Independent Contractors FAQ

  1. I need someone to work on a special project or perform specialized services. Could I engage someone as an Independent Contractor?
    • Maybe. Generally individuals who perform services for Miami are considered employees and should be hired following approved search and hiring procedures. However, there are times when individuals are needed to provide a service that might be categorized as an independent contractor. At Miami, independent contractors are often used to perform short-term services or assignments for the University.
  2. How do I accomplish this?
    • Visit the Human Resources or Academic Personnel website and locate the Request for Determination of Service form – about four weeks in advance of the date of the service, complete it and submit (via Formstack submission). This form will identify whether or not the service being performed meets that of an independent contractor. Within ten business days the form will be reviewed and the determination will be communicated to the requestor via email. Submitting the Request as soon as you know the service is needed is the best idea – no need to wait until four weeks before the date of service.
  3. I know who I want to perform the service; how do I communicate that?
    • Locate the Prospective Provider form from the website and complete it. Since this form contains someone’s social security number, it is submitted via an encrypted Formstack form. Submit this form as soon as you know who the provider might be; notification of the provider’s eligibility will be sent to departmental contact within two business days.
  4. What information do I need to collect from the service provider?
    • Social Security number; completed OPERS form; completed W-9; resume/vita; OPERS or STRS retirement status, if possible.
  5. I received confirmation that the service meets the guidelines as an independent contractor and I’ve now identified a prospective provider. What do I do next?
    • Complete a Professional Service Agreement (PSA) with the provider, resume/vita, OPERS Form*, submit through your unit’s approval process (supervisor/chair/dean) and submit to Human Resources or Academic Personnel via campus mail (include the approved Determination) at the beginning of the services. The form will be reviewed/approved and returned to the department contact.
  6. If Human Resources or Academic Personnel determines that the individual meets qualifications as an Independent Contractor how do I get him/her paid?
    • Have the service provider complete the W9 form and submit in Buyway along with the signed Professional Services Agreement once services are rendered.
  7. Do I submit the OPERS form in Buyway?
    • No, that is no longer the process. Submit the OPERS form with the PSA and Human Resources or Academic Personnel will transmit the form to OPERS.
  8. I have used this individual to provide services for us in the past, do I have to complete all process steps each time a service is provided?
    • It depends. As long as the service is within the same 365-day period, you may submit the previously approved Determination of Service Provider form for consideration.
  9. The determination I received was that the service to be provided cannot be designated as independent contractor service? What happens now?
    • If you continue to want the services, you will need to follow established hiring procedures from Academic Personnel or Human Resources to recomment the employment of someone to perform this work.