Paying International Contractors: Your Go-to Guide

International contractors are professionals working for companies outside of their home country. Large or medium companies typically hire these contractors to provide specialized services. Specialized service includes providing expertise solutions for several areas such as information technology (IT), engineering, consulting, finance, human resources, and etc. So, if you are confused with the entire issue of paying international contractors, you are exactly in the right place. In this blog, we will discuss the nitty-gritty of paying international contractors. Let’s get going! 

What is an International Contractor?

An international contractor, also sometimes called a global contractor or foreign independent contractor, is someone who is hired by a business to provide services or complete work in a country that’s different from where the business is based. 

Quick Facts About International Contractors

  • They are typically independent contractors, not employees. This means they are self-employed and responsible for their own taxes and benefits.
  • They are often hired for temporary projects or specific tasks where the company needs specialized skills or expertise that aren’t readily available locally.
  • They are paid based on the terms of their contracts, which can be per project, milestone, or hourly rate.
  • Companies use international contractors to tap into a wider pool of talent, access cost-effective rates, and quickly scale their workforce for global projects.

Can I Pay an International Contractor?

Of course, you can! There is nothing that can restrict you from making payment to overseas contractors. You may choose to send a bank transfer from your business account in the US (applicable if you are a US-based company). Else, you can leverage the vast number of payment options available. These include using digital wallets or resorting to widely used payment platforms such as PayPal.

Global contractor payroll service providers like Asanify can aid you in streamlining the entire contractor payout process so that you get to stay stress-free while at work. To ensure payments are completed in a safe, secure and compliant manner, using a contractor  payroll service provider is recommended.

How to Pay International Contractor?

Overseas contractors are often hired by multinational corporations or international organizations to work on projects  in foreign countries. They are employed on a short-term or long-term basis. However, the tenure depends on the nature of the project or assignment. Further, they are also sent to different countries for business purposes. Most of the common purposes are expanding business operations and managing international projects. They also provide training and offer specialized expertise, such as implementing new technologies.

Companies that hire overseas contractors typically provide them with benefits such as accommodation, transportation, insurance, and other facilities.

The biggest challenge while hiring an international contractor is managing their payroll. Companies sometimes struggle to find the best payment method for their overseas contractors. However, due to the advancement of technology, several payment techniques are now popular such as online money transfers. Using a payroll management software to hire, pay, and manage your international contractors is sure to take the worries of these nerve-wracking tasks away from your mind. 

Many firms also offer services for managing international contractor payroll. You may want to check out Asanify’s contractor payroll management platform to simplify the task of paying international contractors. 

What is the Best Pay Structure to Follow While Paying International Contractors?

The best pay structure for international contractors depends on various factors including:

  • the nature of the project
  • the contractor’s expertise
  • local regulations
  • preferences of both parties involved

Making payments to foreign independent contractors may appear to be daunting, more so, when you don’t have the support of an internal HR or legal professional in your organization to help you in understanding the complex provisions of international labor laws.

Depending upon the country to which your contractors belong, the payment structure you adopt may have a repercussion on their employment. Let’s have a look at some of the most common payment structures that you can follow:

1. Fixed Price Contract

In this structure, the contractor and the client agree upon a fixed price for the entire project or specific deliverables. This provides certainty in terms of costs but may require thorough planning and detailed specifications upfront to avoid disputes later.

2. Time and Materials

Under this arrangement, the contractor is paid based on the time spent working on the project and the materials used. This offers flexibility as costs are directly linked to the amount of work done, but it requires diligent tracking of hours and expenses.

3. Cost Plus Contract

In a cost-plus contract, the client reimburses the contractor for all project-related expenses, including labor, materials, and overhead costs, and pays an additional fee or percentage of the total cost as profit. This structure incentivizes efficiency and cost-effectiveness while ensuring transparency in expenses.

4. Milestone Payments

With milestone payments, the project is divided into specific stages or milestones, and payments are made upon the completion of each milestone. This helps manage cash flow and provides motivation for timely project completion.

5. Retainer Agreement

In a retainer agreement, the client pays the contractor a fixed amount on a regular basis to retain their services for a specified period. This arrangement is commonly used for ongoing support or consultancy services.

8 Facts to Consider Before Paying International Contractors

You have to be very careful while managing international contractors payrolls. Managing international contractors’ payroll requires careful consideration of various factors. This is because you have to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations while paying an international contractor. 

Here are some key factors to consider while managing overseas contractors’ payrolls. 

Local Labor Laws

Firstly, you must know the labor laws of the country where your overseas contractors are located. Get a clear knowledge of the minimum wage requirements and working hours. Keep note of overtime, statutory benefits, and other relevant employment regulations.

Secondly, acquaint yourself with the currency exchange rates while calculating payroll for international contractors. This is because exchange rates keep fluctuating. As a result, it impacts the amount your contractors receive in their local currency.

So, you have to stay updated with the latest exchange rates and use them to accurately convert salaries to the local currency accurately.

Note that different countries have different labor laws. So, it’s essential to make sure full time overseas full time employees are not misclassified as a contractor. However, if you wish to avoid the hassles of setting up an international subsidiary, yet wish to provide employment benefits please explore EOR solutions.


