Contracting without a contract
June 11, 2010 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Is the lack of any formal contract normal when starting contracting work for a contracting firm?

I've been told I'm going to get an offer to do work as a contractor by this recruiting and contracting firm. However, when I said, "OK, that's great, but I'll wait for the offer letter," the reply was, "Well, there's not going to be a letter. If you want, I can send you an email stating where you'll be working and for what rate."

I've never worked as a contractor before. When you start a full-time job, you get an offer letter from the company that states in what capacity you'll be working for the company and for what salary. It's signed.

Since the contract is between the contracting firm and their client company, it makes sense that I'm not going to get an offer letter from the client company, but I'd think there'd be a contract between me and the contracting firm.

They said they normally don't have anything like that, just an NDA-type form. I've asked for the contracting firm to provide a signed document that at least states my rate, and they said they would.

So, is this normal? I find it a little weird, but they're a huge firm, and I don't think they're shady.

And is there anything else I should ask for to protect myself?
posted by ignignokt to Work & Money (7 answers total)
When you signed on with the recruiting firm did you sign anything that would outline rates of pay and that sort of thing? Maybe they see that as the contract.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:08 AM on June 11, 2010

Response by poster: I didn't. Just something about intellectual property.
posted by ignignokt at 11:19 AM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: As a data point, I am a contractor, who works for a contracting firm, and I was given a formal contract to sign when I first started.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 11:37 AM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: I have very rarely had any paperwork for this kind of contract work. As long as you filled out tax forms with the agency, I think you're fine.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:37 AM on June 11, 2010

I'd ask for that email, at minimum.
posted by canine epigram at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: The email will be sufficient - you just want a document to go back to that outlines the agreement. You're basically a sub-contractor and it is pretty normal to fly without a contract.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:12 PM on June 11, 2010

Response by poster: OK, thanks for the reassuring data points, everyone!
posted by ignignokt at 8:23 AM on June 12, 2010

« Older 80s track with spoken Russian   |   Beginning SCUBA in NYC Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.