Senior Member
Italy - Italian
Hola forer@s,

I am wondering about the precise meaning of contractor. I have no context, it is simply marked inside an application form

Thanks in advance for helping :)

  • A contractor is a person or company that works under a contract, rather than as a direct employee or affiliate. Does that seem to fit?

    It is also a term used for the company or individual in charge of building your house. The general contractor oversees the construction, and he often hires sub-contractors like plumbers for specialized tasks.
    In addition:

    A contractor is also generally contracted to do a single task, the completetion of which ends the relationship.

    An exception is when an person is hired under a "long-term" contract, where they become almost like an actual employee, except with payment by direct check (no tax withholding, no benefits) as opposed to payroll check (benefits and payroll tax withholding).
    I have a similar question:

    Reading dictionary and glossary explanations of "contractor", I was quite surprised that many of them primarily define the term in the context of construction industry.

    I thought I would use "contractor" for a general contract (purchase of goods) but now I have doubts: Is it advisable to go with contractor/contractee (the latter raises even more doubts!), or should I rather opt for client (customer, purchaser) / supplier (provider)?

    British English is preferred.

    Thanks, :)

    It depends on the nature of the contract: what is being provided?

    A contractor is usually someone who provides a service, not a product. If a product is supplied under the terms of the contract, then your latter suggestions of client (customer, purchaser) / supplier (provider) are more appropriate.