A freelancer is not an employee for any organization and is essentially an independent contractor who gets paid on a per-job basis. Unlike an employee, a freelancer has the freedom to complete different jobs simultaneously given there is no exclusive contract between the freelancer and the client. A freelancer is still required to pay income taxes and the self-employment tax mandated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A freelancer enjoys the benefits of working at home, having flexible hours, and choosing projects that interest them. However, freelancers do not enjoy the benefits of working for an employer which includes insurance and retirement plans.
An example of a freelancer would be a journalist who chooses their own stories to write and sells them to the highest buyer instead of being a journalist for a specific news company that chooses which stories will be written.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]