A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term. These workers are sometimes represented by a company or an agency that resells their labor and that of others to its clients with or without project management and labor contributed by its regular employees. Others are completely independent.
In Spacers terminology a Freelancer is a person (or a group of persons Freelancers) who own and operate a Space ship and hire out for transport, freight, and messenger runs. Of course most Freelancers are often accepting illegal cargo, (and become Smugglers) May assist in the illegal transfer of bio forms, fugitives etc.
Freelancers are generally not the same as Independent Ship Operators . Independent Ship Operators are generally families or small legal registered companies with one or a few ships, usually running the same routes or for the same clients. ISOs are generally well liked and dependable and especially on Union Side, both Fleet and Corporate fleets often go out of their ways to assist an ISO.
Freelancers however are seen as a small step above smugglers, pirates and criminals and usually scrutinized and not trusted.