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Re: Required NY state License or permit for hiring music instructor independent contractors to teach?

Anthony B's Profile

Hi I’ve started,(but not yet operating), a music instruction business (LLC), obtaining teachers to give music lessons both online and in person (studio & homes).  I want the Teachers to be Independent Contractors. I do have the DOL NY state Independent Contractor PDF list  and some recent court based decisions related to  “How to determine IC’s” checklist BUT… these don’t seem specific enough to address my questions here:  1)  Do I need any sort of “Temp Agency License” (NY)… as I provide billing as in : obtaining the lesson fees ; paying the Teachers ; coordinating scheduling and conducting all the advertising and promotion ( making the IC’s  Agents?)  2) If I Contract any Music Teachers as IC’s , from other States (or other Countries), would I then have to adhere to any IC rules for their particular States and / or Countries even if I’m based as a NY single member LLC  Business ?  **I do not control how the teachers give lessons or when they should give lessons. I just advertise Teachers on my website for potential students to take lessons from these teachers with both of their mutually acceptable and agreed upon time slots ….. as I don’t want to cross any “lines” into the ‘realm’ of teachers being ‘employees’ .  I don’t expect answers to all of my questions here, but if you could perhaps point me in the right direction for my particular type of business I would be very thrilled …as this Independent Contractor “Web” (especially in NY)seems very tangled recently. When I originally called NY state Division of Corporations and IRS to ask, they didn’t seem to know for sure’ as to my questions and said I would only need a license or permit if I was selling merchandise. A company called License Logix said I would need a license and / or permit for this type of business and would charge me $99 to have Attorneys do the research...... ?? Hopefully, someone could point me in the right direction :)  I do appreciate your time; consideration and any help you can send my way!  Thank You Anthony


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I have difficulty understanding the way you described your business model. You say that that the music professionals just displays ads on your site and then you also say that you are not sure if they are independent contractors.

My advice is....follow the money. Who gets paid and from whom and for what? That will determine your legal status/responsibilities.

You get paid by the customer and then you pay the professional = Independent Contractor

The customer pays the professional and the professional pays you advertising fees = NOT Independent Contractor,

As for the NY requirement, I will leave it up to the NY professionals to chime in.

On a related and in my opinion the more important issue....if you do go for Independent Contractor, remember that you are responsible for background checks on these contractors and you are liable for anything that happens.

Anthony B
Title: KC-130J Pilot
Company: VMGR-352
(KC-130J Pilot, VMGR-352) |

Hello Emerson
Thank you for your reply. I do apologize, yes to be understood, I do receive payments from customers (students), and then pay the professionals (Music Instructors). My website is a platform for Music Instructors to post their profiles for potential music students to view then choose their instructor and make a payment to my company for music lessons. This fee goes to my business account and is paid out to instructors once a week for their services as per our IC Agreement.

I do also have the required background check in place for the Music Instructors listed on the Independent Contractor Agreement.
As far as the background check though, is it better to have the music instructors do their own background check and give me the copy from this? Or am I legally responsible for doing their background check for them? Curious...

Hopefully, as you mentioned a few NY professionals will add input here.

Ok, Thank You Emerson for your help


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