Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: July 20, 2022

What Is the Best Way to Pay Your Global Contractors?

It can be difficult to handle international contractors and their payment can be even more intricate. Fortunately, there are numerous payment methods you can adopt. Keep reading to discover further information.
best way to pay independant contractors

Key Points:

  1. Choosing the best way to pay independent contractors abroad involves 3 structures.
  2. Misclassifying contractors as employees can lead to legal issues and penalties.
  3. Confirming the contractor’s payment currency is essential.
  4. We recommend automating contractor management with an EOR service like Playroll.

In today’s global landscape, businesses are increasingly collaborating with independent contractors from different parts of the world. These skilled professionals offer unique expertise and adaptability, making them invaluable assets for companies.

However, managing payments for these contractors on a global scale can be challenging. To ensure smooth and compliant transactions, organisations must familiarise themselves with the best way to pay independent contractors. In this article, we delve into the complexities of international contractor payments and provide intelligent solutions to ensure fairness and transparency.

The Best Way to Pay Independent Contractors

1. Project Fees

Project fees, also known as fixed-price project fees, is one of the best way to pay independent contractors. This approach helps set clear expectations from the start and simplifies the payment process for small businesses.

When hiring an independent contractor for a specific project, it’s essential to outline the payment terms, including milestones and deliverables. Contractors are paid more if they take longer to provide the results. Be cautious of contractor misclassification.

Various countries use contract and payment arrangements to determine employment status. In some cases, you might encounter a scenario where a country does not acknowledge extended contractor agreements and insists on companies hiring contractors as permanent, in a written contract. This ensures that both parties are on the same page, and the payment process is well-defined.

2. Retainer

The retainer arrangement involves regular payments of a set amount. The retainer can be paid monthly and renegotiated at the beginning of each financial year. In the contract, you should state exactly what the retainer covers in terms of deliverables and/or time spent working for you. If you are looking to perform a variety of tasks regularly, this can be the best way to pay independent contractors.

If you don’t use all of the hours in a month, you should discuss with your contractor how to handle the remaining hours. Options include rolling them over to the next month, or providing additional work for the contractor to complete. Alternatively, you may decide to end the contract early if there is no more work available.The contractor’s country of residence may make it illegal to expect him or her to roll over hours to the next month.

3.Time and Materials

Contractors submit a timesheet and expense report along with an invoice to prove how much time and material they consumed during the payment period. Creative industries may have trouble predicting how long it will take to reach the desired outcome, making time and materials expensive.

If you can closely time the effort required to produce the outcome, this could be the best way to pay independent contractors. Time-and-material contracts also don’t have incentives to motivate contractors to work efficiently. Longer delivery times mean more money for the contractor.

Beware the Dangers of Contractor Misclassification

The best way to pay independent contractors is to avoid risks. Indeed, it is important to be cautious of the risks associated with misclassifying contractors. Employment status in various countries is determined by the terms of the contract and payment arrangement. In certain cases, you may encounter a scenario where a country does not acknowledge extended contractor agreements and instead mandates companies to employ contractors on a full-time basis. To avoid such pitfalls, it’s crucial to understand the different legal guidelines and provide the necessary tax forms, such as the 1099 form, to independent contractors at the end of the year.

In accordance with the country’s labour laws, your contractor may be considered an employee after a certain period of continuous work for the same business, such as six months. It is very important to have a thorough understanding of the local formula for classifying employees (i.e., how your payment structure, as well as the length of time, impacts your foreign contracting staff’s local classification).

Best way to pay independent contractors guide

Determine Which Currency is Best to Pay Contractors

Small businesses should consider various payment methods to find the best way to pay independent contractors that suit their needs and the contractor’s preferences. It is important to confirm the currency in which the contractor will be paid before you can determine how much to pay. Managing payments to independent contractors in other countries can have a huge impact on your cash flow and operating expenses since foreign exchange rates constantly change. Options include:

  • Pay everyone in the same currency. This works well if your international contractors have that specific currency bank account. Otherwise, they’ll have to pay a fee to receive another currency into their account. 
  • Pay each individual in their local currency. This is good for contractors but then you will have to implement multiple foreign currency accounts or more feasibly you can opt to use a payment platform that is able to handle the conversions for the currencies. Foreign exchange fees are much higher. Reconciling all your accounts becomes more complicated. 
  • Using a hybrid method of payment. If you use an Employer of Record (EOR) contractor management platform with a digital payment tool, this will allow you to take advantage of currency fluctuations. 

There you have it, the best way to pay your international contractor is basically to automate your contractor management with an EOR service.

Finding the Right Contractor Management Platform

For small businesses, the best way to pay independent contractors is to utilize contractor management platforms, which offer an ideal solution. These platforms automate payment processes, handle tax forms, and ensure compliance with local labor laws, making it easier for businesses to work with independent contractors. With Playroll, onboarding contractors takes just minutes, and businesses can operate seamlessly across multiple countries without worrying about legal complexities.

A significant advantage of Playroll is its ability to pay contractors in their own local currency, meeting a requirement in many countries. By connecting and signing up for Payoneer, contractors can seamlessly withdraw funds and get paid fast. Their Payoneer accounts will be topped up in USD and they can choose to effortlessly convert this to their preferred currency. With transparent rates and real-time forex rates, contractor satisfaction is improved, and financial transactions are streamlined financial transactions for both parties. Furthermore, Playroll’s automated contractor management system removes the burden of compliance management, allowing small businesses to focus on core tasks.

Through the Playroll Employer of Record network, businesses can be confident that their contractor hiring practices align with local labor laws. The platform streamlines administrative tasks such as filling out tax forms and managing correspondence, saving time and resources.

Learn More About Contractor Onboarding

Planning international HR and team-building is completely free

And here’s the best part: creating your account is completely free! Simply log in and start your planning, hire, land and expand your cost and tactics. There is no billing until you make your first hire.

Employing independent contractors can be a valuable strategy for small businesses seeking specialized skills and flexibility. By embracing contractor management platforms like Playroll and following best practices, small businesses can simplify the payment process and foster successful collaborations with independent contractors.

Remember, transparency, a written contract with clear payment terms, and understanding the preferred payment methods of independent contractors are crucial for finding the best way to pay them and fostering long-term partnerships.

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