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I am starting part-time consulting in the U.S. on the side of my full-time job, mostly for fun (programming and web development). So far, I only completed one project and although I am marketing myself for more, it's not unlikely I'll keep hovering around 2 to 3 projects a year.

That was probably a mistake but since this was my first experience, I focused on making the client happy (and making sure I wasn't violating the terms of my full-time contract) more than on the legal aspects of me effectively taking on a second job.

Now that the job is done and the client is asking me for an invoice, I realize that there is more to the legal side of my fun little consulting gig, and frankly, I'd rather not have to deal with it.

For just a few projects a year I am mostly doing for fun, I don't want to get deep in the weeds of paperwork, licensing, and the like. And I would not mind if the money I take went down provided someone was dealing with that for me.

Are there any company/services out there that, for some fee (whether a cut of the contract or a flat fee) allow you to be "as carefree as an employee" when it comes to legalities, taxes, invoicing, etc. ?

What I mean is with my "regular" employer, I don't have to worry about taxes, business licenses, or billing the clients I am working for through my employer.

For my consulting work, is it possible to go through a third party that, for some fee, deals with all those things while leaving me the job of finding clients, negotiating rates and extent of projects, whether I want to take on a project or not, etc.

I realize what I am describing might not be all that clear. Feel free to ask for clarifications if it indeed isn't.

To clarify, I am not looking for explicit recommendations of a particular professional or company. I am more interested in the right keyword and distinctions between business titles that could carry services (or packages of services) like the ones I am looking for.

Not being from the U.S. originally, I don't even know where to start. Where I am companies offering similar bundles of services would be called "secrétariat sociaux" or maybe "coopérative d'indépendants" among other names. But I don't what the "equivalent" is for the U.S.

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  • Such services do exist; as phrased this question might be viewed as 'recommend me a good service to do this', which would be off-topic. You may want to edit to solicit advice more along the lines of 'what should I look for when considering such services'. Commented May 26, 2021 at 14:47
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    It makes sense that questions like "recommend a good service for Y" are off topic here, thanks for pointing it out explicitly. I'll clarify the question on this point in a second.
    – FZS
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 17:14
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    I think the self-answer you provided is fair, and not spam. I don't think it needs to be deleted, but cannot vote to undue as it was deleted by a moderator. Anyway, glad to see you found resources. Commented May 28, 2021 at 13:45
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    @JohnFx Would you care to explain your deletion of the OP’s answer?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 14:13
  • @BenMiller-RememberMonica It was flagged as not an answer and I agreed. However, given how vague the question is it is hard to tell. It might be a better edit to mhoran_posprep's answer or a comment
    – JohnFx
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

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I would start with a small business development center which is a program in the Small business administration:

The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) administers the Small Business Development Centers Program to provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDCs offer one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of information and guidance in central and easily accessible branch locations.

The program is a cooperative effort of the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments. It enhances economic development by providing small businesses with management and technical assistance.

There are now 62 Lead Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) -- one in every state (Texas has four, California has six), the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- with a network of more than 900 service locations. In each state there is a lead organization which sponsors the SBDC and manages the program. The lead organization coordinates program services offered to small businesses through a network of subcenters and satellite locations in each state. Subcenters are located at colleges, universities, community colleges, vocational schools, chambers of commerce and economic development corporations.

You can search by zip code for resources near you.

They can provide advice regarding how to get started and where you can find other resources.

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I don't think this all-in-one service exists, because it includes accounting, insurance and legal services while excluding staffing services.

Your best bet may be to contract with a bookkeeper or CPA who is willing to oversee all of these services that will make you feel "as carefree as an employee."

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