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  • Independent Contractor question

    Hi! I'm an independent contractor. I work at a shop and have for years as an IC. I was recently told that ICs don't own their client list. I've seen numerous times on the net and many sites this is not the case. I can't however find any proof of this, just people saying it's so. Where can I find confirmation of this? I have tried to find anything under the IRS site, and case law, but came up empty. Please, can anyone tell me where this comes from and if this is indeed the case and not just an understanding between people that can be changed? I do not have a written contract, simply an oral agreement that I pay 40% of anything that hits my table to the owner of the shop. I do have all my own equipment, buy shampoo and such. I have recently begun to lose my clients to another new groomer because she can work days I can't. I've been grooming some of these dogs 10 or more years, and the owners are not informed about the fact I will not be the one grooming them before they come in. Thank you for any help you can provide!!

  • #2
    Just be prepared for them to kick you out. Paying an employee is more expensive than treating a groomer as an "independent contractor".
    Do you have records of your clients, with contact info, in case they do kick you out?

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    • #3
      There is a forum here called "Jobs, Employment, Independent Contractor vs Employee" you can start there.
      http://www.petgroomerforums.com/chat...2a45edbb6c#_=_

      From one of the threads there (look up IRS publication 4902)
      "Indications that you are an independent contractor (booth renter) include, but not limited to:

      -Having a key to the establishment
      -Setting your own hours
      -Purchasing your own products
      -Having your own phone number and business name
      -Determining the prices charged"

      Basically, if you are truly an IC, you run your own business within the business, you have you own insurance, phone number, your own clients, YOU collect the payment, pay your own taxes...Does this fit your situation?



      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        I'll see if I can find what I'm looking for there. Thanks!!

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        • #5
          Sounds like you are an illegal IC. Unfortunately it sounds like the clients are given or passed to your table through the shop, their phone number and their marketing of the shop. The owner sees the clients as "shop" clients and another groomer at any time can "take" a groom that you have been doing. No one "owns" clients or client lists. Ultimately a client list is worthless if the client decides to stop being a client at a shop and goes elsewhere or another groomer. It's up to you to tell the client to request you as their groomer. If a client does not make that clear when they book or come in, then the owner sees it as an "anybody" client.

          In my mobile, the first question asked when a returning client calls is "do you have a preferred groomer?" If not, we send whoever is available. Owners like myself, our job is to put dogs on tables each day, not sort out who "owns" what client. It's about 1.) Making the client happy and what is good for their schedule to get their pet groomed and 2.) Make money to run the business and pay our bills.

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          • #6
            It is not legal everywhere but usually an IC rents a table runs their own business.

            If your "boss" hired you and is assigning pets coming into their business for you to groom, the clients are THEIRS. They have financial responsibility. But the double edge sword is that if the owner/groomer cannot groom all the pets and asks you to groom some of them, the IRS ONLY when going after a place as they to groomers on this board over the years, is that they are outsourcing what the owner/groomer cannot personally in that work day and therefore you are an employee.

            If you had your personal clientele and renting a table and occasionally the groomer landlord let you groom some of their clients, it would probably be OK enough and get by.

            It sounds like you are getting assigned grooms by the one that hired you from their pool of customers, so that is "outsourcing" in a way what the owner cannot groom. That's a W2 employer, and you are an employee. There is an IRS publication for hairstylists for people that says IC's are table renters, period. You might search for that at IRS. It is color brochure. I read it once. I am sure they see groomers the same way.

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            • #7
              For the O.P. this not all your answer but even I had never read this IRS page. It is "the manual" for training IRS auditors on HOW TO AUDIT a hairstylist business, and how to look for IC employee issues, as well as how income is hidden from taxes by not declaring all the income, etc. Fascinating study. Once again, it certainly tells examiners that "booth renters" are generally the only ICs in hairstyling without saying that. I bet they use this same model for groomers which would make sense. It is far more focused on hidden income than anything else, but what a science, and describes common schemes. LONG read.

              https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small...857.1473465271
              Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

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