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Preparing to pay taxes as a freelancer

I’ve just started freelancing as a copywriter and have some questions about preparing to pay taxes, and what I can claim as expenses. [more inside]
posted by cosmic osmo on Jul 13, 2014 - 16 answers

Freelance retainer question

Freelancers, how do you handle it when a retainer client doesn't use all the hours they've paid for? [more inside]
posted by ottereroticist on Jul 7, 2014 - 6 answers

Flexible time and task tracker needed

I need to track my time and activity at work, and I suspect there may be ways that my computer could help me with this. [more inside]
posted by pullayup on Jul 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Should I have a rate card?

I'm doing the ground work in setting up a small side business. This business would target a specific demographic with a defined subset of residential design services. I feel compelled to do a 'rate card' but I wonder if anyone here has experience with using a rate card as a service provider. Trying to figure out pros and cons and whether I've missed something. As a consumer, I think I'd love to see some up-front rates but I know that, realistically, it would keep me from hiring someone if I felt like I couldn't afford them (even if I could). [more inside]
posted by amanda on Jul 5, 2014 - 4 answers

I'd rather not be branded

Can I be a freelancer without having a "personal brand"? [more inside]
posted by gakiko on Jun 22, 2014 - 10 answers

Memorial for family member planned while I'm away working

Someone in my extended family passed away. Her only child just told me that he'd like to plan a memorial for a future date while other relatives are in town. He and I were very close growing up, have somewhat drifted, but lately have been in one another's lives again. His mom was his only immediate family member. I already know I'm scheduled to be away from home working for three weeks at that time. Do I cancel, or proceed? [more inside]
posted by BestCoaster on Jun 3, 2014 - 11 answers

How can I do more coding while still using my Civil Engineering skills?

I want to make mapping and programming a bigger part of my work, while still using my background in water resources. What are some career options that might give me that opportunity? [more inside]
posted by yukonho on May 23, 2014 - 1 answer

Administrative assistant? Bookkeeper? 1 day a month? I hate paperwork

Ok, I went freelance about 4 years ago…and it’s been great. My problem is this: I spend time avoiding paperwork. I have a small set of tasks that someone could do. I’d like to hire someone for (at the least) handling invoicing and collections. What/who am I looking for? Is that a bookkeeper? [more inside]
posted by Towelie on May 19, 2014 - 10 answers

File, paper, and project management for a freelancer without a desk.

I have recently switched from an office job to working freelance. I belong to a coworking space but I don't have my own desk. Any advice for organizing paperwork without an everyday desk space? [more inside]
posted by kdern on May 18, 2014 - 8 answers

Ideas for earning money to complement creative/freelance projects?

Any ideas to help myself continue to be a wandering freelancer while increasing my income and expanding job opportunities? [more inside]
posted by bearette on May 1, 2014 - 8 answers

Freelance programming career?

Does anyone have some advice about how I could start a freelance programming career? [more inside]
posted by Gosha_Dog on Apr 8, 2014 - 8 answers

Where do I find a freelance graphic designer for a quick turnaround?

Hi all, I have a quick ask for a graphic designer. Need to mock up a landing page - does not need to be final design, and with about 24 hour turnaround. Don't want to spend a ton of money - up to $100. Are there any places I can go to ask / designers willing to help out? I would ask designers at my job, but this landing page is for a personal project and they are extremely busy already.
posted by pando11 on Apr 8, 2014 - 6 answers

Customizing a freelance designer's resume for a full-time job

Graphic designers who work exclusively as freelancers might or might not reach a point where they want to get full-time jobs, perhaps because it gives them a chance to save up more, or maybe because it offers them a stable paycheck when freelance work is sporadic. Question is, when freelance graphic designers apply for a design job in a creative agency, how do they write a compelling resume? [more inside]
posted by omar.a on Apr 7, 2014 - 3 answers

Taxes and credit cards

I owe the IRS a not-insignificant chunk of change. Is there some way I could benefit from this? [more inside]
posted by null14 on Mar 27, 2014 - 8 answers

Rates for freelance medical writing?

I have been offered some freelance medical writing work, and need help to determine a reasonable hourly rate to quote. [more inside]
posted by amelioration on Mar 12, 2014 - 5 answers

Help with career ideas

I'm a freelance translator who wants to transition into employment. How can I go about this, and what should/could I do next? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 11, 2014 - 6 answers

Should I do work for a racist?

I have been asked to some work for a racist, and I don't want to. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 5, 2014 - 50 answers

where should I look to find a programmer to help me with amazon s3?

I tried setting up my own vpn for my personal use via amazon s3. there are youtube tutorials on the web but I realized I'm out of my depth and I would like to hire someone to help me. only where should I go? is stackoverflow a good place to post such a request? or where do you go to find capable freelancers who can do a job like this?
posted by krautland on Mar 3, 2014 - 4 answers

How can 4 freelancers/entrepreuners buy affordable liability insurance?

