How to Become a Satellite Contractor for DISH Network or DirecTV

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When you work for yourself, it can be both a blessing and a curse. Your mindset needs to change from one of employee to owner. And you need to keep accurate records for tax purposes. Two of the nation's largest satellite cable television providers -- DISH network and DirecTV -- can give you a chance to work for yourself as an independent contractor. To become an independent or 1099 contractor for either company, you must have experience installing satellite equipment for the company for which you want to work. You also need your own tools, equipment and a van or truck.

Experience Required

Gain the experience needed to install satellite equipment for either company. You can do this by working directly for DISH or DirecTV or by working for a local business that supplies contracting services to either company. You may be able to substitute cable installation experience if you don't have experience with the company's specific equipment.

Start a Business

Start your own business by paying the fees to obtain a business license in your local jurisdiction, which vary by jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions also require you to purchase a separate fictitious business license if you use any other name but your own as your business name. Fictitious business licenses also include an expense for advertising your business name in a local newspaper of general circulation. Apply for free for state and federal tax identification numbers for your business. If you plan to work under your own name, you can use your Social Security number as your tax identification number instead.

Contractor Job Search

Navigate to a job network website specifically targeted to cable installers. Hunt for jobs for the desired company in your region. Both companies advertise independent or 1099 contractors on several job sites across the country. Independent contractor jobs are typically listed by region, county or city. Contact the individual's name listed in the advertisement, if applicable. Be prepared to take a drug test if you want to become an independent satellite contractor.

The Specifics

Fill out the contractor form to become a contractor for the DISH network. For DISH network, navigate to the subcontractor area on its website. Fill in the form and wait for a representative to contact you with more information. Review the jobs available at DirecTV, by going to the career section on its site and clicking on system installers. This brings up a window that allows you to type in your ZIP code to find jobs in your region. Search for the desired position in the fields provided.

Insurance Needed

Obtain the insurance in the amount required. You need a commercial general liability policy that ranges in price based on the amount of insurance you obtain. The policy protects you and the company for damages you might cause when you install satellite equipment at people's homes or business locations. You also will need an insurance policy for your business van or truck. Both DISH and DirecTV might require you to provide a certificate of insurance that names them as additionally insured under your policy.