He was in the negative on $20,000 a month in lost revenue. Even though he was working as his own boss in the security clearance world, he was waiting out on a clearance crossover to a law enforcement agency, already quitting his W2 job. But the payout can be worth the risk…potentially 50% more than your current salary working for someone else. But there are some things to be aware of clearance wise when working as a subcontractor.

Have you ever felt like you are on the hamster wheel as a contractor, and want to work as a 1099 in a security clearance role? Dale Davidson, ClearanceJobs contributor and author of  “Going 1099: How to become a solo federal sub-contractor and gain control of your working life, earn more money, and unlock more free time”, joins the podcast to talk about all the nuts and bolts to be aware of.

The 411 on Working as A SUBCONTRACTOR on Cleared Contracts

Becoming a 1099 for natsec programs can give you a feeling of owning the mission and potentially give you more time and money being your own boss. Davidson runs down some easy steps / tips on how to become a 1099, and the most surprising being that you should worry about the paperwork later. Even though you may be no stranger to paperwork as a security clearance holder filling out the SF-86, securing clients is way more important – the paperwork can wait.

There are some considerations to be aware of, such as finding a prime contractor to still maintain your clearance. This is a reminder to not burn any bridges – primes can hold a servicing relationship on a 1099s clearance, because as a 1099 you can’t necessarily just check on yourself in DISS.

Money is obviously a big motivator to becoming your own boss… about how much more can you make as a 1099? Davidson notes that it could be 25-50% higher than your current salary.

Once you do nail down those clients and fill out the necessary paperwork, what about tax time? There are certainly considerations when filing with the IRS. Number one being that no one is withholding taxes for you anymore. Best to go high on your estimate for every quarter when paying Uncle Sam.

5 Lessons to the 1099 Life

If you have the personality of a business development executive and can also do the work on classified programs, working as a 1099 may be a great option for you. Tune in to this episode of the Security Clearance Careers podcast to learn how to get started. But in the meantime, remember these five lessons on managing your clearance as a contractor:

  1. Make sure at least one prime contractor “owns” your clearance
  2. Be proactive about validating your security clearance information
  3. Don’t assume your clearance will “crossover” in a timely manner
  4. Never assume anything will every go “quickly”
  5. Don’t leave your current project until you have an indoc date on your new contract

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