Contracting freelancers in the US: Benefits and risks


Solar Staff has surveyed 400 HR managers of US companies and found that businesses save an average of 47% when working with international freelancers compared to local staff. However, new laws may result in fines. If it turns out that a company has wrongly classified a freelancer as a full-time employee, it’ll have to pay penalties. 

  • Most respondents reported average savings of at least 20% on taxes and benefits, while the total expenses varied from 18% to 83% depending on the employee’s salary.
  • The majority of companies delegated more tasks to freelancers in 2023 (a 43% increase compared to 2022).
  • Those engaging both local and international freelancers in large numbers are also the most skillful at saving, reducing costs by up to 47%.
  • The main challenge associated with local freelancers is possible misclassification penalties. 66% of respondents have already encountered such issues, and 75% anticipate similar challenges in the future. 
  • Legal uncertainty and potential penalties have affected 66% of businesses that work with international contractors. 71% of respondents admitted this might lead them to start recruiting local talent instead. 

The global freelance workforce comprises around 1.57 billion individuals, and this number steadily rises each year. In the United States, freelancing is on track to constitute the majority of the workforce by 2027, injecting over $1.4 trillion into the U.S. economy.