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Navigating the Differences between Independent Contractors and Employees in the Auto Mechanic Indust

Updated: Jan 11

For immigrant communities in the auto mechanic industry, understanding the distinctions between independent contractors and employees can be especially challenging. The laws and regulations in this area can be confusing and difficult to navigate, leading to misunderstandings and potential legal trouble.

A mechanic in a blue jumpsuit, crouched down beside an open hood of a car. They are focused on pouring oil from a plastic container into the engine. The car is elevated on a lift and tools are scattered on the floor nearby

We will use this example to break down the key differences between independent contractors and employees, and help you make informed decisions for your business and employees. As an immigrant in the auto mechanic industry, it is important to have a solid understanding of these distinctions.

​Independent Contractor


Buys their own parts for repairs

Uses the parts that the boss has purchased

Has their resale license & station license

​Work authorization, and fills out I-9 Document

Owns/Rents the place where they work

​Works at the shop of their boss

​Sets prices for the services

Get paid a yearly salary for their work

Sets their own hours for work

Has to work at the hours mentioned by the owner, usually 9-5

Figure 1 Represents a table comparison of the differences between an independent contractor and an employee in the auto mechanic industry. Reference:

Key takeaways:

  1. Independent contractors are independent business owners. They have to market, license, finance, and sell their services. In comparison, employees work under the independent business owner and get told how much they'll be paid, when to work, where to work, and more.

  2. Independent contractors are responsible for being licensed, paying the rent of their station, and calculating costs. In comparison, employees do not have to worry about these topics as their work is more stable and guaranteed as long as they do the work.

If you're interested in starting or scaling your business as an immigrant, we have resources and support available to guide you through the process. Please visit our home page to learn about our PREPARE and SCALE programs. Email if you have any questions or concerns regarding this next step towards building a successful and compliant business.

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