Freelancer/ Independent Contractor

Guide to Laws for Freelancers in Los Angeles


Most laws related to freelancers and independent contractors are made at the state and federal level. See our Guide to Freelancer Law in California and our Guide to Freelancer Law in the U.S.

The Los Angeles City Council has recently passed the Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance, which provides certain protections for freelancers based in Los Angeles. It is also referred to as the Los Angeles “Freelance Isn’t Free Act.” Effective for contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2023, it requires the hiring party to pay by the time specified in the contract, or if there is no contract, within 30 days after services are performed. To enforce against a hiring party, freelancers may file a complaint with the Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards (OWS).

See more, as well as the full text of the law, at our Guide to the LA Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance.

Another issue Los Angeles based freelancers need to know about is the local business license, also known as the business tax registration.

Below are some recommendations to help protect yourself as a freelance worker.


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  • See our Freelancer Resources
  • To protect your rights as a freelancer, you should get a good contract drafted by a lawyer to spell out exactly what the terms are when a client hires you.
  • You may want to form an LLC for your freelance work. See more about this and other business related issues at our Guide to Small Business Law.
  • Check out Rocket Lawyer1NOTE: Law Soup Media may receive compensation from Rocket Lawyer if you use any of their services., which provides affordable and simple legal services for business & much more. They are currently offering a 7 day FREE TRIAL!
  • You may also want to find a good local small business lawyer.
  • Get the new book How to Be Free(lance): What Every Self-Employed Person Needs to Know about Law and Taxes



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