Reader question: Can multiple companies hold your security clearance?

A reader recently e-mailed me asking about a security clearance scenario. He is taking a job at another company, but wants to do some part time work for his current company (potentially as a 1099) until they find a replacement.

Here's his e-mail.

Hey Dale,

We've emailed a few times in the past mainly in regards to getting your book as a PDF and some questions I had with setting my hourly rate as I currently have a relatively high base salary.

That being said, being a 1099 is still my main goal but it's currently on the back burner as I am moving to Charleston in March to do some work on a contract with the Navy (but mainly because it's the only job I found that I could use my clearance and live by the beach!) I fully intend to convert this W2 role to a 1099 after establishing myself a little bit and getting used to the new DoD work style/environment.

My question is since I am leaving the IC, the idea came to me to pitch to my current company the idea of me helping them out part time while they find a replacement for me or just to be a resource they can use for some ad-hoc work here and there. As I understand it, my clearance would then need to be held by both companies, and furthermore it would need to be held in both Scatter Castles and DISS. Is that even possible? Currently, my clearance has been moved over to DISS as of last week; the reciprocity only took 2 days!

Furthermore, I have some contacts down in Charleston with some other companies and there might be some opportunities to work on multiple contracts in the DoD so it might also just be better to stick it out with the DoD for a little while until I get close to my 2 year "use it or lose it" deadline, and then try to find a contract in the IC so I don't lose my full scope.

Hope I didn't ramble on too much, and I greatly appreciate your input! If it's easier I would also be available to meet up for a happy hour if you would like to discuss in person, on me!

Look forward to talking with you!


John Doe

And here's my response:

Hey John,

Thanks for reaching out and congrats on the move to Charleston! Fun place.

Multiple companies can hold your clearance. You just need one to take an “owning” relationship with you so if you need to process a re-investigation or whatever they can do that. It’s also possible for multiple companies to have an owning relationship with you so no big deal. That being said, your new company will definitely set up an owning relationship so I don’t anticipate any issues there. Also these days the info sync in SC and DISS is pretty good. The FSO can request to have info transferred in either direction.

The “use it or lose it” 2 year window is more of a guideline than anything. I think agencies are even more flexible on Polys.

I would pitch some part time work as a 1099 since you have nothing to lose (and assuming you actually want to do the work). Not sure if you’d have to come back to the DC area after the move to do that if it’s cleared work so factor that into your costs/hassle factor. You have nothing to lose here since you have another job lined up. Best case, some extra cash as a 1099 and they keep your IC clearance stuff going. Worst case, you move on to Charleston by the beach and work on converting to 1099 once you’re there.



  • Multiple companies can hold your clearance, just make sure at least one company will own it.
  • If you have another job opportunity, leverage it! It may be the thing you need to secure a 1099 opportunity.
  • I'm always up for a happy hour in the DC area. Ping me if you'd like to set something up

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