We are an company that runs online forums and need to pay freelaner without revealing the identities of neither the people nor company that owns the site (because of online trolls). Is it possible to hire freelancers anonymously via UpWork?
re: "Can I hire a freelancer without revealing my personal nor company identity to the freelancer?"
There are many ways to do that.
One way to do that is to hire through an intermediary. You may work through a hiring agent who works on your behalf. The freelancers could still work directly with you or your designated project managers, who could communicate without using Upwork tools at all. But the actual hiring on Upwork could be done through your designated representatives.
You could create a shell corporation and hire through that.
Remember that when you hire freelancers on Upwork, Upwork will need a valid credit card or PayPal account, but that account does not need to be in YOUR name. So (for example) your hiring agent could facilitate hiring without needing to pay freelancers himself. The payment could be charged to your credit card, or a company credit card.
1. Just ot be clear, what profile information will a freelancer see about us if we hire them through upwork?
- company details?
- company contacts?
- email used?
2. Also, Are there hiring agents on UpWork?
Once you`ve accepted a proposal or hire a freelancer, a message room will be created. Both your and your freelancer's full name will be displayed in the message room. Freelancers will also be able to view the information that you`ve added under Settings > Company information in this section of a job post - https://url.upwork.com/_0163VVeEnI1ybYVV8k1Ugh-QjPKCTC8ijT.
We have Talent Specialists that can help you with screening and inviting freelancers to your job/s. Let us know if you're interested and we'll connect you to the appropriate team.
Additionally, you can also consider asking the shortlisted freelancers to sign an additional NDA besides the terms in our TOS. Thank you.
re: "Also, Are there hiring agents on UpWork?"
You may work with Upwork Talent Specialists, but their purpose is not to preserve your anonymity. I don't know that it is necessary or helpful to work with Talent Specialists, but it is something to consider.
A hiring agent is someone who will hire freelancers on your behalf. You could work with someone you hire locally. Or you could hire someone on Upwork to provide this service. You may look for "project managers."
Or simply post a job stating that you need to hire someone who can act on your behalf to find and hire freelancers. Upwork has formal methods for properly having other Upwork users work as your representative.
Only the freelancers you actually hire can see your real info. When you pay you get an invoice from the freelancer to you. That invoice is created automatically by Upwork with the invoicing details both you and the freelancer provided when setting up the account.
The important part is that you are not buying from Upwork but from the freelancer directly. The feelancer can see that invoice too - for accounting purposes- as he is the "Seller" an you are the "Buyer".
Long story short: the freelancer has access to whatever invoicing info you provide to Upwork.
The only way to anonimize that is through an intermediary entity. But really, the details of the job will probably reveal enough to make that effort pointless.