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Poll
Question: Do you do freelance work? (To a significant degree.)
Yes - 13 (76.5%)
No - 4 (23.5%)
Total Voters: 17

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Author Topic: Do You Freelance?  (Read 4888 times)
Renegade
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« on: October 24, 2011, 09:24:50 AM »

While chatting on Skype, I learned about a fellow DC member here who also does freelance work.

So, I'm curious to find out how many others here do as well.

Feel free to chime in with what you do or who your typical customers are, or whatever is relevant to you and freelancing.

If you have a site, please do link to it so we can see.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, please let us know, or don't, or do, or don't, or just lurk or... tongue Grin
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eleman
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 09:36:56 AM »

Yup.

Translator (between English and Turkish). I love freelancing as it gives me independence. But I am not decided if I should like it ideologically, for it gives the employers a means to circumvent social security obligations.

What do you think about that? Should a worker be able to opt out of the social security system?
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wraith808
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 09:40:11 AM »

I do, but not as much now.  In fact, I don't actively seek work anymore, but just get it through word of mouth, etc.  Because all of the clients I've made have been over several years, I have a range of them including a recording artist, a real-estate data collation company, a collective for architects, an author, a game store, a community works site, a photographer, an ebay-based store, and an entrepreneur.

The services I provide range from custom software to websites to hosting to (in the case of the entrepreneur) shared server space.  It's more hobby money than anything else- I gave up on the dream of self-sufficiency a long time ago.

Should a worker be able to opt out of the social security system?

Ummm... I won't answer for the danger of going off onto a rant... :-X
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2011, 11:26:27 AM »

+1^ - The dream is dead...

----------------------------------------------------

Doesn't just being here count for something??

Yes, I do freelance as time permits. That's one of the things I love about remote access. I once setup a domain controller for a guy in Alaska ... and didn't even have to leave the house.
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 12:28:32 PM »

I am always available and interested in freelance work that is intellectually stimulating -- desktop coding or web apps.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2011, 02:49:59 PM »

I once setup a domain controller for a guy in Alaska ... and didn't even have to leave the house.
iGlue?
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Chris
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2011, 05:19:49 PM »

I call myself a freelancer but all work comes from one guy. Not very clever if he drops dead.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 05:53:25 PM »

I once setup a domain controller for a guy in Alaska ... and didn't even have to leave the house.
iGlue?
Nope, price of gas ... I prefer to travel by wire these days. I do Windows and internet service troubleshooting.
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 06:31:30 PM »

I once setup a domain controller for a guy in Alaska ... and didn't even have to leave the house.
iGlue?
Nope, price of gas ... I prefer to travel by wire these days. I do Windows and internet service troubleshooting.

+1. Where would we be without remote desktop capabilities? Whoever came up with that deserves whatever reward he or she asks for. Cool
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wraith808
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 07:39:53 PM »

I call myself a freelancer but all work comes from one guy. Not very clever if he drops dead.

I think the majority of freelancers are in the same boat, truthfully.  I know I was... not exactly, but close enough.  I tried to diversify, but it was too much work.  embarassed
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Renegade
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2011, 10:55:07 PM »

Lack of a diverse client base can make me nervous at times.
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 12:05:33 AM »

Lack of a diverse client base can make me nervous at times.

+1!

A good rule of thumb: Never allow any one client provide more than 25% of your total revenue stream. Ideally, keep it to 10% or less.

 Cool

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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 12:16:49 AM »

I call myself a freelancer but all work comes from one guy. Not very clever if he drops dead.

I think the majority of freelancers are in the same boat, truthfully.  I know I was... not exactly, but close enough.  I tried to diversify, but it was too much work.  embarassed

Been there.

Unfortunately, having only one client means you're not truly freelancing. You're really more an employee without medical or retirement benefits. At least according to the IRS.