Understanding the tax obligations of your company and your contractors in a foreign country is essential. Different countries have different tax systems. You may have to withhold and remit taxes on behalf of your contractors.

You can seek expert advice from local tax professionals or international tax consultants to ensure compliance with local tax laws.

Employment Contracts

You must have written employment contracts in place with your overseas contractors. The contract should clearly outline the contractor’s compensation, benefits, working hours, and other terms and conditions.

Make sure that the employment contracts comply with local laws and regulations. This is essential to ensure that the payroll for international contractors is being managed in a non-erroneous way. 

Payroll Processing

Payroll processing is a vital aspect of payroll management for paying international contractors. So, you have to establish a robust system for processing payroll that can fulfill specific requirements of managing overseas contractors.

You can consider using specialized payroll software or engaging a local payroll provider to ensure accurate and compliant payroll processing. These processing services provide the fastest payment transfers.

There are several good payroll management firms available in India. One of a kind is Asanify. It is a reliable overseas contractor payroll management firm providing the fastest service.

With Asanify, you can transfer money across the world to pay your contractors in minutes, not days.

Communication and Documentation

Always maintain open and clear communication with your international contractors regarding their payroll. You should discuss the payment schedule, calculation method, and other changes with your contractor.

For auditing and compliance purposes, you must keep thorough documentation of all payroll-related transactions, records, and correspondence.

Compliance with Home Country Laws

Your payroll techniques must also comply with the laws and regulations of your home country. This includes reporting requirements, tax obligations, and other legal obligations related to employing overseas contractors.

That’s where Asanify emerges as the best way to pay international contractors! Manage cross-border contractor payroll in seconds, without you having to scratch your brain.

Cultural Considerations of Your International Contractors 

You should be mindful of cultural differences when managing overseas contractors’ payroll. Different countries may have unique customs and expectations around compensation and payment practices.

Understanding and respecting the cultural nuances is expected. Consequently, it will help you to build positive relationships with your overseas contractors.

Professional Help

Consider seeking professional help from local experts, such as accountants, tax consultants, or legal advisors, who are aware of the local laws and regulations related to payroll management for overseas contractors.

They can provide valuable guidance and help you ensure compliance with local requirements. You can check out Asanify.

Asanify provides you with the fastest payment transfer. You can ensure automated invoice generation and 1-click payroll for your contractors. 



Top 5 Ways of Paying International Contractors

As stated earlier, when it comes to paying overseas contractors, choosing a method that provides you with the most efficient payroll is essential. You have to decide which is  best way to pay international contractors.

The service should be cost-effective and compliant with local laws and regulations. A well-managed payroll system, which can be created simply by using business payroll guides, can help to maintain positive relationships with contractors, ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and support the overall success of the organization.

Here are five common ways to pay overseas contractors in the following-

Bank Transfers to Pay International Contractor

Bank transfers are a common method for paying international contractors. They are also known as wire transfers. You can transfer funds directly from your company’s bank account to the contractor’s in their local currency.

This method is generally secure. Moreover, it allows you easy tracking of your payments. However, bank transfers may come with transaction fees. So, it may take time for the funds to reach the contractor’s account. Here are the pros and cons. 


  • Fast and secure method of transferring funds internationally.
  • Typically allows for larger transaction amounts.
  • Widely accepted by contractors and businesses worldwide.


  • High fees associated with international wire transfers.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations may impact the final amount received by the contractor.
  • Requires contractor’s bank account information which can raise privacy concerns.

Online Payment Platforms to Pay International Contractor

Online payment platforms such as PayPal and Transferwise may be used for paying international contractors. These services are a convenient way to pay overseas contractors.

They allow you to transfer funds electronically. Further, they offer competitive exchange rates. However, if you wish to get your hands on the ideal contractor payroll software, you ought to check out Asanify. It works at a lightning pace. So, funds are made available to your contractors in a blink. 

However, these platforms may also charge transaction fees as some contractors may need access to these services in their countries.


  • Easy and convenient way to transfer funds internationally.
  • It can be used for smaller transactions.
  • Bank account information is not required from the contractor.


  • Transaction fees can be high, especially for international transfers.
  • Exchange rate conversions may not be favorable.
  • Limited availability in some countries may require the contractor to have a similar account for the specific platforms. 

International Money Orders

International money orders are traditional methods for paying foreign contractors. So, you need to purchase a money order from a bank or other financial institution. Then you can send it to the contractor by mail.

Money orders are generally safe and can be a good option if the contractor does not have a bank account.

However, they may be slower and less convenient compared to other methods. Further, there are fees associated with purchasing and mailing money orders.


  • Globally accepted and safe technique.
  • Doesn’t need contractors’ bank information. 
  • Any amount of money can be transferred.


  • You need an additional fee to buy the money order. 
  • Exchange rate fluctuations cause difficulty. 

Payment Processing Services to Pay International Contractor

Payment processing services are the specialized financial and payment service providers facilitating international payments for businesses. They offer services that streamline the payment process.

