Contract delivery drivers

Dear Steve,

I have just opened a new pizza carry out and delivery franchise in Hilliard, Ohio. We have been opened since 1/23/07 and our delivery business is slowly picking up. We are discussing hiring a delivery driver, but really cannot afford the additional insurance. We are considering using a contract driver but do not know where to look for them in this area. Or, is it best for us to advertise for a contract driver and have them sign a written contract stating that they are responsible for any injuries or damages occurred while delivering? Where can I go to get more information on this subject so that I feel more secure with our decision?


Marla Knisley

This subject was touched on just over a month ago. Heres the link: … 478&t=1806

I would be extremly careful how you approach this.

Better to do it without insurance, than not have insurance and have the IRS and your states dept of labor on your a$$.

I use contract drivers but here is the important thing about using one. He must be a true contractor you do not control any aspect of his business. He works when he wants to, he wears what he wants to, and drives what he wants to.
Make sure he has proper licenses including a business license and insurances including workers comp.

Contract or not, you will be sued in the case of a delivery accident. All legal advice I have heard has indicated that this is NOT protection, and that you need to have insurance covering you if you’ve got drivers on the road…

You are 100% correct on that account, if you use a contractor he is considered your agent and you are liable for his actions. The above is more of a how to cya with the taxman.

How does the “works when he wants to” work? Doesn’t he take deliveries as you make them available? If he took a delivery 1 hour after it came out of the oven, that would be okay?

That statement means I do not controll his schedule. I would not continue the contract if he did not meet my expectations. So the reality of the situation is he works when I need him to do the job I need done. But again this is the only way that he can be called a contractor and not an employee. The tax man is very picky about the difference.