Self-employed people work for themselves, not for someone else. Independent contractors, sole proprietors, unincorporated farmers and members of unincorporated partnerships are all self-employed. People who work for their own incorporated company are not self-employed. They are employees of their privately-owned company.
Because self-employment income can vary greatly from year to year, the gross yearly employment income of a self-employed person is determined by whichever of these amounts is the highest:
- your most recent business year
- your most recent fiscal year
- an average of your income from two or three business years
- the pro-rated average gross income for your class of employment
For businesses that are only a few months old, a statement listing income sources may be sufficient to establish your self-employment income. For businesses that have been operating for more than a few months, we need to see income tax returns, financial statements or tax assessments.