Am I considered self-employed?
Sole proprietor, independent contractor, consultant and freelancer are all terms used to describe self-employed workers. Whether you do it full-time or on the side—if you’re an independent worker like an Uber/Lyft driver, web designer, tutor, or babysitter—you’re self-employed.
You may not think of yourself as running a business, but you’re considered self-employed if you engage in business-like activities.
Three key factors that generally define an activity as a business:
- You intend to make a profit (even if you operate at a loss).
- Your activities are regular.
- You make efforts to sustain or grow your business.
Situations where you wouldn't be considered self-employed:
- You mowed your elderly neighbor's lawn all summer, and he gave you money as a token of his appreciation. (You didn't intend to make a profit.)
- You were paid to tutor a friend's child, but you’re not going to do it again. (Your activities are not regular.)
- You draw for fun, and your friend paid you to create a poster for a birthday party. (You're not making efforts to sustain or grow a business.)
When you’re self-employed, you’re likely to receive a 1099-MISC or a 1099-K. Even if you don’t receive these forms, you still need to report all your income from self-employment.