A legally binding agreement outlining the freelancer-client working relationship is known as a “freelance contract” or “freelance agreement“. It describes the payment agreement, project deliverables, and scope. If there are issues or disagreements, it protects both parties in some way.
What Should Be Included in a Freelance Contract?
The bright side?A freelance contract can be drafted without the help of a lawyer or other legal professional.However, it is recommended that you have an attorney look over it.)You can find a suitable freelance contract template that you can modify with straightforward language by conducting a quick Google search.
According to Collins, “it is almost always better than not having a written contract at all,” “even if it ultimately omits a few terms that an attorney would have included.”
The following is a list of 13 things that should be included in any good freelance contract.
1.Contact information for both parties must be included in any written contract, including but not limited to:
Names of legal businesses Primary contact Email Physical address Phone number Billing address If something goes wrong, everyone on the project has the information they need to quickly contact the other party.
Keep in mind that the party referred to in the contract should be your business entity rather than your name if you have incorporated your freelance business or company.
2.SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
This section is probably the most significant for setting appropriate expectations. In your freelance contract, you should be as specific as you can about the what, where, and how of deliverables when laying out the project’s scope.
Let’s say you own a business and are looking to hire a few freelance writers to write blog posts.The following inquiries ought to be answered in the freelance contract’s project scope section:
How many blog posts ought they to produce?
Do they have to write them from scratch or edit the copy that is already there?
Will they submit their own images or graphics or will you provide stock images or graphics to accompany the blog posts?
Does keyword/SEO research fall under the project’s scope?
What is included in the project fee for the number of rounds of revisions or rewrites?
The objective is to provide as many specifics as possible in advance to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings or hurt feelings later.Employees who work as freelancers are aware of what is expected of them, and clients are confident that they will receive what they paid for.
Every freelance agreement ought to specify the terms of the project’s payment arrangement.
The following should be stated in the freelance contract:
Will the contractor charge for freelance work by the project or by the hour?
What is the hourly rate for hourly pay?How many hours of work are allowed per week?
Make certain that the specifics of the deliverable are outlined in the preceding section for per-project payment. Acceptable payment methods include PayPal, credit card, direct deposit, or check.
What are the payment terms for invoices?For instance, net 15 or on submission?
What happens if the freelancer doesn’t get paid on time for their invoices?
PAYMENT SCHEDULE The freelance contract ought to detail the payment schedule in addition to the payment terms, which should include the following:
Hourly employment:How often will the freelancer send invoices?Each week?Once a month?
For work per project:Will the contractor issue invoices at specific project milestones?For instance, 25% upfront, 25% halfway through, and the remaining 50% at project completion.
In your freelance contract, be very clear about any deadlines for the work, such as the due dates for completed services or services delivered and any important milestones. Additionally, include a timetable for client feedback and review.
If applicable, the freelance contract should include a brief description of who will bear any project or business expenses.
This section typically consists of a brief statement explaining that:
The client is not responsible for reimbursing the service provider for any expenses outside of the payments outlined in the contract. The independent contractor is required to pay for all of their own expenses and provide their own equipment.
6. FINAL COPYRIGHTS
You may need to define the terms “intellectual property rights” and “copyright” depending on the nature of the work. Up until the final payment is made, the freelance worker typically retains ownership rights to the completed work. The client receives ownership rights after that.
Starkman adds that this clause ought to also specify whether the freelancer will be permitted to use the deliverables on other projects and who owns the drafts and derivative works.
7.RELATIONSHIP OF PARTIES
It is essential to state that the freelancer is being hired as an independent contractor and to include language in the contract that clearly outlines the terms of that working relationship, such as the contractor’s responsibility for paying their own taxes and the fact that they are not employed full-time.
Depending on the scope of the project, the client may grant the freelancer access to sensitive information—information that the client does not wish them to discuss outside of the confidential relationship between the client and the freelancer.
In the freelance contract, a nondisclosure agreement ensures that any information discussed or shared stays between the client and the freelancer and is not shared with anyone else.
A termination clause permits either the client or the freelancer to withdraw from the project if the relationship isn’t going well for any reason.
The length of notice required to end the working relationship and the payment procedure for work that has only been partially completed should be outlined in the contract.
The freelance contract protects the business owner by including insurance clauses. Starkman elaborates: Most of the time, this clause will say that the freelancer must have their own insurance.
11.DISPUTE RESOLUTION CLAUSE (OR ARBITRATION CLAUSE)
What should you do if there is a dispute over a contract? How will you deal with it? Including guidelines for resolving disputes outside of court in your freelance contract can save you time and money in the long run.
Starkman suggests that this clause may include alternative dispute resolution options like arbitration or mediation. He adds, “The clause should state when, where, and by whom dispute resolution procedures must be utilized.”
In the age of COVID and disruptive global conflicts, it is more important than ever to have a contractor agreement that shields you from unanticipated occurrences.
A freelance contract should always include clauses that explain what happens in the event of a pandemic or war.
A freelance contract lays out the essential parts you’ll need to protect both parties legally. Only if you sign it, however! Include a section for digital or written signatures.
Depending on your requirements, you might include the following clauses in a freelance contract.
This clause may not be necessary if both parties reside in the same state. The choice of forum explains where the parties can sue to enforce their contractual rights. According to Collins, “naming the employer’s home state as the litigation forum is a huge advantage [for the employer].”
15.CHOICE OF LAW
The decision about which state’s law will be used in a lawsuit to enforce contractual rights is related to the choice of forum.
It is in your best interest as the employer if the laws of your home state are mentioned here.These laws will be most familiar to you, if you have one, or to a local attorney you hire in the event of a lawsuit.
16.CLAUSE OF NON-COMPETE
Sometimes, you don’t want the people you hire to work for or with competitors. In this instance, the freelance contract must contain a non-compete clause. After the project is finished, the contractor won’t be able to work with any of their competitors for a certain amount of time (for example, one year).
Because they prevent the freelancer from working with other clients in the same industry, non-compete clauses typically benefit the hiring party rather than the freelancer. Before signing a non-compete if a client wants you to be a freelancer, make sure you know if and how it will limit your future work.