Handling the legal aspect of freelancing is one of the important tasks of any freelancer. It can be annoying at times, but it is mandatory as it helps in building a professional relationship between you and your clients contract for freelancer.
A contract is a mutually agreed legal document between you and your clients. When drafting a contract for freelance services, it helps you protect your business from any legal complications. A freelancer contract lists all the implications such as project details, completion time, service charge, client’s name and all such minute related details.
A drafting a contract for freelance services contract prevents you from various complications such as client suing you for project failure, in case client backs down from accepting your work or a client refuses to pay you for your hard work etc.
While drafting a contract for freelancer services, a freelancer has to keep various things in mind. Below are some of the great tips that you should consider while drafting your contract.
A. Have A Written Contract, Always:
Never agree to work for someone by simply shaking hands or replying an “Ok!” to an email. Always have a drafting a contract for freelance services ready that lists all the legal details and business terms. Even use the same contract for your family members and friends. You simply cannot agree to work for them without covering the legal aspects coz you never know who will turn their back on you at which time. Hence, never leave yourself vulnerable.
You may feel very bored while preparing your contract, but believe me; you can actually save yourself from a lot of trouble with this. The real value and the importance of any freelancer contract come to your eye only when any kind of legal complications takes place. Therefore always have a written contract than the verbal “OK”.
B. Cover The Basics:
Include the basic information about “who” and “what” of the project. Who is contracting you to do what kind of work? This is the basic standard stuff in any freelance contract which many freelancers avoid including for a reason and hence face legal complications in future. Now both the parties are well aware about “who” and “what” of the project. But still you need to put it in your contract for freelancer so that everybody is on the same leveled field about their roles and responsibilities. You would not want your client to complain in future “You did “ABD”, but I asked you to do ABC.”
C. Time Frame:
Have a timeline worked out between you and your clients in contract for freelancer. Analyze the project minutely and prepare a scheduled calendar (the time within which you’d complete a certain part of your project) and then present it to your client to ask for his concurrence.
Take your time to prepare that calendar. Create deadlines for yourself. Many freelancers don’t prefer to work within deadlines simply for the pressure within which they’d to work in. It is highly beneficial to include deadlines as it avoids any kind of squabbles between both the parties. Also it keeps you focused with your work. Give yourself enough time to prepare your deadlines, keeping the client’s time requirement in mind for drafting a contract for freelance services
Besides setting deadlines (the time that a project will take to complete), you should also include the time duration within which the contract is active. Being vague in this matter will allow your client to find room to complain.
Creating time frames does not mean that you can be extremely lenient with yourself. You’ve got be professional or else you may lose the project.
D. Project Delivery And Rights:
Explaining such points clarifies the expectations at the project completion time in your freelancer contract. Your client knows what the final product will be. All you need to do is to convey the client about how you’d deliver the product. Tell them the file types and extensions and such kind of things that you would use in product delivery. This gives you an access to client’s knowledge and how they will be able to work and integrate your product. If the client’s unaware of this, you may ask to lend your assistance for a price. If the client agrees, be sure to include this aspect in your contract also.
One of the common mistakes that many freelancers commit while drafting a contract for freelance services is that they give the rights of the product before getting paid. Hence, include this aspect in your contract too, about how and when you’d transfer the product rights to your clients.
E. Money Matters:
By far, the most important and the useful part of a drafting a contract for freelance services are the money matters. Billing by project, billing by deadlines, billing by working hours are some of the options. Include the financial matters very clearly in your contract. Both the parties must have already agreed upon this matter, but still you need to use it in your contract to keep both the parties on the same level.
Include a clause in your contract which protects you or your client, if either of them backs out. Also include a statement about the monetary conditions if the project is terminated midway. Many legal complications arise mainly because of financial matters. So take your time and consider this section very carefully in freelancer contract.
F. Make Your Contract Look Professional:
Your freelancing is a business and you’d definitely like to look professional in front of your clients. Hence, you need to make your contract for freelancer look professional. You can also use a tinge of design in your contract. You can even brand your contract just like you’ve branded your letter head. But do not make it too stylish so that it loses its professionalism. Just make it look slightly beautiful. Also, a professional and beautiful contract instills confidence in your clients and inclines them to work with you.
G. Consult A Lawyer:
You cannot drafting a contract for freelance services on your own. You may have missed a point or so which may later cause you big problems. The client may start negotiating too much and may wish to make many changes in your contract. At such cases, it’s very viable to consult a lawyer. Although, it is not feasible financially, but sometimes you are left with no choices.
Here are some resources of the related topic:
- Step by Step Help on Creating a Freelance Contract
- Freelance contracts
- Design Contract Guide for Freelance Web Designers
- How to create a freelancing contract
- Create a Freelancing contract
- Freelancers Union Contract Creator
Cover up all the aspects and put it in your drafting a contract for freelance services. You may not know which point might save you at which time. Negotiate up to a level. The moment you feel uncomfortable with the negotiating clauses or feel like underrated, say so. Show class professionalism and never ever try to break a contract intentionally.
What important clauses did you put up in your freelancer contract? Tell us a story where you were saved by a contract point? Do share your thoughts via comments.
If you are looking for a step by step process to start your own freelance web design, you can visit our Complete guide to become freelance web designer to reach near targeted visitors. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.