Enterprise clients can choose to purchase Upwork Compliance services. These clients receive help from Upwork to determine whether to engage you as an independent contractor or as an employee of our staffing agency. In these cases you’ll see the contract’s client name contains “Upwork Talent Group” and you may be asked to complete a series of required tasks before accepting the contract.
Before you can accept a contract offer, you’ll see a list of required tasks on the contract offer page. The information you provide with these tasks is needed to proceed with the engagement, including confirming whether you qualify as an independent contractor for the particular engagement. Tasks can include reviewing and accepting customized agreements or completing background check authorization forms. These tasks are outlined on the offer page and can differ by Upwork Enterprise client and by project.
Companies must determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee in order to comply with tax and other legal requirements.
Once you’ve completed these tasks, you’re added to that Upwork Enterprise client’s Talent Cloud® network. This means you’ll be visible to all hiring managers at the company and can more easily work on a future project with them.
Clients can choose to purchase worker classification services through Upwork to ensure that independent contractors are working with them in a way that complies with applicable legal requirements. In these cases, your contract will be with UTG, a company affiliated with Upwork, instead of directly with the client.
If you see that your contract contains the name “UTG”, you will still work directly with the client, but administrative details of your engagement will be handled by UTG.
UTG must determine whether you qualify as an independent contractor for each project (also known as worker classification). To make this determination, the Upwork compliance team reviews details regarding the project and your business. Depending on the scope of the project, Upwork may ask you to submit information to confirm that you’re self-employed and otherwise running your own business—especially if you’re new to using Upwork.
According to our User Agreement, the Upwork website is offered for business purposes only, and all users must have their own business unless they use Upwork solely as an employee working for a registered Agency. A freelancer can be considered a business as a self-employed individual (a sole proprietor) or as a business entity. More information.
Part of determining whether you qualify as an independent contractor is to show that you have a business. We may have enough information that shows that you’re running an independent business already because of your use of Upwork, but if not, you’ll be required to provide documentation and/or answer a questionnaire about your business’s overall activities—both on and off the Upwork platform.
Below we linked a list of qualifying documents that can show business status. You can black out any information you consider to be private. Upwork will follow up if more information is needed.
For a list of specific business documents appropriate for your country, please read here.
If you don’t qualify as an independent contractor for a particular project, in some instances you may be able to still work with the Upwork Enterprise client. When the Upwork Payroll service is available for the project, you will need to be employed by Upwork’s third-party staffing provider in order to proceed. If this is the case, a representative from the staffing provider will contact you directly with specific instructions for their onboarding process.
Upwork’s compliance team must review all tasks completed by you and by the Upwork Enterprise client. After all tasks are completed, it generally takes at least 2 business days to review and confirm the project, at which time you will receive an email notification with information to accept the offer.
You and your client will work with a Upwork's compliance team during this process. You can reach out to your Compliance Specialist with any questions.