top of page
Image by Janita Sumeiko

read our


tips, ideas and more

for your small business

Scroll Down

  • Writer's pictureAlexis Bennett

Freelance Designer or Employee? Which is best for your business.

You’re a busy professional and you’re list of to-do’s are continuing to grow. You’ve been productive, but there are design projects you know you can’t do on your own. The question becomes, do you need to hire a graphic designer as an employee or can you work with a freelance designer to achieve the results needed.

There are a few things to consider in this situation.


Is this a project that will have a lot of work at one time and then nothing or very little after that point?

If the workflow will vary quite a bit, hiring a freelancer may be the best option for your projects.

With options to pay by the hour, by the project or as a retainer fee, you can pay for what you need without worrying about having payroll for an employee that has very little to do during a downtime.

If you will have a steady amount of work an employee may be a better option.

Having a part time or full time employee puts them to work on your timeframe.

Another option for steady work is a to hire a freelancer using a retainer plan. If you can estimate the amount of hours you will need for the projects, retainer plans allow you to pay a monthly fee for a certain amount of hours. This allows you to have a designer at your fingertips without having the overhead of an employee.

Working Arrangement

Are you looking to have someone available to work with your team during normal business hours? Is the work something that can be accomplished on a flexible time frame as long as deadlines are hit accordingly?

If you need someone to work on your project during your normal business hours and with members of your team on a daily basis, hiring an employee is the best route to go. Having someone in your office, allows for team meetings and collaboration to occur without having to schedule a call or meeting.

Freelancers tend to work flexible hours. While they are available for set meetings and phone calls, they are typically not available at every moment during your typical day. Impromptu meetings are difficult quickly schedule into their day.

If you can set meetings to discuss the work and deadlines, use email and phone calls for communication and feel comfortable letting the work be done on a flexible schedule, a freelance designer would be a great fit.

Freelancers are great at working long hours and putting in great effort for all of their projects. Freelancers’ creative efforts, many times, occur in the evening, early mornings or weekends but they are completed on your timeline just the same.


Would your budget be better used for hours of actual design work rather than the payroll taxes, benefits and downtime of a part time or full time employee?

If you are looking to get the most for your money, hiring a freelancer puts your budget directly into the project. Not only can you get a competitive rate, but you also save on the taxes and benefit packages with an employee.

When you work with a freelance designer you are only charged for hours put into your design. There are no overhead items that have to be factored in. There is no downtime that you are paying for regardless of the work being completed. All the money you spend is put directly toward your project.


The decision to hire an employee or freelance designer will depend on many things. Taking these factors into your decision will help you make the best decision for your next project.


bottom of page