What is a freelancer and how to hire one for your business?

You may have hired this professional at some point in your life, but you didn’t even realize, so what is a freelancer? Typically, the areas involved with freelancing are: design, web programming and advertising writing. These are branches linked to technology and are still on the rise.

Although these professions are associated with post-digital modernity, the origin of the name “freelancer” dates back to the year 1800. At that time, there were already medieval mercenaries, who fought for the monarchs who paid more.

Once, in an old novel written by Sir Walter Scott, there appeared the speech of a feudal lord who said “I offered a service to my Free Lances”, referring to the free spearmen, bearers of common weapons for combat.

From then on, the word took root and took on the meaning of a liberal, autonomous professional, without any formal commitment to a boss.

So what kind of contract can exist between an entrepreneur and a freelancer? What are the characteristics of this category of service? Read the full article and understand!

What is a freelancer?

The freelancer is basically a service provider for companies or individuals in general. Because he does not have a specific boss, he may be at a disadvantage for not having some benefits, but he is favoured by not paying as many taxes as the CLT worker – the employee who works under the CLT (Consolidation of Labor Laws) regime.

In addition, even though they do not receive their own formal labour rights, freelancers are usually able to create their own emergency reserve and/or invest in a portfolio of social security shares.

It is possible to find freelance professionals, in general, in the following areas:

  • design;
  • social media management;
  • redaction;
  • photography;
  • journalism;
  • Web development;
  • song;
  • visual arts;
  • marketing;
  • architecture;
  • letters and translation;
  • accounting.

Some of these segments are already quite traditional, such as accounting and letters, but, even so, they have adapted to this free model of the labour regime. In addition to paying less taxes, these professionals can charge more as a legal entity (PJ) than as an employee.

There is also the hypothesis that entrepreneurs are orienting themselves in a similar way to that proposed by the book Exponential Organizations, by authors Salem Ismail, Michael Shawn Malone and Yuri Van.

They explain, in the book, some attributes that show how technology can help businesses, in any segment. One is the on-demand team, which is exactly freelance work. It is the agile, functional and flexible workforce.

Advantageous for the entrepreneur, because it is cheaper (absence of expenses with taxes, transport, health insurance and the like) and, for the freelancer, because it gives the possibility to work for several entrepreneurs and has more income.

What are the advantages of hiring a freelancer?

Flexibility with deadlines and payment

A permanent hired employee may not be able to deliver projects due to meetings, workload, unforeseen events… and the boss cannot pay him less for that. The freelancer, on the other hand, is able to offer a more beneficial term to the entrepreneur, mainly due to its flexibility of hours worked.

Finally, freelancers are also flexible regarding payment methods — with finch solutions, bank slips and even instalments of the total value of the service.

Variety of Skills

In addition to the existence of several professions that work in the freelancing regime, a single freelancer can exercise more dynamic functions than those limited to a position in a company. For example: instead of hiring one person to be the designer and another to be the social media of a company, you can easily find a freelancer who is a designer and social media.

Offering specific services

Freelancers do not always work only with well-defined areas such as design, writing and web development. Some offer specific services such as typing, transcription, de-recording, in short… small, organizational tasks that are part of a larger project.

What impasses exist in freelancing?

Integration deficit

The freedom that the freelancer has, at times, can be detrimental to the entrepreneur. Because if the freelancer’s services are increasingly a necessity, either on-demand or because of the quality of the service provided, he is not yet an effective professional, that is, he is allowed to reject the demand. Furthermore, the contractor must not demand motivation and discipline from a freelancer, in the way he exerts this influence on an employee.

Tax expenses

Spending with freelancers is lower than with CLT, but they are not non-existent, so they should be put in the balance. The formal freelancer acts as an individual micro-entrepreneur, generally. It issues invoices for services, which leads the company to pay the Service Tax (ISS). However, if the hired freelancer does not issue invoices, the Government can track payments and consider tax evasion.

Concern about the activities performed

Brazilian law only allows the hiring of a freelancer for activities that are not part of the company’s core business. For example you have an online course platform and you hire a programmer. This is legitimate, but if you hire a trained teacher, you are breaking the law.

How can an entrepreneur hire a freelancer?

The internet has made possible many channels for the freelancer to be found. Many of them pay for ads, create pages and social networks to promote their service, or even register on freelance platforms.

Each freelancer has a profile that may or may not be compatible with the entrepreneur. Just ask for your portfolio, resume and cover letter, if applicable, to get to know you better.

Next, it is advisable for both of you to sign a contract, which must contain data about the project and your obligations, as a client, and as a freelancer. Thereafter, as the services are performed, you should receive invoices for them.

Thus, the freelancer has a lot to add to the entrepreneur, especially when the demands are online. Furthermore, the provision of services is regulated and poses little risk to the contractor.