Which can be very bad for the contracting business. Because the IRS may decide to classify such freelancers as "statutory employees" if they don't have other clients, or can show they're actively seeking additional engagements. And the tax penalties can be quite severe for the contracting company if a statutory employee ruling gets made against it.

That's one of the reasons why so much freelance work has dried up over the last ten years. And also made it hard, in many places, to get 'freelance' assignments unless you're hired through an agency - or you've set up your own LLC.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 03:15:52 AM by 40hz » Logged

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nudone
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 02:16:55 AM »

I'm in the UK but we have similar rules here. I think I'm in a grey area - or my "main" client is. Maybe I'm deluding myself but I'm just taking the view that he knows the law. He's chosen to do things this way - and so it will be his problem if the taxman gets involved and gets upset.

If, indeed, it is me that the taxman will be upset with, then I shall begin panicking immediately.
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wraith808
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 07:37:06 AM »

Unfortunately, having only one client means you're not truly freelancing. You're really more an employee without medical or retirement benefits. At least according to the IRS.

I had multiple clients and covered myself that way.  But 90%+ was always a single client.  Having multiple clients has its own downfalls (conflicting priorities, a stretch with no work from multiple clients, then a stretch with too much work, marketing, etc.)  Like I said, too much work, and I barely liked the business part anyway.  The other <10% is the part that I still maintain.  Like I said... hobby money. smiley
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2011, 08:41:28 AM »

I do. Not many clients but anyway....
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 07:24:40 AM »

I've done a few small jobs for small mom-n-pop businesses, and for a few individuals.  If it was steady, it'd be nice extra income.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2011, 05:27:54 PM »

I used to. Still take the occasional one-off, but really just as favors. I donate more of my computer "consulting" time than anything. I might get back into it in a couple years if my current projects don't pan out though. cheesy

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TomD101
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2011, 03:30:45 AM »

I translate software (GUI and Help) mainly for two software developers, translate tutorials and snippets to be put on websites, and occasionally ask a developer, if he wants help with his sometimes adventurous translations.
Additionally, I am the usual Mr. FixIt, when computers in my vicinity (friends, family) are broken or have to be replaced by new machines.
Via mouth to mouth  propaganda, friends of friends ask for my service, so that's where serious money (fixed sum per hour) comes from.
As I have a fulltime employment, all this freelancing is done after hours, but gives enough additional income to make it worth the time.
Employer and IRS are informed about my status, so I have a go from my boss and taxes are paid from the freelance income, too, but in a very complicated calculation.

Thomas
Berlin, Germany
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2011, 06:10:13 AM »

Yes absolutely, web developer for the local community, all via referrals.
+1 Hobby.
+1 After Hours.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2011, 05:57:06 AM »

I'm in the UK but we have similar rules here. I think I'm in a grey area - or my "main" client is. Maybe I'm deluding myself but I'm just taking the view that he knows the law. He's chosen to do things this way - and so it will be his problem if the taxman gets involved and gets upset.

If, indeed, it is me that the taxman will be upset with, then I shall begin panicking immediately.

Actually, it would be you and them. Well what the taxman will object to is if nobody is paying NI contributions for you. If you are doing it yourself (declared as self employed, or with a LTD company that employs you and pays some reasonable salary that has NI) then you are off the hook. If you are paying yourself minimum wage then doing the rest as dividends, and you only freelance for one company, then they will see it as a disguised employment and an attempt on your part and the employer's part to avoid paying NI.

Easier to fight off if you are almost never on site than if you are on site. Or get another client for piece work.

http://www.contractoruk.com/ir35/

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nudone
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2011, 07:11:10 AM »

Interesting but not too alarming. I'm never on site - I work from home. I pay my own NI so no problem there. I also do have the occasional small client work from other people - just nothing like the amount from the "main" client. So, I guess I'm safe.

I thought there could be cause for concern because my main work is obviously coming from one place; enough for me to ignore the other smaller jobs.

Thanks for the info, iphigenie.
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