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Advice on first consulting engagement

By gmsayloriii ·
I have been a Sybase/Microsoft DBA for 2 years and have just been offered an opportunity to consult on a new project modeling a database for a small e-commerce company.
I have never free lanced before, so I am filled with questions about best practices and CYA stuff. Should I incorporate? What is the best way to bill the company, should I create an invoice and issue it to the company for my hours? What type of contract, if any do I need? Can I be sued if they have any later problems?...Youget the picture. Any advice would be appreciated.
feel free to email me on this <no spammers please/>

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To Incorporate or Not

by indyworker In reply to Advice on first consultin ...

First off if you incorporate it can greatly impove you risk of liablity. If you are working on a project that they could come back and put a lawsuite on you then you would be protected from losses. Problems with this is then you have to figure outhow to put that money into your pocket. If you take draws off of a corporation and not pay checks then you can get hit with penalties on not paying taxes on income earned (estamite payments). Your best bet is to pay a little money and get this setup, then take paychecks and go to the bank once a month and make 941 tax payments.

Certainly as far as billing is you should just use a Word template or Quickbooks and send them an invoice. Maybe even once a week or at a min. once every other week. Make sure you are getting your checks in time. They stop paying you stop working until they get cash in your pocket.

A contract is up to you. How comfortable are you with the situation? Do you need extra protection? A contract can go a long way in court to explain why you did what you did if it every came down to that? If this is a contract job (1099 labor) though you are pretty well protected under contracting laws, especially if you the incorporate. You can only loose as much as you leave in the company.

I hope this helps you out.


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Many Thanks

by gmsayloriii In reply to To Incorporate or Not

I am meeting with my Attorney and Accountant to work out the rest. For this one a strong contract should be fine. I will figure out the corporation thing as I get more work of this type. I definitely want to get the tax side 'tuned'.


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