A freelancer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work.
While the term "independent contractor" would be used in a higher register of English to designate the tax and employment class of this type of worker, the term freelancing is most common in culture and creative industries and this term specifically motions to participation therein.[
Depending on the industry, freelance work practices vary and have changed over time. In some industries such as consulting, freelancers may require clients to sign written contracts.
While in journalism or writing, freelancers may work for free or do work "on spec" to build their reputations or a relationship with a publication. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and request deposits from clients.