When you work as a freelance contractor, one of the most important things you will need to learn is how to write a contract for freelance work. These contracts will protect you from predatory clients and will help establish the terms of your work. Even when you are performing a project with an established client, you will always want to have an independent contractor agreement in effect.
Many freelance contractors do not have easy access to an attorney to have a contract created, especially if they are just establishing their business. This is perfectly fine. Freelance contractors can create their own contracts that are designed to fit their specific service. If there is ever a dispute about the project being worked on, any type of written contract will work if it is designed correctly.
Learning how to write a contract is not as difficult as you may believe. All you really need to do is make sure that you include the following information, suggested by Carter Capner Law, in your contractor agreement:
Define Your Work
You will need to be as specific as possible about the work you are going to perform and the amount of time it will take you to effectively complete the project. When writing the contract, you will want to be as specific as possible in this portion of your contract. Make sure to include the start and finish dates of the project in this portion of your contract.
Financial Obligations Of The Client
It is imperative to protect your contractor rights to spell out all terms and conditions of being paid for your work. Do not simply put in the project “Total cost for project $500.00.” You will want to define your costs and payment terms in a manner similar to this:
“This project will be completed for the cost of $500.00. Contractor requires a deposit equal to 25 percent at start of project and the balance of the amount due within 10 days of delivered project. If client does not pay this amount within 10 days, contractor will apply interest in the amount of 1.5 percent per month until bill is paid. In the event that the project is cancelled, contractor is entitled to a non-refundable fee equal to the amount of the initial deposit plus any incurred expenses for supplies.”
Depending on the freelance services you are providing, you may have to distinguish ownership of the property once the project is completed. Writing projects, for example, may require you to release the work to the buyer completely or only under license for use. This is a portion of the contract you will have to clearly define to determine final ownership.
Clarify Change Orders
Make it very clear in your contract how changes to the initial order will affect the time it takes to complete the order and the final cost. If necessary, place a fee in this portion of the contract for any changes over a certain amount of times to help curb indecisive clients. Make sure that the clients really understand this portion of the contract by making them initial this section.
Clarify Agreement Status
When writing a contract, make sure your document includes any terms that you require for changing portions of the contract and that this written agreement is the only official contract. Make sure that it states change orders must be in writing and that oral changes or agreements from either party are not acceptable.