The main reason for wanting to contract with independent contractors is because I feel that it fits the idea of our business better. I am not a mechanic, and I don't know too much about cars. I just know how to get people to call us for mechanical services.
As a small company without a lot of money to invest, it seemed that a better business model would be connecting clients with mechanics for a fee as a percentage. It's a much less involved company where the focus is in doing what I know best, getting clients to call us. So in a way, yes we are saving money, time, and hassle. But we are not trying to save money, time, and hassle by incorrectly labeling employees as contractors. We are trying to save money, time, and hassle by building a business model around being the middle man between clients and contractors.
A lot of the bullet points we actually don't plan on doing because it doesn't match up with what we do as a business anyways. I just thought that if I were to get a response on each bullet point I could have a much better understanding of where the line stands between an employee and contractor relationship.
We're still trying to shape our business model so all these responses have really helped a lot and given us a lot to think about. We plan on connecting with a lawyer as soon as we can come up with the money for it, and then we can have a much better idea of how to shape our business model.
If anyone has any other advice in the meantime (even if it's not regarding my original question) I would love to hear it!