Independent Contractor Agreement (NZ)

  • Sets out the terms and conditions upon which the principal/owner of a business engages a contractor to provide certain services for their business.
  • Drafted in plain English by New Zealand lawyers
  • Quick and easily customisable


What is an Independent Contractor Agreement?

A contractor’s agreement is an agreement between one party (usually referred to as the “principal”) and a service entity (usually referred to as the “contractor”).  The contractor agrees to provide a service to the principal for a fee.

This agreement is different to an employment agreement and it is important that you understand whether you are legally engaging someone as a contractor or an employee, as there can be certain tax and other liabilities if you get it wrong.

Who can use it?

  • New Zealand businesses
  • Suitable for use by the contractor being engaged by a business, or the business owner looking to hire a contractor.

Do I need it?

Yes! A contract protects both the principal and the contractor. It provides certainty and clarity by defining the working relationship

and setting out the roles and obligations and of both parties.

What does it cover?

  • Services to be provided by the Contractor
  • Fee to be paid by the Principal
  • Leave, super, salary and tax obligations
  • Insurance requirements
  • Confidentiality
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Warranties, indemnities
  • Termination rights
  • Dispute Resolution

And other legal clauses typically included in a Contractor Agreement.

How do I use it?

Complete the template, have it agreed and signed by both parties. Both parties keep a fully signed copy of the document for future reference.

Note: if you are hiring someone as an employee rather than a contractor, you will need our Employment Agreement (NZ)

What’s the difference between and Independent Contractor and an Employee?

Independent contractors generally:

  • work for themselves /are their own boss
  • can accept or refuse work
  • control their own working times
  • provide their own equipment
  • have no guarantee of future work
  • are responsible for paying their own super and income tax

Employees generally:

  • work in someone else’s business
  • are subject to controls on how, where and when they do their work
  • are paid a wage or salary
  • have the expectation of ongoing work
  • receive employee entitlements, such as annual leave

What is sham contracting?

Sham contracting arrangement is when an employer attempts to disguise an employment relationship as an independent contracting arrangement. This is usually done to avoid paying employee entitlements. The Employment Relations Authority will not support a sham contracting arrangement and the employer will still have to give the ‘employee’ their employment entitlements. The ‘employer’ may also receive penalties against them.

Further Information

We recommend you visit the Employment NZ  to read more.


Please note that using our online services and templates doesn’t constitute legal advice and doesn’t create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Legally Healthy.

If you have questions about the template and whether it fits your specific needs or need legal advice, feel free to book in a free consultation.

The information offered on should be considered informational only and is NOT LEGAL ADVICE.


Can I use this template if I live outside of NZ?

This template is designed for those doing business in NZ so either the Principal or  should be in NZ. If neither party are in NZ, then depending on where you live, the contractual principles may be similar, however always check with a local lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Is this template legally binding?

It sure is! It is drafted by qualified New Zealand lawyers and is legally binding.

This template is designed for those doing business in Australia. While similar principles may apply in your jurisdiction, please consult with a lawyer qualified in your jurisdiction.

Is this template legally binding?

It sure is! It is drafted by qualified Australian lawyers and is legally binding.

What file format does the template come in?


How do I complete the template?

All our templates come with instructions on how to complete them. You complete the highlighted text in the template in order to personalise to suit your business needs, then you save, delete any explanatory comments in the template, remove any remaining highlight and you are ready to use it. Feel free to add your branding and logo. We think your legals should fit seamlessly into  your business branding.

How long does it take to complete?

Approximately 10-15 mins.

How often are the templates updated?

We  are constantly updating and adding to our template library . We provide minor updates to wording and formatting in our documents.

If the law changes, we’ll email you with the changes and updates to add to your existing templates. You have lifetime access, so any updates are provided free of charge.

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