Use of Online Directories Can Be Beneficial to Facilities Managers and Commercial Contractors Alike

If you are a facility manager who is looking for a contractor to oversee the completion of a project, you need not worry where you will get one. You can get a commercial contractor from a commercial contractor directory.

Getting a contractor is usually not the problem. The problem is getting one who is qualified. It is quite tricky to get a professional contractor and you need to make sure that you get the right contractor to avoid wasting of valuable resources such as time and money.

Benefits of using a Commercial Contractor Directories

Using a contractor directory might see your business benefit greatly from their services.

Getting quality help is assured: You will be able to find the help that you need as the directory will be sure to get you the contractor that is best suited for the job at the most appropriate rate.

Variety of contractors to choose from: As a facility manager making use of a contractor directory, you will be able to have access to a variety of contractors, which increases your chances of getting the contractor that is right for the job you need done.

Access to contractors within your locality: With the help of a commercial contractor directory, you have access to search facilities that will allow your business to identify and locate the contractors that are within their locality. You will be able to narrow down your search according to their specialism as well as their geographical locations. This will save a lot on time that you would have otherwise spent on the internet looking for a contractor.

Verification of contractors qualifications and expertise: The contractor’s credentials and qualifications are always available from the commercial contractor directory. This will allow you to be in a position to compare the expertise and expertise of the contractors, which will let you know the one that is best suited to take care of your needs.

Facility managers can therefore get the best contractual services from reliable and qualified professional contractors in different fields. Therefore, make sure to make good use of the commercial contractor directory that is near you to have access to a number of contractors to choose. This will see the timely and quality completion of a project or any other work that needs to be done.

If you are a commercial contractor, it is important for you to enlist your services in a commercial contractor directory. This is so because you will be in a position to land more jobs. You need to know that most of the serious and well-established facility managers do not contract just any other random contractor. By joining a directory, you will be able to land bigger and better jobs.

Advantages of Enlisting your Services in a Commercial Contractor Directory

Proof of your qualification and professionalism: A contractor directory makes sure to present your credentials as well as your areas of expertise to facility managers who are potential clients. It is easier to have the directory get you a job than for you to go through the hassle of approaching facility managers personally. Most of the clients usually love employing the services of those contractors in these directories since they are sure that they possess the required skills, expertise and experience.

Landing jobs fit for you: A commercial contractor directory will increase your chances of getting a great contract as many facility managers trust that these directories have only the best at several fields. Therefore, a client will want to use your services, since you are well qualified and you are in a reliable and established directory, meaning that you are legitimate. This means that the clients trust that you will be in a position to finish the project at hand both timely and effectively with use of professionalism and expertise to deliver work of great quality.

Get work within your geographical zone: The directory will also see to it that you get work that is within your geographical zone. Most facility managers are in need of contractors of contractors that are within their location.

Better payment and deals: At the same time, enlisting in a commercial contractor directory will see that you get better payment for jobs done. An individual commercial contractor can be easily exploited. This is not the case with the directory. This is because the directory will push for better deals and you will therefore get better payment.

Enlisting in a commercial contractor directory is therefore quite beneficial for you as you will land better jobs at better prices while at the same time improving your performance record as most of the times, the directory might refer you to clients.

Which Is Better: Employee Or Independent Contractor?

A friend recently picked up and moved her life across the country to take a job with a start-up company. Though the move was risky, the opportunity was too amazing to pass up.

Initially she was hired as a full-time employee, but eight months later, the company changed her role to that of an independent contractor. For me, this raised two questions: Is it better for a worker to take a position as an independent contractor or a regular employee? And why might an employer choose one over the other?

Over the past 40 years, Congress has passed several laws that outline the distinctions between employees and independent contractors with regards to their compensation, benefits and relationships to their employers. Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 laid the initial groundwork for the regulations we follow today.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, there was a growing concern for the future of the Social Security program. Some blamed the funding issue on independent contractors skimping on self-employment tax. This perception led to an increase in audits by the Internal Revenue Service. This, in turn, led to criticism that the IRS was too aggressive in classifying workers as employees, rather than as self-employed independent contractors, and that it applied its criteria inconsistently. Congress responded by enacting Section 530, providing safe harbor for employers by preventing the IRS from retroactively reclassifying independent contractors as employees. Section 530 protected employers from large penalties and back taxes as long as they met the law’s standards.

