A freelancer should always take care of himself when working. Talking beyond physical and mental health care, we are talking about taking care of your dignity as a freelancer. How is it done? Usually by means of a contract. A service contract is created by a person, usually legally titled as a Professional or Provider (the freelancer); this is done to determine that this person is obliged to do certain activities to another person. This person is called Client or Borrower, and the activities performed are usually one or more services in exchange for payment. Having a contract between the freelancer and the client is used to formalize the services provided to the client. But, above all, to determine the terms and conditions of the project, or services provided. This means that it is used to fix the way in which the service will be provided, the delivery time, etc. The most important thing to note is that this does not create an employment relationship, the people involved in the contract remain independent; it is purely a temporary relationship in which the freelancer provides services to the client.
These are some of the points that a freelance contract must include:
- Freelancer and Client contact and fiscal data.
- Scope of the project and description of the work
- Prices and rates of the project
- Payment options
- Payment terms
- Project Delivery Times
- Payment for termination, interruption or rejection (kill fee)
- Intellectual Property / Copyrights
- Other legal terms
If you don't know where to start to write a freelance contract, here are 5 points you can follow:
1. Rates for your work
Your contract should never leave any doubt as to how much your services will cost. How will you charge for your services? By the hour or by the project? Whichever one you choose, make sure that both you and your client agree on the conditions and prices proposed. This way you will avoid problems when it comes to charging for your freelance services.
2. Deadlines and payment methods
Establishing a payment schedule is key in a contract. This should be done thinking about what best suits you as a freelancer; for example, if the payment is in advance, the way of payment will not be easy for the client. But, on the other hand, if you get paid at the end of the project, this will not be of benefit to you. Just make sure that this is well defined in your contract so that both you and the client agree on the sequence of payments you have chosen.
One of the most important points: the exact form of payment. Choose how you prefer to receive your payments and list the options in the contract.
3. Project and payment deadline
All contracts should have a contract end date or project delivery date, as well as a start date. This will help you to plan and organize your time and, on the other hand, it gives security to the client. Be clear if there can be variants and what they are, this way you protect yourself from any misunderstanding.
4. Kill Fee: Payment for termination, interruption or rejection
The kill fee is a cancellation clause, or payment for termination, which will help you not to lose all the money you had earned according to the agreement you reached with the client. If the project has to end for any reason, the client is obliged to pay you for the time you have already invested in it. There may also be a cancellation penalty which depends on what you agree with the client. This can be a percentage of the job or a fixed amount.
Last but not least, copyrights. These are extremely important because they determine who owns the project. It is advisable to include a clause stating that you retain all copyrights until the project is completed and, above all, paid for. Once you have finished working on the project, your client will have these rights and you will be obliged not to reuse or sell the work to anyone else.
Finally, freelancers always must have an NDA agreement. When you’re working with other freelancers, or third-parties from outside of your own, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a must-have. When done right – an NDA can protect yourself and intellectual property, without causing any harm to the other person, or company, you’re working with. NDA is sometimes called a secrecy agreement, proprietary information agreement, or confidentiality clause. It is a legal document that explains that the person who signs cannot disclose certain information about your work, even once the terms of your arrangement are complete. An NDA, as its own standalone document, can ensure that they will not share your intellectual property or trade secrets with others or use them with other clients.
That’s when IP agreements come in. Intellectual property (IP) for freelancers is generally the work created by them during the tenure of their contract with an organization. IP can be referred to as an invention, design, brand or any other creation that an individual or business has legal rights over. To be the legitimate owner of your work, you need to understand your rights. So, before you jump in as a freelancer, you must clarify how intellectual property should be taken care of. If you register your Intellectual Property, you’ll be recognised for your work, and get royalties for your work. This includes designs, patents, trademarks, copyrights and more.
If after reading this article you still have doubts about how to make a freelance contract, Crema is here to help you. One of our benefits is the creation of customized contracts to your needs so you can share them with your clients. This way we give you the basis and you only modify what is necessary. Everything is just a click away to register at crema.cm !