They provide options such as direct bank transfers, prepaid cards, or e-wallets. These services can be convenient and may offer competitive exchange rates, but they also come with fees. 


  • It can offer competitive exchange rates and lower transaction fees than traditional banks.
  • Easy to use and manage transactions online.
  • Some platforms offer additional features, such as multi-currency accounts and payment schedules.


  • Not all platforms may be available in all countries or regions.
  • It may require contractors to have an account with the same payment platform.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations may still impact the final amount received.

These types of services are the most popular nowadays. Asanify is a reliable payment processing service. It provides lucrative exchange rates. Further, you can manage your contractor payroll on Asanify and get the best FX rates. 

Local Currency

If your overseas contractor prefers to be paid in their local currency, you can consider setting up a local bank account in their country. Then deposit funds directly into that account.

This is cost-effective and convenient for the contractor as they do not have to deal with currency conversion.

However, it may involve additional setup and maintenance costs. So, you may need to ensure compliance with local banking and tax regulations.


  • It can be a cost-effective option for recurring payments. So, you can avoid complications that may emerge in other payment mediums. 
  • Contractor’s bank account information is kept confidential. Therefore, it enhances the overall security of the working relationship. 
  • A Common method used in some countries. As a result, the overall task of contractor payment undergoes simplification to a great extent. 


  • Can be time-consuming to set up and manage, especially for one-time or infrequent payments.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations may impact the final amount received by the contractor.
  • Requires additional paperwork or compliance with local regulations.

If you wish to know more about independent overseas contractors, click here.

How to Stay Aware of Employee Misclassification Risks While Paying International Contractors?

Staying aware of misclassification risks when paying international contractors requires careful consideration and proactive measures. Let’s have a look at some strategies to help mitigate these risks:

1. Understand Local Laws and Regulations

Familiarize yourself with the labor laws and regulations in the contractor’s country of residence. Different countries may have varying criteria for determining worker classification, so it’s essential to understand the legal requirements specific to each jurisdiction.

2. Consult Legal and Tax Experts

Seek guidance from legal and tax professionals who specialize in international employment and contractor classification. They can provide valuable insights into compliance requirements, tax implications, and best practices for managing international contractors.

3. Review Contractor Agreements

Ensure that contractor agreements clearly outline the terms of engagement, including the contractor’s status as an independent contractor, payment terms, scope of work, and deliverables. Clear and comprehensive contracts can help mitigate misclassification risks by establishing the nature of the working relationship upfront.

4. Regularly Assess Working Arrangements

Periodically review the working arrangements with international contractors to ensure they align with the terms of the contractor agreement and the criteria for independent contractor status. Monitor factors such as control over work, supervision, and integration into the company’s operations to identify any potential misclassification risks.

5. Stay Informed About Changes

Keep abreast of changes in international labor laws, tax regulations, and classification guidelines that may impact contractor payments and worker classification. Proactively adapt your processes and procedures to ensure compliance with evolving legal requirements.

6. Implement Internal Controls

Establish internal controls and procedures to verify contractor classification and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. This may include conducting periodic audits, maintaining detailed records of contractor engagements, and documenting the rationale for classification decisions.

Do Overseas Contractors Need a 1099?

No, overseas contractors generally do not receive a Form 1099 from the company they provide services to. Form 1099 is a U.S. tax form used to report various types of income, including payments made to independent contractors. Overseas contractors, who are non-U.S. residents and do not perform services within the United States, are typically not subject to U.S. tax reporting requirements such as Form 1099.

However, it’s important for companies to comply with any tax reporting requirements in the contractor’s country of residence. Depending on local tax laws and regulations, the company may need to provide the contractor with relevant tax documents or reports for income earned from services performed abroad.


Hope we have succeeded in aiding you to get a grasp as to how you can pay international contractor in seconds. It is very important to research and understand the pros and cons of different payment methods before choosing one.

Always ask your contractors which type of payment methods they prefer. It will help you to choose the best option for you. So, it is crucial that you select the best way to pay international contractors. As a result, it will also go in sync with the convenience of your company.

Frequently Asked Questions- Paying International Contractors

How to pay foreign contractors from India?

You can pay foreign contractors from India by choosing any one of these options. These include- bank wires, international money orders, digital wallets, or payroll management services.

How do I pay a foreign contractor from the US?

Paying a foreign contractor from the US can be done in various ways. So, the first thing that you can do is use your business account in the US to complete the payment. However, that may not always be a viable option, if you don’t have such an account. Easier alternatives include- fintech services, payroll management platforms like Asanify, or digital wallets.

How do I send money to a contractor?

You can send money to a contractor by using wire transfers, credit cards, or payroll management platforms.

What is the safest way to pay internationally?

Paying international contractors in the safest way can be done by using payment platforms such as PayPal, Wise, or by availing the services of a payroll management software such as Asanify.

How do you make clients pay money?

To ensure that due compensation is received after the delivery of the work, both the clients and the contractor may sign an independent contractor agreement. It is a legally binding document that would define the payment terms and the delivery of the work within the stipulated time frame, thereby safeguarding the interests of both the parties.

Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant  or Labour Law  expert for specific guidance.