For some people the terms 'contracting' and 'freelancing' are interchangeable. For me I have a clear distinction between the two.
I do both, but I prefer, and aim to get, freelance work. Here are my definitions of the two:
- Can either be on site with client or remote work.
- May be a specific project, or may be a series of pieces of work, passed over as each piece is completed.
- Has an official start and finish time to the day.
- May or may not involve dealing with an ESP.
- Has an agreed day / hour rate - overtime to be agreed separately if applicable.
- Remote work.
- A specific project or series of projects, with a pre-agreed deadline(s) for work to be completed by.
- No official start time or end time to the day (could work 9am-6pm, or 1pm-8pm, whatever it takes to get the work done).
- Very rarely involves using an ESP, unless in very special circumstances.
- Has a pre-agreed quote for the job, no overtime. If you take more hours to do the job, that's your problem (unless there are exceptional circumstances).
Contracting is far more about working to the client's schedule, Freelancing is about the freedom of working to your own (In your PJs, with a puppy at your feet).