I started my advertising agency as a freelancer in 2011 and boot-strapped everything. My wife even went back to teaching to provide medical benefits for our family. Just this year, my team and I moved into an office where we are finally able to offer W2s, a 401(k), and even profit sharing. It has taken all of these years to make this a reality.
My advertising agency works with all types of media, such as video, audio, social, search, traditional and digital. In addition to our W2 staff, we use 1099 freelancers for projects or ongoing work not handled by our day-to-day employees. Much of the work is done off-site (home-based), at a client’s place of business, or during an occasional in-person meeting at our offices.
As a business owner, it is critically important to me to be able to hire freelancers to offer a service to meet a specific client’s need. Example: a video crew for a commercial shoot at a client’s retail store. These requirements change with each customer and can come and go in a moment’s notice. If I had to hire all of my freelancers as W2s, I would not be able to continue my business in New Jersey and would ultimately move out of state (Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida come to mind).
What lawmakers need to know: Starting a business from scratch is an extremely stressful undertaking. In addition to sales, I am responsible for state and federal regulations, IT, human resources, operations and even janitorial if needed. If this legislation had been in place in 2011, my company would not exist. Clients took a leap of faith in me, always as a 1099. With this opportunity, I was able to open a business, pay more taxes (both state and federal) than ever, and remain in New Jersey.
New Jersey is not known to be a business-friendly state, and this proposed legislation is certainly living up to the reputation. If you ever hope to attract more entrepreneurs, families and taxpaying, law-abiding citizens, then I truly hope you will reconsider this overreaching legislation.