A contract helps you and your client by creating a mutually agreed set of terms and conditions you will both follow. It helps to ensure that you deliver work to the right deadlines and quality, and that your client pays you for that work.
A contract is a formal set of terms and conditions agreed to by you and your client.
All freelancers should have a signed contract in place with a client before starting any work. A contract is vital because:
Although you might think a contract is all about legal language, attorneys, and clauses, putting one together is simple.
You don’t need to create a contract from scratch. You can find contracts online, either on dedicated freelance websites, through legal and document services, and several other places.
When you’ve got a basic contract, read it through in detail and think about the amendments you want to make.
Once you’ve made any changes to the contract, read through it again, in detail. Make sure that as a freelancer, you’re happy with everything listed in the contract.
Then, read through it again as a prospective client. Think about how a client would feel about the contract and amend it appropriately.
If there are any areas that are unclear, rewrite them for clarity. Remember that this is a formal agreement that you and your client will be committing to.
Once you’re happy with the contract, you can get it signed by the client. There are several online signing services including:
These services do vary in price and ease of use, but most have free trials so you can try them out before spending anything.
Any clients and freelancers involved in the project should sign the contract.
Once the contract is signed, you can start work.
A good contract protects you and your client. It creates a mutually beneficial agreement for any work you’re going to complete as a freelancer. It’s vital to have a contract in place before you start work so you can ensure you’re both working to a common goal. Taking a little time to set up a contract will help you manage your work more professionally and build trust with your client.
Paul Maplesden is a freelance writer, specializing in business, finance, and technology.