For freelancers, a contract is an agreement between you and your client(s) that explains everything you need to know about the job.
Is a contract required for freelance work?
Simply put: yes! Always have a written contract for freelance work. Although oral agreements may be more straightforward to draft, they probably won’t help you much in court. A written freelance contract actually safeguards both you and your client.
They truly benefit both parties.
Your agreement need not be lengthy or difficult to understand. In any case, a volatile email chain about what you and the client consent to is likely lacking in court, so a composed record that is endorsed by you and the client is your smartest option. Additionally, electronic signatures are permitted!
However, freelance agreement do more than just safeguard you and your client in court.
A good contract for freelance work serves as a guide.It explains everything you said you wouldn’t do for the customer.If you or they ever have any doubts (did we say two revisions or three?),Problem solved by referring back to the contract!
The second main reason to have a written contract is to show that you are a legitimate, reputable business and not just a scam.
Why Should I Include Certain Things in a Freelance Contract?
You don’t have to talk to an attorney about how to make a freelance contract. You can make your own, or you can find a free boilerplate online with spaces to fill in the blanks.
Names Include both the client’s and your names. That could mean your first and last names, but it’s not always the case. Both the client’s and your legal business names should be used. As a result, it becomes abundantly clear that you and the client are conducting business professionally and not as individuals. However, keep in mind that a contract alone will not necessarily safeguard your personal assets. If you intend to use your freelance business for more than casual side work or moonlighting, you should think about incorporating it as an LLC.
Dollars and Cents Clearly state the pricing arrangement you have made, such as a retainer, hourly rate, or rate per project. As a result, payment disputes can be avoided in the future and ground rules can be established earlier. If you do not include this aspect, you run the risk of a client misinterpreting your rates and debating whether or not to pay you what you are owed at the conclusion of the project.
Payment Dates In addition to clearly stating your pay rate, you should also specify when you will be paid and what will happen if you are paid late or not at all.
The client will be held to the dates when they must pay for your services or milestones by creating a specific payment schedule, which also specifies the specific penalties for late payments (such as 3% of the amount due per day).
Cost of Work
Many independent agreements additionally frame how much work you will accomplish for every installment. If you want to request a deposit—which you should in some cases—state in detail whether or not the deposit can be refunded and in what circumstances you will do so.
The specifics of the project are outlined in the scope of work. It establishes timelines or due dates and precisely defines what you are doing for the client.
Project Deliverables This specifies what the client will receive. Including that in the contract is not absurd, despite the fact that it may appear so. It’s possible that your client’s and your definition of “logo” are two completely different concepts. You need to know exactly what the customer wants, and it’s just as important for the customer to know what you can and will provide.
Limits on Revisions Freelancer clients may occasionally request modifications to your draft work. But if you don’t say how many rounds of revisions are included in your fee upfront, you could end up doing a lot more work for a lot less money—a situation called “scope creep.”
Delivery Dates Having an agreed-upon delivery date in advance for the completed project and project milestones can save potential frustration for clients and freelancers alike.Turnaround times, dead-on deadlines, and any penalties for missing specific timeframes or target dates should be covered in detail in freelance contracts.
Milestones Milestones aid in determining when each project phase is “done.”They assist you and the client in determining when the client and you will be satisfied with the project’s completion of that phase or the entire endeavor.
Ownership Although you do not need to be an expert in the law, it is in your best interest to comprehend and specify in the contract your rights to the labor you are putting in. The contract ought to make it abundantly clear that if you are ghostwriting something for the client, you will not appear as the author. It should also be clear that the client, not you, owns the rights to the original logo you create for them.