Freelance Agreement: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself



From the Law Office of Michael E. Young, Mike Young  offers his recommendations on seven key provisions of a freelancer or independent contractor agreement including these:

1. Description of the service(s) you will provide as a freelancer.

A well-written description of the scope of services you will render is important. Equally important, to prevent misunderstandings, is to make clear in your description what is not covered. For example, if you’re writing content on a freelance basis, you may include in your description that the scope of work includes one set of revisions but additional revisions will cost more.

2. Your independent contractor status as a freelancer.

To exercise the freedom you need to get the work done, and to prevent confusion on taxation issues, it’s important to make it clear in your freelance agreements that you’re working as an independent contractor instead of as an employee of the business that is paying you for your services.

3. When the work is to be performed.

If there is a deadline for performance, the date should be clearly stated in your contract. Similarly, if there are any milestones, those should be identified as well within the written agreement.

You will want to make it state that your performance by any deadlines is contingent upon your client’s cooperation. Needless to say, you shouldn’t be penalized for failing to meet a deadline for delivery if the reason for delay is a non-cooperative client.

4. When and how will you get paid.

  • Will you be pre-paid in part when the freelance agreement is signed?
  • Will there be installments paid as certain milestones are reached?
  • How much will you be paid when the project is completed?
  • What types of payment will you accept? Credit card, PayPal, check, ACH, bank wire, or some other method of payment?

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