Gig EconomyGig economy jobs have been on the rise for years. Many of my clients are small businesses that find ways to use independent contractors to help staff and grow their businesses. In fact, many of those businesses started out as gig economy side-hustles that outgrew their founder’s 9-5 job. The owners find the freedom and challenges of running a small business to be invigorating. As more people are working from home these days, they are finding that they enjoy not being in an office 9-5. They are exploring other professional passions in addition to their main job.

A few years ago, I saw a statistic that almost 50% of adult males were driving for a taxi, limousine, or ride-sharing service. As those jobs have slowed with the pandemic, more people are looking at other gig economy jobs to supplement their income. This week, Tech Crunch has an interesting article on how the startup Dumpling is empowering its independent contractors to become business owners.

How Does Dumpling Work?

According to the article, Dumpling is a startup in the food delivery space. Its goal is to empower the workers that it uses. As the article points out, “it has enabled more than 2,000 shoppers in all 50 states to become their own personal Instacarts.” One thing that differentiates Dumpling is that it helps its users to create their own LLCs. From there,

It offers a slew of different products, including a Dumpling credit card to help shoppers buy groceries before customer payment, an app to help centralize deliveries and customer communication, and a forum for mentorship and worker support.

100% of the tips go to Dumpling workers. It even allows the workers to pick what tip options to offer and allows for customers to leave a review as well.

The Gig Economy

However, not every gig economy worker wants to own their own business. According to the Federal Reserve, only 3% of adults do “gig” work as their primary source of income and less than 10% of adults were full-time gig workers.

One of the largest issues is whether the worker is an employee or independent contractor. This decision is one that can have big tax consequences for the worker and the company. It is this classification that drives many appointments in my office. I’m sure it also keeps plenty of accountants busy as well.

There’s also the issue of health insurance and other benefits. If you’re in a household where one person is a traditional, W-2 wage earner with benefits, this may not be a challenge. But if you’re the only source of support and you own your business, then you need to figure out your benefits as well. (You’re not alone – there are plenty of companies that specifically tailor their services to small businesses).

How Should You Approach It?

There are plenty of people on both sides of the discussion. Many people would like to explore owning their own business. But many others prefer the safety and security of their current jobs. There’s no “right” answer – it’s whatever you feel is best for you. More than ever, there are many different gigs that you can explore. If you don’t feel like driving around, there are plenty of home-based businesses you can create.

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Next Steps

If you are thinking of branching out into the gig economy, or if you’re already there and want to take the next steps to make your side-hustle your main hustle, give me a call and we can schedule a Legal Strategy Session to discuss some strategies to ensure you’ve got what you need to take those next steps – (877) AMAYERS.

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