Working as a locum tenens practitioner comes with many rewards, but there can also be a lot of decisions to make when getting started. A lot of questions involve the “business” side of working locum. Below are a few commonly asked questions regarding employee status, pay, taxes, etc.
HOW WILL MY EMPLOYEE STATUS CHANGE?
At Wapiti, our partner providers work locum by doing business as 1099 contractor. Working as a 1099 contractor means you will be your own business (and your own boss!).
You will need to decide whether to establish your business as a sole-proprietorship, LLC or corporate entity. There are different tax advantages and business reasons associated with each type. To obtain the best information and advice given your specific situation, we recommend consulting your accountant or an attorney.
DO I STILL GET BENEFITS?
When entering into business contracts as your own entity, the staffing agency with whom you contract might not withhold taxes or provide you with the same employee benefits you received as a W-2 employee. In those instances, items such as health insurance, retirement (401K), long-term and short-term disability, and paid time off will become your responsibility.
WHAT ARE THE TAX ADVANTAGES OF HAVING MY OWN BUSINESS?
There are numerous tax advantages when you establish your own business. Some of these include writing off your mileage when traveling for work and even deducting some business expenses. Because there are many rules and regulations, both federal and in your home state, we recommend you visit the following resources to learn more:
Business federal tax information: https://www.irs.gov/businesses
Small business federal tax information: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed
Business state tax information: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage/pay-taxes-business-state-federal
WHEN AND HOW DO I GET PAID?
Your pay schedule will vary depending on your staffing company, but it is fair to expect a consistent schedule every month. A few questions to ask are:
- Am I paid via direct deposit or with a physical check mailed directly to me?
- How does the agency track my shifts?
- What if there are issues? How are problems resolved?
Learn more about the business side of locum tenens by downloading our Official Guide to Locum, Wapiti’s free e-book containing everything you need to know about working as an independent practitioner.
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