An independent contractor is an outside worker, hired to complete a specific task. They operate their own business, and invoice their clients on a per project basis. While they perform work for several companies, they're not an actual employee of any one. They don't receive benefits; nor are taxes deducted from their paycheck. The independent contractor is therefore responsible for making his or her own tax payments to the federal government. Probably the most familiar example of independent contractors are the specialists brought in to build a home: the electricians, plumbers, masonry workers, and so on. Many writers and graphic artists operate as independent contractors, or freelancers. So do many of the people who voice radio and tv commercials, or work in film. If you have enough talent and experience, you may be able to strike out on your own, as a freelancer. But you'll need to be self-disciplined, able to generate new business, and juggle a variety of tasks.