After graduation from massage therapy school, the massage therapist has several important career decisions to make. She can choose to work for a salon, spa or medical center; she can also opt to join an establishment as an independent contractor. In general, a massage therapist acting as an independent contractor has more flexibility and control over her business. A massage therapist independent contractor agreement is essential to help protect both parties in this type of arrangement.
Why You Need One
Setting up an independent contractor agreement benefits both parties involved and helps lay out the exact parameters of a massage therapist's duties, as well as the facility owner’s obligations to the massage therapist. According to Massage and Bodywork Magazine, many owners -- whether intentionally or unknowingly -- take advantage of independent contractors. They sometimes make independent contractors do work beyond their agreed upon duties. The independent contractor agreement legally binds both parties to whatever is in the contract, so any issues that come up the parties can easily solve by referring to the contract.
What Is Included
Each facility utilizes its own agreement with its own specifications, but typically a massage therapist independent contractor agreement covers similar areas. The contract includes the specific types of services the massage therapist will offer, such as hot stone massage, sports massage, prenatal massage or reflexology. It can specify the therapist’s work schedule, how much time is needed between clients and who will schedule the appointments. The contract spells out who pays for the massage equipment and supplies, and it also specifies space rental and operating expenses.
What Else It Covers
As an independent contractor, the massage therapist is responsible for filing and paying her own taxes, and the contract includes a clause that she will do so. Other aspects the contract lays out include who collects the money from the clients and who maintains client records. The contract contains clauses that protect the owner, including the stipulation that the owner does not have to provide the therapist with benefits such as health insurance and workers’ compensation. It also states that the therapist will hold liability insurance.
Though controversial, owners may include a non-compete clause in the independent contractor agreement. The non-compete clause forbids the massage therapist who is terminated or quits from taking along clients to a new facility or taking on a new job with a competing massage therapy business for a certain amount of time.