Independent Contracting vs. Employment

Due to the nature of the business and the specific work involved, it serves our clients and our trainers far more for trainers and pet sitters to be classified as "Independent Contractors" for Dog Adventures Northwest (and not "Employees" of Dog Adventures Northwest). To meet this IRS classification, Dog Adventures Northwest worked extensively with Barran Liebman LLP, a Portland employment law firm, to ensure that it complies with rules regarding IC classification. 

To learn more about the difference between employees and independent contractors, please read this article on the IRS website. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Dog Adventures Northwest trainers and pet sitters operate as their own business. This is true even if the business is an individual, and even if the business is not legally formed or incorporated.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest offers specific services to clients. Trainers and pet sitters who choose to contract with Dog Adventures Northwest agree to offer these services as they are offered to clients. These independent contractors then have the right for how, when, where, and with whom to offer these services.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest contractors decide how they achieve the result of the service offered to clients by Dog Adventures Northwest. 
  • Dog Adventures Northwest's contractors decide when they work, and are entirely responsible for setting their own schedule. 
  • Dog Adventures Northwest contractors take time away from work for vacation or illness without "approval" from Dog Adventures Northwest.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest's contractors choose where they want to work, and are entirely responsible for setting their own adventure and training locations.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest contractors decide with whom they work, and are entirely responsible for accepting or denying their own clientele.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest's contractors select and supply their own equipment, supplies, and transportation.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest is not an independent contractor's "boss" or "employer." Dog Adventures Northwest is a general contractor and independent contractors are sub-contractors to the business. Each individual trainer and pet sitter is "self-employed." 
  • Dog Adventures Northwest does not withhold taxes on the behalf of contractors. Independent Contractors are entirely responsible for withholding their own self-employment taxes.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest contractors are encouraged to seek their own industry-related work, including work that directly competes with Dog Adventures Northwest services. While DANW contractors cannot solicit DANW clients for their own businesses, there is no "non-compete" clause in the contract.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest does not offer benefits such as sick leave, vacation leave, retirement savings, health care, or unemployment.
  • Dog Adventures Northwest contractors carry their insurance for health, injury, disability, and/or lost wages.