Top 5 Things You Wanted to Know About a Virtual Assistant: Is a Virtual Assistant My Employee
This is the second post in our series that reveals the Top 5 Things You Wanted to Know About a Virtual Assistant. Our last post explained the definition of a virtual assistant. This post will answer the question: Is a Virtual Assistant My Employee?
The short answer is absolutely not. A virtual assistant is not your employee. A virtual assistant, also known as a VA, is an independent contractor that provides business support to clients from their home office. This is an important concept for the client to completely understand when hiring and working with a virtual assistant.
Unlike hiring an employee for your business; you should not require a resume or referral from a virtual assistant. Resumes are submitted by employees seeking jobs not virtual assistants contracting with clients. Professional virtual assistants, like other service providers, should have testimonials on their website from satisfied clients that attest to their abilities and services. You are entering into an agreement with their business for specific services not hiring an employee.
Also, when working with a virtual assistant understanding he or she is not an employee is critical for two reasons. First, you must understand your virtual assistant is not an employee for the purpose of taxes. The Internal Revenue Service distinguishes the difference between an employee and independent contract such as a virtual assistant. The IRS clearly states that, “You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.”
Another important reason is that you do not want to think of your VA as just an employee in which you assign routine tasks. It is good to understand and establish from the beginning that it is a partnership. You are entrusting a task or project to an expert just as if you were hiring a lawyer or accountant. A virtual assistant can easily become an invaluable partner in your business with an invested interest in its success. A VA can offer great new ideas and feedback to continue to help your business grow.
Please stay tuned for our next question in this series that will answer: What Are The Benefits of Working With a VA?
Is there a question you always wanted to know about a VA? Please let us know in the comments below.