In order for employers to qualify for safe harbor under Section 530, the IRS required: a reasonable basis for treating the workers as independent contractors; consistency in the way such workers were treated; and proper tax reporting using 1099 forms for those categorized as contractors. Though Section 530 was initially intended to be an interim measure for the audit issue of the ’60s and ’70s, it became the enduring baseline for today’s worker classification regulations. Subsequent legislation, such as the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, further clarified the language in Section 530, as well as the rules of safe harbor availability and the question of who holds the burden of proof for classifications.

Many employers use the following rule of thumb to distinguish between a contractor and an employee: If an employer has the right to control both the means by which the worker performs his or her services and the ends that work produces, the worker is considered an employee. In 1987, the IRS released a 20-factor list, based on prior cases and rulings, to help employers resolve some of the “gray areas” that this rule does not resolve. Some of the factors included on the list were: training; set hours of work; payment by the hour, week or month; furnishing tools or materials; doing work on the employer’s premises; and payment of business expenses.

For example, if the employer requires the worker to go through a training class before commencing work, or to use particular tools or materials the employer provides, the worker would qualify as an employee. Similarly, if the employer requests the worker be on site at the company headquarters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, the worker is an employee, not an independent contractor.

The overarching theme of all these factors is that an employer has the right to control how an employee produces his or her work. When hiring an independent contractor, the employer gives up this control. Independent contractors have a strong focus on the final result, not the process to complete the project. Overall, the IRS’ 20-factor list helped many employers create a baseline to evaluate the role of their hires and avoid misclassification.

In 1996, the IRS took the list a step further by identifying three broad categories of evidence to be used in discriminating between an employee and an independent contractor. The three categories are behavioral control, financial control and relationship of the parties. In general, employers can only minimally regulate contractors’ behavior. Contractors have the freedom to subcontract the work they receive, complete the work in the way they feel is most efficient, and set their own hours and work location.

Financial control means that contractors’ payment standard is based on a “per task” or “piece work” pay. Therefore, the amount of time and energy contractors expend on the work they produce is up to the contractors, not their employers. In contrast, employees are typically paid an hourly wage or a salary, which their employers monitor and control, along with the number of hours worked. Employees also may receive additional benefits, such as health coverage or retirement plans, which independent contractors do not receive.

The third category, relationship of the parties, refers to the increasing practice of employers requiring employees to sign non-compete clauses or non-disclosure agreements. Generally, independent contractors are not required to sign such legal contracts. Contractors can work with multiple employers if they so choose – even competing employers. An employer does not have the right to control the relationships an independent contractor may develop outside of their work for that particular employer.

The legal distinction between employees and contractors is clear. Why, then, would a worker or an employer prefer one situation over the other? There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to a contractor or employee role, merely preferences for each situation.

An independent contractor enjoys more flexibility than a full-time employee. The contractor can essentially be his own boss, by developing his own schedule, working without close supervision, and taking on as heavy or light a workload as he sees fit. This provides open-ended earnings potential. Working for multiple employers also gives contractors more job security in one sense, because one employer going broke or cutting back on staff will not destroy the contractor’s whole stream of income. For an employee, on the other hand, it may be more appealing to have a predictable schedule, the possibility for advancement, and a more stable income flow.

From an employer’s perspective, an independent contractor may be a good fit if the employer does not have the resources or manpower to pay, monitor or use an employee full time. The employer may simply need someone to complete projects on an occasional basis. In contrast, if an employer prefers to maintain close supervision and needs a worker who is available on a regular and predictable basis, and if the employer has the means to pay the worker a stable salary or hourly wage, then hiring the worker as an employee would be a more logical decision.

Employers and workers must also weigh factors such as taxes, health care and retirement benefits into their decisions. When hiring an independent contractor, the employer does not pay the worker’s taxes; rather, independent contractors are responsible for paying the tax themselves through the self-employment tax on Schedule SE, which covers their Medicare and Social Security tax. An employer withholds the equivalent tax from an employee’s paycheck. Contractors can deduct the employer-equivalent portion of the self-employment tax when calculating their adjusted gross income. However, this deduction only affects income tax, not self-employment tax. All self-employment income is then reported on Schedule C.