Three friends and I teamed up to rent a small commercial office space to use as a shared office, as we've tired of working at home or in coffee shops. We've signed the lease and moved in. I've been tasked with finding liability insurance, but having trouble as the insurance companies don't know what to make of us. I'm hoping Mefites may have creative solutions. [more inside]
posted by lukez on Feb 21, 2014 - 5 answers

Looking for event, rigging, stagebuilding work.

So this November I worked on some freelance event gigs throughout NYC-- it was similar to the film production work I'm looking to get into, required some related skills and I worked alongside some people with experience in the film industry. I've been looking high and low for similar work-- stage building, rigging, that sort of thing. Following that seasonal gig, I tried to look on Craigslist, Indeed, even Mandy for related event work but was lost-- despite the fact that I'd worked with people who seemed to imply that they'd found event work through similar avenues. [more inside]
posted by dr handsome on Feb 13, 2014 - 7 answers

Freelance / self-employed tax deduction for reimbursed travel expenses?

Can a freelance / self-employed person (filing Schedule C) deduct from her taxes the cost of business travel (airfare, lodging) that she was later reimbursed for? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Feb 9, 2014 - 3 answers

Calling all Freelance/Paycheck couples...(wall o text, sorry!)

How do you budget? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 4, 2014 - 8 answers

I got an essay accepted in July, but they still haven't published it.

I wrote a personal essay for a high-traffic website and it was accepted. But after seven months they still haven't published it. Do you think there's any chance they will? Should I email and ask about it a second time? [more inside]
posted by tuberose on Jan 30, 2014 - 9 answers

How do I decline to negotiate against myself?

HugeCo (not their real name), a once-major freelance client of mine hadn't sent me an assignment in over a year. They recently asked for a quote on a job, which I submitted. In response to my quote they're asking me to describe everything I need to do to complete the job to justifies the price I quoted. I need a script to refuse that request, while being positive and moving the negotiation forward on a more productive tack. [more inside]
posted by under_petticoat_rule on Jan 27, 2014 - 14 answers

Childcare strategies for work-at-home parents?

Is it possible to work at home with a nanny and 2 kids and actually get anything done? If not, can you suggest alternate strategies? [more inside]
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis on Jan 4, 2014 - 18 answers

What's the division of labour in web development?

I want to start doing freelance web work, but I'm not sure what I'd like to specialise in. I'm competent with python, PHP, html, css, javascript and angular as well as doing designy things like UX and photoshop. Previously I've always built whole websites from start to finish and now I'd like to pick a particular element and develop my skills to professional level in that role, but I'm not sure how it breaks down and how the size of the company/project increases the numbers of roles.
posted by awesomathon on Jan 3, 2014 - 5 answers

Supplemental income suggestions

What type of additional services could I provide and/or part time jobs could I take to supplement my income? [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on Dec 30, 2013 - 6 answers

To oDesk or not to oDesk?

I'm interested in trying to make $25k/year using oDesk as a full time job (as a web frontend dev) . Does anyone have experience using oDesk, and does this seem reasonable to you based on that? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 6, 2013 - 11 answers

What is my job, and how much should I get paid?

I am doing a freelance job where I translate, write, and design. How do I find out what my market value is? Is there a handy googleable title for what I'm doing? [more inside]
posted by Pwoink on Dec 4, 2013 - 7 answers

Billing almost a year after the fact.

I neglected to bill a client for a project I completed in January 2013. Once I realized I was late in billing, my failure to do so in a timely way has felt dreadful and embarrassing and worse and worse in my mind. So, yeah. I've continued to avoid it. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 1, 2013 - 10 answers

Hourly contract rate for SQL in the UK?

I'm an American in the UK and have been hired to do some freelance work for a tech company in Northern England. I'm not sure what to charge for my hourly rate. I am working in SQL, writing queries and turning them into data visualizations for the web (using Ruby and Javascript/HTML). I am very junior, although quite competent at SQL; I'm coming up (and quickly) in the other areas. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 23, 2013 - 3 answers

How Does NYC's High-Tech Community Communicate?

I want to sell my communications services to high tech start-ups in NYC. How do I get tech eyes onto my promotional materials? Are there bulletin boards, newsletters, or message boards that serve Greater New York City where I can advertise my services? [more inside]
posted by Violet Blue on Nov 21, 2013 - 2 answers

What to consider and how much to charge for freelance jingles?

How much should I charge companies to write and record 30-60 second instrumental jingles to help sell their products on websites? [more inside]
posted by priested on Nov 20, 2013 - 4 answers

Is there anywhere decent to look for freelance web work?

I'm a frontend web developer with quite a long resume. I work full-time but I'd like to pick up some freelance, remote work in my spare time. I'm wondering if there are any places to look besides my personal network, Craigslist, and those awful "Rent-a-coder" sites where you get underbid by overseas folks who'll do it for $9/hr. [more inside]
posted by drjimmy11 on Nov 5, 2013 - 7 answers

Do I need professional help?

Setting up an LLC for the first time. Do I need an attorney or accountant? Or both? [more inside]
posted by kdern on Oct 21, 2013 - 6 answers

What's the best way for a UK company to pay American worker bees?

