A lot of freelancers are afraid to write their own contracts for freelance work because they think they won’t be able to understand the legal language or because they might forget the “fine print.”
Even though it is generally advised to consult a lawyer when drafting a contract for the first time, one can learn how to do it on their own.
A contract template that you can use as a guide is provided at the article’s conclusion if you are unsure where to begin. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the document and whether or not you should actually sign it.
What is a contract for a freelancer?
A freelancer contract is a legal document in which the client and the freelancer agree on the deadlines for the project and the work to be done.
This straightforward contract exists to safeguard both the client and the freelancer. The company receives a guarantee of the work and deliverables they can anticipate, and the freelancer receives a guarantee of the money they will receive for the work they deliver. Because it is a legal document, if something went wrong, it could be used in court.
To avoid future misunderstandings, a contract for freelance work should include as much information about the project as possible.
What should be included in a freelance contract?
Contact information for the freelancer and the client, as well as the scope of the project, the deliverables, the prices and rates, the payment plan, and the options, as well as the deadlines and timeline. Ownership and copyright legal terms. Kill fee and cancellation terms. Signatures. Anything else that has an effect on the freelancer-client relationship.
Should I always sign a freelancer contract?
We strongly recommend that each freelancer sign a contract. Among the most crucial templates for freelancers, the freelancer contract is actually the first template we include.
It’s true that in the digital age, you’ll probably talk about the details of the project via email, which is also a written agreement. However, we believe that a much better option is to have a contract with all of the details summarized and signed by both parties.
Clauses in a Freelancer Contract That Must Be Included If you are still unsure of how to write a freelancer contract, we have compiled a list of clauses that should be included in every freelancer contract.
1) Cost and hourly rates In the first place, a contract for a freelancer should spell out exactly how you will be compensated. Are you going to charge a set amount for the project as a whole or just for the time you put in?
When working as a freelancer, it may be preferable to be compensated per project completed rather than per hour worked. But sometimes it’s hard to predict how long the work will take. Paying an hourly wage might be more interesting in those situations.
In the end, you want to ensure that you are paid.
If you charge by the hour, a clause with a minimum and maximum working hours is also recommended. As a safety net for both you and the client, it stipulates that the project will take no more time than X and no less time than Y.
2) Installment timetable and techniques
Besides, you ought to settle on a specific installment plan.
If you are just getting started, it might not be a good idea to get all of the money at once. Some freelancers would rather be paid in three equal installments, 40/40/20 or 30/30/40. Two payments are agreed upon by others:25/75, or 50 percent upfront, and the remaining 50 percent at project completion.
It can be advantageous for your freelance business to request an upfront payment or deposit from your client. Why?
Quick and simple way to avoid clients who don’t want to pay you. Great for your cash flow, especially if it’s a long-term project. More feedback from clients because they are already paying (investment). Cash for you to cover project expenses, like a tool you need. Of course, not every client will be happy with paying you up front, and it’s entirely up to you.
Just be sure to make it as clear as you can in the contract so that both parties are aware of it and comfortable working with that payment schedule.
In addition, a freelance contract ought to specify the precise method of payment.
As a freelancer, how do you prefer to get paid? Make a list of every method of payment that you accept: PayPal, checks, direct debit, bank transfers, credit cards, etc.
We suggest checking out Wise if you work with clients overseas. You’ll get instant access to international bank information so you can receive money from over 30 countries at no cost, which is ideal for freelancers.
3) Cutoff time and course of events
As a rule, specialist contract has a cutoff time and a date when the agreement starts.
It not only helps you plan the project in a way that fits your own time constraints, but it can also boost your motivation.
Naturally, the inclusion of a deadline clause also benefits the client. Make an effort to reach a compromise with the client regarding the deadline clause.
4) Kill Fee or Cancellation Fee: A clause in a contract that protects you from not receiving all of the money you have earned if you have bad luck with clients is referred to as a kill fee or cancellation fee.
A kill fee is exactly what it sounds like: it is charged if the project is canceled for any reason—the client goes bankrupt, the project is canceled, etc. You must receive financial compensation from the client for your time spent on the project.
You could state that the deposit that has already been paid is non-refundable and will be used as the kill fee in the event of termination, along with any additional costs for work that has already been done.
5) Copyrights Last but not least, copyrights and ownership rights are crucial because they establish who actually owns the work.
However, with regard to this copyright provision, the majority of freelance professions have their own unique characteristics. The rights to sketches, for instance, that were not used for the project might be important to designers. A clause allowing freelance writers to reuse their content after a certain amount of time could be included.
Most people think it’s very good general advice to include a clause that says your copyright will stay with you until the project is finished and paid for. Your client will get the rights to the work when it’s done, and you won’t be able to use or sell it to anyone else. Again, this clause ought to be written in a way that benefits both parties.