Upload & Sell: Off
I think we've micromanaged this question to death. With all that has been said relating to the complexity of the issue it might be best not to hire an assistant. It's just too dangerous unless you hire a tax attorney, bring on board a CPA with a MT, consult with the former head of the IRS, become personal friends with a state law maker, be able to memorize your federal, state, and local laws pertaining to hiring an assistant photographer. It would also be a plus if you are related to your local city council chairperson..... and maybe the sheriff too. Those lawmakers, any one of them, are just waiting to pick on the small-fry freelancer, sans studio, and fine, imprison, and make his life miserable.