NYC Freelance Isn’t Free Act – Requirements for Doing Business with Contractors

Effective May 15, 2017, New York City enacted the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (“FIFA”) which affects the legal rights of certain types of independent contractors. Under FIFA, all agreements between hiring parties and independent contractors in certain industries, such as the film and video, graphic and web design and media and photography industries, valued at $800 or more, either by itself or when aggregated with other contracts between the same parties for services rendered during the immediately preceding 120-day period, must be in writing. The written contract must contain:

  • the name and mailing address of the hiring party and independent contractor;
  • an itemization of the services to be provided;
  • the value of such services;
  • the rate and method of compensation; and
  • the date on which the independent contractor will be paid or a mechanism to determine such date.

If a payment date or mechanism is not specified in the written contract, the hiring party must pay the independent contractor within 30 days after the completion of services under the contract.

Failure to execute a written agreement and abide by the requirements imposed under the FIFA could result in civil penalties against the hiring party.