Self-employment can mean different things to different people. For some, self-employment means operating your own business and setting your own schedule. For others, it’s a side hustle that allows them to supplement their income.
While Amazon’s Flex program is intended for people who want to balance work and other responsibilities, such as school or childcare, it doesn’t explicitly state that you must be self-employed to participate.
However, given the nature of the program and its eligibility requirements, it’s unlikely that most participants are employees of a company that operates an Amazon warehouse. If you’re thinking about signing up, read on to find out if you qualify as a self-employed individual under Amazon Flex terms and conditions.
Is Amazon Flex Self-Employed?
When people think of self-employment, they imagine an independent contractor who is responsible for paying their own taxes and benefits, such as health insurance and retirement. If you earn a regular salary from Amazon, you are most likely an employee who receives a wide range of benefits, including health insurance and retirement.
However, if you join the Amazon Flex program, you will be considered a self-employed contractor. As a self-employed contractor, you are responsible for paying taxes on income generated from the program and contracting your own insurance.
Who Can Apply and be part of Amazon Flex?
As mentioned, Amazon Flex is designed for people who have competing interests that make it difficult to have a traditional, full-time job. That said, you’re still expected to work a minimum of 19 hours per week and be available to work when you’re scheduled.
While there’s no upper age limit for joining Amazon Flex, you must be at least 18 years old and be willing to travel to a nearby Amazon Fulfillment Center. You must also meet the following requirements:
- Have a valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record.
- Reliable transportation to get to and from work.
- A smartphone and data plan to participate in the program.
- A quiet, distraction-free location to scan your hours.
- Amazon Seller Central account and internet connection.
Should you join?
Most of the requirements to join the Amazon Flex program are designed to ensure the safety of the people who participate in the program. The Amazon Flex program is part-time, which means that it won’t be a significant source of income for most people. You also won’t be eligible for benefits, such as health insurance or retirement.
Additionally, you’ll be required to travel to and from a nearby Amazon Fulfillment Center, which may not be possible for people who have disabilities that prevent them from operating a vehicle. Some people may be put off by the daily scanning requirement that’s part of the program. You’ll be required to scan in to work and scan out when you’re finished for the day.
Is there a fee to participate in the Amazon Flex program?
While you’re responsible for paying taxes on earnings that you make while working in the Amazon Flex program, you won’t be charged an upfront fee or be required to purchase equipment to participate. Your earnings, however, will likely be lower than what you’d make if you were employed by Amazon.
Can you make a living with Amazon Flex?
There are a wide variety of factors that could impact your ability to make a living with the Amazon Flex program. If you have experience driving for Uber or Lyft, for example, you may be able to earn more with those platforms than you would with Amazon Flex.
Similarly, if you have a side hustle or a primary income source, it may be easier to balance your time with Amazon Flex than it would be for someone who relies solely on the program for income. If you have a flexible schedule and can work around your other commitments, you may be able to earn more with Amazon Flex than you would in a part-time job.
However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to make a living with the program. The best way to determine if Amazon Flex is right for you is to read the terms and conditions and, if you qualify, complete the online application. Amazon may continue to expand its program, so be sure to check back frequently to see if your eligibility has changed. After reviewing the details of the program, you may decide that Amazon Flex isn’t the best fit for you.
There are plenty of other ways to make money from home, including finding part-time work, starting your own small business, and finding ways to reduce your expenses. No matter what method you choose, having a backup plan in place can help make sure you’re always earning an income. If you’re thinking about joining Amazon Flex or another work-from-home program, it’s important to do your research before putting in a lot of time and effort. It’s also a good idea to have a plan B in case the program doesn’t work out.