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Author Topic: Short Term Employment Cost  (Read 1192 times)

JoeKitchen

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Short Term Employment Cost
« on: February 15, 2018, 08:32:28 AM »

I just priced out a project where I would need to hire a team of 15 people for a period of two or three months.  This team would consist of 5 photographers, 5 photo assistants, 3 administrative assistant, an electrician/handyman and an on-site manager. 

I needed to submit this bid on a pretty tight deadline and only had about a day to think this project over.  So I bidded all of the workers at actual day rates for independent shoots just to be safe.  $750 per day for the second shooters, $300 for the assistants, etc.  This is way too high for this project, but I had a limited amount of time and wanted to be safe.

After thinking about it, since I am supplying everything and they would be on payroll, I would probably pay anywhere from $12 to $50 per hour depending on the position and experience.  Benefits would not be supplied and I would take that into account with higher then average hourly wage.  I do know there is going to be payroll costs and taxes associated with this, and I have an idea of what those costs will be. 

However, it just occurred to me, will I have to pay into an unemployment fund?  If so, would this have to be enough to cover a certain amount of unemployment for all of those hired after the 2 or 3 month gig is up? 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

DP

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 08:58:58 AM »

However, it just occurred to me, will I have to pay into an unemployment fund?  If so, would this have to be enough to cover a certain amount of unemployment for all of those hired after the 2 or 3 month gig is up?

only if any of them are on your W2 payroll... chances are some might be ind. contractors  or you can think about flying under IRS and moral and try to pay some cash.... simple 1099 instead of W2... or you can get the crew (part of it) from some staffing vendor (there shall be some outlets who supply photography-specific profiles) on C2C basis

PS: and remember that some W2s in non-exempt situations (job title & duties/pay size) must be paid 1.5 for the overtime based on Federal and state laws
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 09:02:18 AM by DP »
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petermfiore

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 09:09:39 AM »

Hi Joe,

Have a talk with your CPA or Tax Attorney today. To discuss all your options.

Peter

JoeKitchen

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 09:13:27 AM »

Thank you for the quick responses. 

I will certainly keep a staffing agency in mind.  Insofar as stalking with my accountant and lawyer, I will cross that bridge if the shoot actually happens. 
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Joe Kitchen
www.josephmkitchen.com

"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

DP

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 09:16:08 AM »

Hi Joe,

Have a talk with your CPA or Tax Attorney today. To discuss all your options.

Peter

the safest route is to win and subcontract the whole mess to somebody else  ;D
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 09:25:44 AM »

the safest route is to win and subcontract the whole mess to somebody else  ;D

That would be my plan and why I already found a producer in case it actually happens. 

To be honest, I am really pushing for them to just send me to China as a consultant to set up and train an in house studio at the plant. 
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Joe Kitchen
www.josephmkitchen.com

"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

Miles

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 10:25:31 AM »

Be careful on the 1099 vs. W2.  States have different guidelines and tests for determining who is an employee versus independent contractor.  Some states are very aggressive in this area and you may have to apply for predetermination.  The last thing you want is to finish the job and then find out months later the state is considering those workers to be actual employees and you are subject to back taxes, penalties and interest.

Miles
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PeterAit

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 11:31:10 AM »

I just priced out a project where I would need to hire a team of 15 people for a period of two or three months.  This team would consist of 5 photographers, 5 photo assistants, 3 administrative assistant, an electrician/handyman and an on-site manager. 

I needed to submit this bid on a pretty tight deadline and only had about a day to think this project over.  So I bidded all of the workers at actual day rates for independent shoots just to be safe.  $750 per day for the second shooters, $300 for the assistants, etc.  This is way too high for this project, but I had a limited amount of time and wanted to be safe.

After thinking about it, since I am supplying everything and they would be on payroll, I would probably pay anywhere from $12 to $50 per hour depending on the position and experience.  Benefits would not be supplied and I would take that into account with higher then average hourly wage.  I do know there is going to be payroll costs and taxes associated with this, and I have an idea of what those costs will be. 

However, it just occurred to me, will I have to pay into an unemployment fund?  If so, would this have to be enough to cover a certain amount of unemployment for all of those hired after the 2 or 3 month gig is up?

Sounds like some pretty serious business - congrats! But, you need a lawyer and an accountant. Seriously. This is part of being a responsible businessman and not an amateur hack. It's a business expense.
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Peter
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 12:12:12 PM »

Sounds like some pretty serious business - congrats! But, you need a lawyer and an accountant. Seriously. This is part of being a responsible businessman and not an amateur hack. It's a business expense.

The lawyers and accountants come in when it comes time to draft the actual contract, if it actually happens. 
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Joe Kitchen
www.josephmkitchen.com

"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

ericstaud

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Re: Short Term Employment Cost
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2018, 10:57:06 AM »

I'm a little late to this conversation, but in case you're still looking.... You can use Smith & Stilwell. They pay the assistants directly and handle the workers comp, taxes, etc, effectively becoming the employer of record. The fee in California is 25%, which I believe is 1 or 2% for their service and 23 or 24% toward taxes, workers comp, etc. You end up paying an invoice from Smith & Stilwell and that becomes the receipt you submit on your job if needed.

Smith & Stilwell
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