About a month ago, a British company hired me to work 25+ hours a week for three months, with the possibility to go full-time after that if my coworker and I land a certain number of clients. (We're opening its New York office.) Payment is a clusterfuck. [more inside]
posted by jessca84 on Oct 20, 2013 - 3 answers

How do I ensure this project is taxed properly?

I'm doing a website project for a local musician, but I need to make sure it's "above board" as far as the IRS is concerned. How do I proceed? 1099 forms, etc? [more inside]
posted by deern the headlice on Oct 8, 2013 - 3 answers

Can I make it as a freelance mechanical engineering consultant?

I have a BS in mechanical engineering and a couple years experience performing FEA simulations for a company in the US military/aerospace industry. I recently found out that there are consulting firms out there charging a lot of money for the same type of services I perform. If possible, I'd like to get my PE license and begin offering my services on a freelance basis. If I can do that successfully, I'd like to form my own consulting firm. My main concern is that I won't be able to find clients. How can I find my way into this market? I've heard that a lot of CAD work is being outsourced and I'm not sure if the demand for these services is really there. I've searched for mechanical engineering listings on freelance sites but I've mostly found low paying odd jobs. My ideal customers would be legitimate companies that need reliable FEA services but are small enough to not have their own mechanical engineer. How can I find these customers? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
posted by PeterKlayton on Oct 3, 2013 - 4 answers

Can I live on the road for <$45/day only including hotels

How can I find out more about the economics of living in certain parts of the United States or in other parts of the world but for short time periods (i.e. likely 3 month to 6 month intervals?) Limited to places that would cost a max of $45/day. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on Sep 27, 2013 - 18 answers

Client wants to finalize a logo design on their end - how do I handle?

I run a freelance design business and I've been working with a small, 3-person finance company on their logo. I delivered the last contracted round of revisions yesterday and the client has more changes, but rather than paying for a few more hours, they are requesting to make changes on their end, even though they are not designers or even in a creative field. How to manage this stickiness? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 9, 2013 - 17 answers

Health Insurance thru Freelancer's Union

Does anyone have any experience with purchasing health insurance through the Freelancer's Union? Any feedback on the process and level of satisfaction with coverage would be appreciated. [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on Sep 3, 2013 - 13 answers

Outsourcing strategies (freelancer edition!)

You're a freelancer and you've outsourced some of your admin/non-creative tasks by hiring a skilled assistant or specialized service. How did you identify what to outsource and to whom? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Aug 27, 2013 - 1 answer

As a teacher, can I refer students to my professional business?

I teach writing to adults. When they ask me to edit something that's not for class (say, for their professional work), can I refer them to my private writing/editing business, even if they're currently enrolled in my class? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Aug 12, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me figure out if there's a market out there for what I want to do?

I have been a travel agent at a small incentive company for 10 years and am considering starting my own freelance business. How do I determine if there is a market out there for what I want to do? [more inside]
posted by kdern on Aug 5, 2013 - 5 answers

Freelance advertising rate for creatives in NYC?

What should my day rate be for copywriting at a major ad agency in New York City? [more inside]
posted by annabellee on Jul 29, 2013 - 5 answers

What monthly maintence fee is appropriate for a 10k software project?

I'm a very inexperienced freelance programmer, who recently delivered a completed software project to a client. They liked it, and asked me if I'd consider "a small annual fee for three years to help with technical issues once it goes live". That sounds fine to me! Except that I have no idea what to charge here - I'd guess 10% p/a but that's pure speculation. Is there some sort of industry standard I could refer to for this sort of thing? If not, what do you typically ask for?
posted by piato on Jul 26, 2013 - 9 answers

Escalating the Freelance Billing Process

I did some freelance work for a small (seven person) webdesign company this past winter and haven't received the final 2/3 of my payment yet. After some missed deadlines on their part, what should be my next step in getting this money? [more inside]
posted by brisquette on Jul 22, 2013 - 11 answers

Help! I'm a newbie freelancer who needs guidance on taxes

I'm new to the world of freelance writing but not making enough to hire a tax advisor. Should I start paying taxes in September? And how can I write off the depreciation of my laptop? [more inside]
posted by bluelight on Jul 20, 2013 - 13 answers

Tradeshow Networking

Help me make the most of an upcoming tradeshow to network and plant seeds for future freelance projects. [more inside]
posted by trbrts on Jul 10, 2013 - 2 answers

Business documents for artists/designers

Usually designers and (to a greater degree, artists) are represented by agents who take care of all the administrative/legislative issues. However, for those who manage their own freelance businesses, it is imperative that they have their own business documents (project questionnaires, proposals, quotations, contracts, invoices, ..). I am interested in mapping out all the needed documents in the process of a project, from the moment the client contacts the designer/artist to the moment the project is submitted and the payments are made. Where can I find some comprehensive/reliable resources for such documents?
posted by omar.a on Jul 10, 2013 - 7 answers

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