Generally, employers are responsible for providing a 1099 form to contractors for their income reporting on Schedule C, in particular for income amounts over $600. However, the burden falls on the contractor to keep accurate records, regardless of whether they received the tax forms or proper documentation. Independent contractors must also be conscious of making estimated tax payments throughout the year, which can be a challenge when income is not as steady as an employee’s would be. And when they purchase equipment or materials, or use a home office for work, independent contractors must track their expenses so that they can be deducted properly.

Independent contractors deduct their business expenses directly against their business receipts, reporting the information on Schedule C of Form 1040. Employees sometimes incur unreimbursed business expenses too, such as for tools or union dues. Employees get less favorable treatment, handling such expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A. Most such expenses are deductible only if they exceed 2 percent of the employee’s adjusted gross income. Overall, independent contractors face a more complex tax situation, even if it is sometimes more favorable.

The recent passage of the Affordable Care Act raised concern and uncertainty regarding which insurance and care programs will be available to independent contractors or to those seeking individual coverage. We may see a change, too, in what options employers will provide for their employees in the future, particularly within company-sponsored group plans. The complication and uncertainty of the new health care landscape will take some time to play out, for independent contractors and employees alike.

Additionally, workers should consider the impact of operating as an independent contractor or as an employee on their retirement planning. Many employers provide access to 401(k) plans or profit sharing plans, which assist employees in saving for their retirement (on top of individual saving they may pursue via IRA or Roth IRA accounts). Independent contractors will need to save for their retirement entirely on their own. Though certainly manageable, this arrangement places greater responsibility on independent contractors to ensure not only that they save enough, but also that they follow regulations to ensure they are contributing properly. Otherwise, they may end up paying penalties for overcontributing or contributing to the wrong type of account, depending on their income levels.

Considering the pros and cons of each type of work, I return to my original question. Was it better for my friend to end up as an independent contractor instead of an employee? Maybe. The change offered her flexible work hours, less supervision and the opportunity to contract with other companies, with the resulting potential for additional income. In exchange, she lost a stable salary, as well as her health and retirement benefits. The only person who can say if the trade was worthwhile is my friend. As for why the start-up company preferred her as a contractor, I can only speculate. My instincts say the primary factor was probably cost. By cutting health and retirement benefits and paying her piecemeal, they will likely save money, allowing them to put more funds back into the young firm.

Provided she is happy with her switch in position, I would say the end result is a win for both parties. When workers and employers have compatible goals, everyone can benefit, whether that worker is an independent contractor or an employee.

Home And Garden Decorating

Decorating is most often done upon moving into a home whether it is purchased new or already established but it can also be done whenever the mood hits or one has outgrown a particular design. When decorating or re-decorating a room, the first question that should be asked is: What is the purpose of this space?

The purpose of a space may not simply be a functional purpose, it might also be what feeling or mood the room should emit. For example, the purpose of a dining room might be to provide a place to gather and eat a meal. This is true. But, the purpose might also be to make the extended family feel welcome and inspire conversation. Or the purpose of a bedroom might be to provide a place to sleep, but it might also be to provide a peaceful sanctuary from the hassles of everyday life. The secondary purpose of a room may vary
once the purpose of the room is decided; the next step is to find the pieces of furniture and accessories that will match that purpose. However, if the piece is made of synthetic materials, has a very unorthodox shape or color and is real cheap (or worse, way over-priced), it is probably not worth the money. One or two pieces such as this may be a fun and whimsical addition to a room–they can be traded out at any time–but an entire room like this will have to be redone sooner than later. Investing in quality pieces will save time and money and offer a higher resale price when changing them out.

The garden themes can be changed seasonally and the pieces can be stored in a dry place and reused in the following cycle of the seasons. A very practical way in curbing your expense, yet offer a periodic changed look.
A good place to find various types of these home and garden items that are theme oriented on the internet is at Family-eStore.com. They offer a good selection of items or gifts for you or for you to buy for someone else, to help you or your friends to decorate or redecorate with. They also offer very competitive pricing and you will also have a good feeling in helping someone else because they donate 10% of all their sales to various charities.