The key to determining if you’re self-employed is to assess whether you're in business for yourself or are the owner of your own business.
This includes any part-time businesses or private “side jobs” where you’re performing services in addition to a regular job or business.
You are also self-employed if you’re an individual who:
- is the sole proprietor of an unincorporated business
- works as an independent contractor, consultant or freelancer
- is a member of a business partnership
- owns or is part of a limited liability company (LLC)
- earns income through investments
- earns income through rental property
You may not think of yourself as running a business, but you’re considered self-employed if you engage in business-like activities.
Business activities include any activity where you:
- intend to make a profit (even if you operate at a loss)
- have regular transactions or production of income
- make ongoing efforts to sustain, grow, or further the interests of your business
When you’re self-employed, you’ll receive a 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC or a 1099-K from the person or business that paid you.
But even if you don’t receive a 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC or a 1099-K, you’re still responsible for reporting all your income and expenses from self-employment on your tax return.