What is a bona-fide sub-contractor (BFSC)?

Providing an exact definition for a bona sub-contractor is not straightforward, but if you can answer “yes” to most of these questions, the worker is probably a bona fide sub-contractor:

  • Do they agree to do the job for a fixed price, regardless of how long the job may take?
  • Do they supply the materials at their own cost?
  • Do they hold their own public liability insurance?
  • Can they hire someone to do the work, or engage helpers at their own expense?
  • Within an overall deadline, can they decide what work to do, and how and when to do the work?

Looking at the questions above, to some extent, it boils down to the level of decision making and autonomy that the worker has. Bona-fide sub-contractors are generally deemed to be contractors who work without direction from the Insured, hold their own insurance and usually provide their own materials and tools.