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How to Secure a Freelance Contract?

Published on 07 May 15
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Freelance professionals help complete some of the largest IT projects today and they are the sole reason why part-time occupation, managed to become multi-billion dollar industry currently employing millions all over the world.

Just few years ago, freelancer was rarely used and rather unknown word. However, things quickly started to change and now there are hundreds of platforms, where everyone can purchase various services and employ professionals with any skillset. Not only with entire teams operating online, but also whole companies, the freelance contracts are vital part of every professionalâs toolset! Want to craft the ultimate freelance contract? Here are my top tips to follow to ensure your interests are protected at every stage of the work:
Clear Scope of Work
How to Secure a Freelance Contract? - Image 1
Besides payment hassles, unclear scope of work is among the top reasons for problems between freelancers and customers. The easiest way to avoid this hassle is to write down clear specifications for all the work that needs to be done and also clarify the terms in cases when extra work needs to be handled i.e. additional hourly fees.
Intellectual Property Ownership

The unexperienced freelancers often begin work projects only after replying to a simple email and even end up transferring the ownership rights for the intellectual property created before all payments are cleared out! This opens the door to literally dozens of problems, which can easily be avoided by including a simple cause handling this problem and attribution if necessary in your freelance contract.

Payment Terms

Most of the projects where freelance work is needed involve certain amount of expenses and organization, which on the other hand requires financial resources. This is why the vast majority of freelancers charge anywhere between 40 and 50% of the entire project fee upfront to ensure seamless workflow. Whatever your specific terms are, make sure you run them by the customer and include specific clauses in your freelance contract template.

Deadlines and Deliverables
Rapidly changing deadlines are definitely something every freelancer truly dreads. Before you begin any work on the project, make sure you and the customer agree on final deliverable. Furthermore, its best to break down the entire project to specific milestones, which when reached reports are being delivered to the customer. The freelance contract needs to contain specific information about all deliverables involved in the project.
Expense Handling

How are all expenses surrounding the project be handled? You probably have more than several software solutions to pay for, so the end sum could be pretty high! In some cases these are included in the total project price, but if they arenât you need to include clear and specific clause about how all project expenses will be managed!
Project Kill Fee
Cases when customers change their opinion virtually in the last minute and terminate the entire project are not rare. Itâs essential to include specific project termination clause to deal with such cases and ensure you will receive proper compensation for your efforts, as well as all expenses that already occurred.
Freelance professionals help complete some of the largest IT projects today and they are the sole reason why part-time occupation, managed to become multi-billion dollar industry currently employing millions all over the world.

Just few years ago, freelancer was rarely used and rather unknown word. However, things quickly started to change and now there are hundreds of platforms, where everyone can purchase various services and employ professionals with any skillset. Not only with entire teams operating online, but also whole companies, the freelance contracts are vital part of every professionalâs toolset! Want to craft the ultimate freelance contract? Here are my top tips to follow to ensure your interests are protected at every stage of the work:

Clear Scope of Work

How to Secure a Freelance Contract? - Image 1

Besides payment hassles, unclear scope of work is among the top reasons for problems between freelancers and customers. The easiest way to avoid this hassle is to write down clear specifications for all the work that needs to be done and also clarify the terms in cases when extra work needs to be handled i.e. additional hourly fees.

Intellectual Property Ownership

The unexperienced freelancers often begin work projects only after replying to a simple email and even end up transferring the ownership rights for the intellectual property created before all payments are cleared out! This opens the door to literally dozens of problems, which can easily be avoided by including a simple cause handling this problem and attribution if necessary in your freelance contract.

Payment Terms

Most of the projects where freelance work is needed involve certain amount of expenses and organization, which on the other hand requires financial resources. This is why the vast majority of freelancers charge anywhere between 40 and 50% of the entire project fee upfront to ensure seamless workflow. Whatever your specific terms are, make sure you run them by the customer and include specific clauses in your freelance contract template.

Deadlines and Deliverables

Rapidly changing deadlines are definitely something every freelancer truly dreads. Before you begin any work on the project, make sure you and the customer agree on final deliverable. Furthermore, its best to break down the entire project to specific milestones, which when reached reports are being delivered to the customer. The freelance contract needs to contain specific information about all deliverables involved in the project.

Expense Handling

How are all expenses surrounding the project be handled? You probably have more than several software solutions to pay for, so the end sum could be pretty high! In some cases these are included in the total project price, but if they arenât you need to include clear and specific clause about how all project expenses will be managed!

Project Kill Fee

Cases when customers change their opinion virtually in the last minute and terminate the entire project are not rare. Itâs essential to include specific project termination clause to deal with such cases and ensure you will receive proper compensation for your efforts, as well as all expenses that already occurred.

This blog is listed under IT Strategy & Management Community

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