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Freelancer vs. Employee — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Published on September 24, 2023
A freelancer is an independent contractor who works on a project-to-project basis, often for multiple clients. An employee works under an employment contract with a single employer and usually receives benefits like health insurance and paid time off.
Freelancer vs. Employee — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Freelancer and Employee

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Key Differences

A freelancer is essentially a self-employed individual who offers services to various clients without being tied down to a single employer. The person has the freedom to choose projects, set rates, and manage their own schedule. In contrast, an employee is hired by a specific company and generally has a more structured work environment, involving a set schedule, salary, and typically, various employment benefits like health insurance.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023
From a financial perspective, freelancers are responsible for managing their own taxes, as they are considered business owners. This differs markedly from employees, who have taxes, social security, and other deductions automatically withheld from their paychecks by their employers. Freelancers also generally don't receive benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, or paid vacations, which are commonly offered to employees.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023
Grammatically, "freelancer" is usually a noun ("She is a freelancer"), but can also function as an adjective ("He took on a freelancer role"). "Employee," on the other hand, is primarily used as a noun ("He is an employee"), but can occasionally serve as an adjective in phrases like "employee benefits."
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023
In essence, the key differences between a freelancer and an employee lie in the level of commitment, financial responsibility, and benefits. A freelancer generally has more freedom but less financial security, while an employee sacrifices some level of autonomy for the stability and benefits provided by regular employment.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Comparison Chart

Employment Status

Independent Contractor
Contract with a single employer
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023
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Financial Responsibility

Manages own taxes
Taxes withheld by employer
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Benefits

Generally none
Usually offered
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Flexibility

High
Lower
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Part of Speech

Noun and sometimes Adjective
Primarily Noun
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Freelancer

A person who provides services without long-term commitment to any employer.
Tom is a freelancer who specializes in graphic design.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Employee

A person receiving a regular salary and employment benefits.
As an employee, Mary has access to healthcare benefits.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Freelancer

A self-employed individual working on a project-to-project basis.
As a freelancer, Jane has the flexibility to choose her clients.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Employee

An individual who works under an employment contract for a specific company.
John is an employee at the tech firm.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Freelancer

An independent contractor not tied to a single employer.
Bob enjoys the freedom of being a freelancer.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Employee

An individual whose taxes are managed by the employer.
Tina likes being an employee because her taxes are automatically withheld.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Freelancer

A professional who sets their own rates and schedules.
Being a freelancer allows Sarah to work whenever she wants.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Employee

A worker subject to a structured work environment and schedule.
Being an employee means Mike has to report to work by 9 a.m.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Freelancer

A worker who manages their own taxes and benefits.
As a freelancer, Emily has to take care of her own health insurance.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Employee

A person bound by company policies and regulations.
As an employee, Jack must adhere to the company's code of conduct.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 15, 2023

Freelancer

A person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 14, 2023

Employee

A person who works for another in return for financial or other compensation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 14, 2023

Freelancer

One who freelances
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 14, 2023

Employee

An individual who provides labor to a company or another person.
One way to encourage your employees to work harder is by giving them incentives.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 14, 2023

Employee

One employed by another.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 14, 2023

Employee

A worker who is hired to perform a job
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 14, 2023

Common Curiosities

Do Employees get benefits like health insurance?

Typically, yes, employees often receive benefits like health insurance.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

What part of speech is Employee?

Employee is primarily a noun.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

What is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed individual offering services to various clients.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Do Freelancers have flexible schedules?

Yes, freelancers usually have more flexible schedules compared to employees.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Who is responsible for a Freelancer's taxes?

The freelancer is responsible for managing their own taxes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Who is responsible for an Employee's taxes?

The employer is responsible for withholding the employee's taxes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Can a Freelancer work for multiple clients?

Yes, freelancers can work for multiple clients at the same time.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Is an Employee tied to a specific employer?

Yes, employees usually work for a single employer.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Can an Employee also be a Freelancer?

Yes, some people work as employees while freelancing on the side.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Who has more job security, a Freelancer or an Employee?

Typically, employees have more job security due to contracts and employment laws.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

What is an Employee?

An employee works under an employment contract for a specific company.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

What part of speech is Freelancer?

Freelancer is usually a noun but can also serve as an adjective.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Do Freelancers usually receive benefits?

Generally, no, freelancers do not receive employment benefits.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Is it easier to become a Freelancer or an Employee?

It varies; freelancing can be easier to start but may offer less job security.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

Which is better, being a Freelancer or an Employee?

It depends on individual preferences, financial needs, and lifestyle considerations.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 24, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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