Can an E-3 visa holder be a contractor or do freelance consulting work?

I want to freelance in the USA as a developer (probably in Silicon Valley or New York). I am an Australian citizen. Can I use an E3 visa to work?

Contractor Taxation Vocabulary: 

The E-3 permit is a fantastic route for Australians to work in the USA & made better by our local partners. You can work through them as a freelancer, consultant or contractor (Note that what is called a contractor in Australia is called an independent contractor or consultant in the USA. Contractor typically means a builder or tradesmen). It's similar to getting a sponsored H-1B visa except much easier and quicker to obtain. The E3 takes just 3-4 weeks to get whereas the H-1B takes between 12-20 weeks (6 weeks for premium processing). Additionally the H1B season for filing new applications starts on April 1 but you are only eligible to work from October 1.

Best of all the 10,500 person cap on the E-3 visa has never come close to being consumed - so you can be very confident it will be available if you need it.

We've got a comprehensive guide to contracting on the E3 visa and are happy to field questions regarding it.