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5 Suggestions On How To Write A Contract For Freelance Work

It is very important with all your freelance work to make sure that both you and your client are protected by contract.

Most problems occur when there is a mix-up in expectations. With everything clearly written down it makes it much easier to keep everyone satisfied about what was agreed upon and no unexpected changes can take place under the umbrella of “but I thought we agreed to that”.

In any large company there would be a whole other department that handled that side of the business. While you could hire a lawyer to produce all the legal clauses, but that will get expensive quickly. You will find that like most freelancers, you learn to cope with everything on your own. Make sure you lay it all out before the commencement date.

What should you include?

  1. The first thing you mean to specify is a proper definition of the project. If there are no clear limitations, then there is a tendency for the scope of the project to increase with no additional pay. Include a clause that allows renegotiation for any additional tasks that appear while you undertake the project.

  2. Make sure there is a clause agreeing how much the client should pay and in what way. If you want half up-front then include that. Whether it is a set fee or an hourly rate needs to be stated. Do you want to include a grace period for late payments before adding late payment fees? When the project is completed to the specifications laid out in the definitions clause, leave no room for dispute about payment.

  3. Agree to the length of time you expect the project to take. When do you expect to be working on their project? You need to make sure that the client does not believe you are on call 24/7.

  4. Include a section on contract termination, either by yourself or the client without contravening the agreement. What are the terms for this, have you missed deadlines or have they missed a payment?

  5. Who owns the finished product? If you are a writer or a graphic designer this is important. Are you giving them the rights or are you granting them a license to use your work? Will the client be allowed to adapt the product if they wish to do that in the future?

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