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Independent Contractors

Did you miss our Caffeine and Contractors presentation?

Check out the slides from the in-person session:

Caffeine and Contractors Presentation

Welcome to the Office of the General Counsel’s Independent Contractor Request process and guidelines. We’re here to help you get the people you need to achieve your business goals.

What you need to know to get started

Before the University can hire somebody as an independent contractor, we need to determine if the law allows us to do so.  We have streamlined the review process to provide you the best service possible. 

After completing this form, you will receive a response from the Office of the General Counsel within 5 business days of submitting your request.  If you have exigent circumstances, please fill out the appropriate form and contact us at  We will do our best to expedite your request.

The independent contractor request process is a four step process. 

1. The form   

First, we need you to fill out and submit the appropriate independent contractor form below.  The forms provide us with the information we need to make an informed decision on whether this person can legally be hired as an independent contractor. 

2. The evaluation

Next, we will verify that the person you wish to hire can in fact be hired as an independent contractor.  In some circumstances we may need to follow up with you to gather more information, but generally speaking these forms give us everything we need.  

3. The determination

We will issue a decision on your request and contact you via email.  If your request is approved, we will send you a prepopulated contract (the "Independent Contractor Agreement") via Adobe Sign for the authorized signatory and your independent contractor to sign.  We only accept e-signature for independent contractor agreements.  If your contractor cannot digitally sign the agreement, please contact us and/or let us know when you complete the form.  If there are any special circumstances, such as proof of insurance or other forms that we need to receive before you can sign the agreement, we will let you know.  

If your request cannot be approved, the dialogue won't end there.  We will follow up with to discuss alternatives to help you get what you need.

4. The signing of the contract

Once the independent contractor and the authorized signatory have signed the contract, it will be returned via email to for signature by the Office of the General Counsel.  The contract is not binding and the contractor may not begin working until it is signed by the Office of the General Counsel.

The Independent Contractor Forms 

We know your time is valuable, so we have created two forms for you to fill out; an abridged version for straight forward cases, and a full version for all others.  

You may use the Shortened Independent Contractor Request Form if the proposed contractor is a Speaker/Presenter, DJ, Musician, Band, Actor, Club Sports Official/Referee or Photographer/Videographer.

Otherwise, please complete the Independent Contractor Request Form.

Both the Independent Contractor Request form and the abbreviated version have required fields that need to be populated in order to submit your request.  The information you need to have ready in order to submit a request is detailed below.  All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

The full independent contractor request form

Who you are (name, department, extension, email)
If SCU contact is someone else, tell us their name, extension, & email
Who the contractor is (name, phone number, email, mailing address)
Description of proposed services  
Statement of work/proposal (optional)
How you found this person
Proposed date(s) this person will perform the service(s)? If supporting specific event, name/description and date of event
Proposed compensation, compensation structure (hourly wage, lump sum etc.) and estimated hours to completion
If this person physically will be on campus
If these services your department needs regularly
If other employees in your department performing similar services
If this contractor receive supervision or training as part of this project
If this person a current or former SCU employee, tell us their SCU job title, department, scope of duties, last date of employment
If this person has their own business, (Business name and Tax ID number (EIN))
If this person works for other organization(s)
Upload a representative client list

The shortened independent contractor request form

Type of contractor (e.g. band, speaker/presenter)
If contractor has been employed by SCU in last year
If speaker or presenter, speaker or presenter's topic
Who you are (name, department, extension, email, budget string)
If SCU contact is someone else, tell us their name, extension, & email
Who the contractor is (name, phone number, email, company name (optional), mailing address)
Proposed date(s) that contractor will be performing the services. If supporting specific event, name/description and date of event
Proposed compensation, compensation structure (hourly wage, lump sum etc.) and estimated hours to completion

Like many good questions, the answer is "it depends."

What is an honorarium?

An honorarium is used when someone comes to campus to speak or give a presentation, without the expectation of compensation.  An honorarium is a way to say thank you and is a nominal amount.

When should I fill out the Independent Contractor Form?

If the person coming to campus is expecting compensation as a result of speaking or presenting, then we will need to create and execute a contract for them before they come to campus.  For speakers and presenters, you may fill out the shortened Independent Contractor Request Form.  

Bottom Line

An honorarium is not a substitute for going through the Indepenent Contractor process.  Instead, an honorarium is a way to show our gratitude to someone who comes to campus and speaks or gives a presentation for free.  

The pivotal question to ask is: "Do I have to pay this person for speaking or giving this presentation?"  If the answer is yes, please follow the Independent Contractor Process before this person comes to campus.  If the answer is no, an honorarium may be appropriate.  Contact us at to discuss the possibility of using an honorarium or if you have any further questions.  

Updating an existing agreement?

We know stuff changes.  Maybe you need to extend the timeframe or adjust some wording elsewhere in the contract.  Whatever you need, complete the form below and we will follow up with you and/or send you a modified agreement.