Legal Disclaimer

The HTML Writers Guild provides the Request for Proposals Service as an opportunity for participating members to communicate. The Guild makes no guarantees or warranties, express or implied, with respect to any claims made by users of this service, and takes no responsibility for the consequences of any relationship between service users which was initiated on the basis of information provided through this service. We do not represent any of the parties who use this service, nor do we make any claims, explicit or implied, regarding their status as employers or contractors, employees or independent contractors, or regarding their financial status, or regarding their ability, reliability, reputation, experience, or any other representations whatsoever. The users of this service are responsible for verifying, to their complete satisfaction, any information provided through this service, or obtained through communication initiated through the use of this service. This is a "User Beware Service." By using this service, you agree to indemnify and hold the HTML Writers Guild harmless for any actions that allegedly injure you, your organization, or any other party.

This document spells out some of the particular issues for which we disavow any responsibility. This list does not represent the limits of our liability, but is provided for the benefit of RFP Service users who would like to understand a few of the issues which may affect them.

Please be aware that this discussion may be more or less useful depending upon the laws of your city, state/province, nation, et cetera. This document should provide you with a starting point from which to begin your own research. There are also likely to be a number of issues which are very important in your business or location, which are not mentioned here. If you are unfamiliar with the legal and/or financial issues at stake, please seek the assistance of a certified professional. You are responsible for knowing what your laws require of you.

If you would like to contribute a brief discussion of some topic not presently listed on this page, please send your text to, and we will consider adding it to this page.

references | employees v. independent contractors


At the time of this writing, the only qualifications an individual need posses in order to use the RFP Service are knowledge of how to access the service, and full membership in the Guild. Essentially anyone with Internet access and US$35.00 can use this service. Imagine the individual with whom you would least rather work. That person may be one of the RFP service users!

If you are submitting a proposal in response to a promising RFP, please make an effort to learn about the organization with which you might work. Not only will this inform the development of your proposal, but it may give you a better understanding of exactly how much (or how little) you could benefit from a professional association with that organization. You may decide to throw additional effort into your proposal, or you may decide to abandon it altogether. If you continue with your proposal, be certain to include information which will allow the organization to research your credentials, just as you were able to research theirs.

If an organization contacts you as a result of your proposal, please be just as cautious as you would when approaching any opportunity you might find through other means. If you agree to work with the organization, you may wish to prepare a written contract spelling out the details of your association and mutual obligations. This will help both of you to clarify your expectations, and will help to ensure a solid foundation for your professional relationship with each other.

If you are submitting a Request for Proposals, please include enough information about your organization to allow interested parties to verify your credentials. If you let readers know that they stand to benefit from professional association with your organization, then they will be more likely to submit proposals for your project. Also be sure to request in your RFP that respondents provide references and/or samples of their work so that you will be able to determine how much or how little you could benefit from a professional relationship with them.

You may wish to pre-qualify respondents by requesting that they submit not proposals, but a list of references, examples of past work and present expertise. You can then determine to whom you would like to send the actual RFP. If you take this approach, please include in your post a date by which respondents will be notified that they have or have not been selected to receive your RFP.

When you receive proposals, be certain to check with any references, and examine any samples provided. If you accept a proposal, that acceptance can be used as the starting point for the development of a written contract. In that contract, you should be as clear as possible about your expectations for the project, its time line, the conditions for ending the contract, financial details, et cetera. A good contract will protect both parties and allow for a complete meeting of the minds.

For more information on contracts, please read the Guild's business FAQs (especially the contract FAQ, of course).

Employees V. Independent Contractors

US law makes a distinction between employees and independent contractors. This distinction may or may not exist within the laws of locations outside the United States. However, the conceptual difference is still important, because the RFP Service is intended to serve for finding independent contractors, not employees.

An independent contractor is someone who may work for many folks, using primarily her own equipment, and setting her own hours (as long as she meets her clients' deadlines). She decides how things get done (rather than following the clients' suggested methods to get the same results), and sometimes hires out part of the project to others. She pays self-employment taxes (in the US), has her own insurance (in the US), and is generally paid per project, or is on a retainer (or both).

An employee is a more permanent person who must do things the way the boss says, does not have complete discretion over when, how, and where the job gets done, may not be able to hire out project parts, probably works at the bosses' building, may not have complete freedom to take on other similar jobs (because doing so would be in competition with the employer's business).

Often times the distinction is difficult to make in a legal sense (in the US, the IRS generally defaults to a decision of 'employee').

The RFP Service is exclusively for independent contractors. If you are looking for employees, or are looking to be an employee, then you will be better served by the job listing service (under development).

If you have posted an RFP, and are looking into several of the proposals you have received, then you may want to verify that any labor-related transaction is handled on a contractor basis. The Guild will not be responsible if you later discover that you should have been paying additional taxes and insurance because the transaction was actually an employee/employer transaction.

If you would like to contribute a brief discussion of some topic not presently listed on this page, please send your text to, and we will consider adding it to this page.

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