulting services for your client, and limits your liability should anything go wrong.Where to find a subcontractor agreement?Independent contractor agreements don’t need to be lengthy or overly detailed to get the job done. And, though it would be very expensive to hire a lawyer to write one for each project – searching for a free sample 1099 contract online isn’t likely to get you a reliable and legally binding agreement that applies to your field.To save time and money, you can purchase and download 1099 independent contractor agreement forms from There’s an easy question-and-answer process that automatically populates each contract form, and you can view sample contracts and use the templates again and again.Once you’ve completed your agreement, it may still be a good idea to have an attorney look it over to ensure that all the details are appropriate for the project and your specific line of work.With a legally binding independent contractor agreement in place, you'll enjoy greater peace of mind that the skilled subcontractor you've grown to trust, will remain a valuable extension of your consulting team.