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We are looking to bring on a sales broker (to work as a insurance sales person) for commission only. That is, if it is legal to hire someone for only sales percentage. Is there any issue with that? FL resident, by the way.

Silvia Barioni's Profile

The job is for an independent insurance agency. If we have to pay anything else (like any benefit) besides the commission, please let me know.

Answers

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

You'll need to be careful about how it is structured. If they have their own company, and this is the business they are in...no problem.

If this isn't the case, then you're getting into a very gray area. I'd be extremely cautious, especially if they are being managed by your company.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?

See:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee

Topic Expert
Paul Benedetto
Title: CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant
Company: Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics
(CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant, Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics) |

Make sure you have them sign a professional services agreement that spells out the deliverables by them and what you are giving them in return upon success (e.g. the commissions). In that document you will want to spell out explicitly they this is an agency relationship (independent contractor) and they are responsible for all taxes, hiring/firing of their own personnel, etc. Here is some draft wording below that I use in such agreements. Also, make sure they are always paid as a vendor, you provide them a 1099 at the end of each calendar year and that you obtain a W-9 from them. It is best that you don't have other staff of the same type of position also on your books as employees, otherwise it is easier for the government to challenge the agreement.

Draft Language:

Sales Broker is an independent contractor and not an employee, agent, joint venture or representative of Client. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as creating an employer-employee relationship. Sales Broker has exclusive control over its employees, representatives, agents, contractors and subcontractors (collectively, “Personnel”) and over its labor and employee relations and its policies relating to wages, hours, working conditions and other employment conditions. Sales Broker has the exclusive right to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discipline, discharge and adjust grievances with its Personnel. Sales Broker is solely responsible for all salaries and other compensation of its Personnel who provide Services and for making all deductions and withholdings from its employees’ salaries and other compensation and paying all contributions, taxes and assessments and shall indemnify Client from and against any liabilities arising from Sales Broker’ failure to make such filings or payments, or to maintain its independent contractor status. Sales Broker’ Personnel are not eligible to participate in any employment benefit plans or other benefits available to Client employees. Sales Broker has no authority to bind Client to any agreement or obligation. Sales Broker will be solely responsible for all theft, damage and/or misconduct related to its Personnel.

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