If you are a freelancer, then there should always be a legal contract between you and the person you are working for. You will be safeguarded and protected through a contract. Your business will also be safe if you have a contract. There are few tips regarding freelance contract which you have to keep in mind whenever you decide to create it.
1. Written Contracts
a. written vs verbal:
Always go for a written contract. Written contract is always safer than the verbal contract. A person can always lie and deny what he agreed in the case of verbal contract. While on the other hand, a written contract is more valid and also legal. One can never disagree from his statement if you write it down on a paper.
b. Benefits of written contract:
If you do not write the contract then you might get tangled into some serious trouble. So, prepare yourself from getting into trouble. You can always claim your client if he she disagrees with the statement in case of written contracts.
c. Consulting a professional:
You can always hire a lawyer for the contract. If you cannot afford a lawyer then there are volunteer lawyers also available which would help you pretty well. Likewise, there are some sites available that are popular for the selling of legal document templates. For example, legalzoom.com and U.S.Legal.com. also, there are few free internet resources that can give you the contract templates and guideline.
2. Assigning rights before getting paid:
This mistake is made by most of the freelancers which ends up in trouble and misery. Never give up your rights to the work before you get paid. This is for your own safety. The client should know that you are aware of your rights and will not give up at any cost.
Design Contract Example:
Here is an example of design contract template:
“After the completion of the task and payment of invoices, the designer will allocate IP rights to the client. Ownership right, copyright, any kind of artwork, design and any software developed by the worker will be included in the IP rights. “
3. Having a kill fee:
Keep a fee for unexpected and unpredictable projects or unexpected closing of some project. Contracts always include the kill fee in the cancellation clause. Here is an example for the outline of kill fee.
“In the affair of cancellation of this project, ownership of all copyright and the real art work will be reserved by the designer/writer, and a cancellation fees for completion of work, expense already gained, will be paid by the client. Cancellation fee will be on the basis of hours to submit, If the assignment is on the basis on hours. “
4. Good statement for work:
a. Importance of attorney:
If you start the modification of legal clause without the guide of attorney or lawyer, then it is not a good idea. It will affect the goal, effectiveness, domination, validation and authenticity of the contract. It is better to hire attorney then to face lose.
b. Importance of statement work:
This is because statement of work is a flexible part and it shouldn’t be messed. By the outline of what you will deliver and what you require, you can avoid project scope spoiling through statement of work. Statement of work would be best if you also mention the fee for extra and unexpected work load.
c. Valid statement of work:
If you think that you client will ask for the extra work, then your work statement should be valid enough to support you. You will have strong grounds to charge extra for that extra work if the statement of work is solid.
5. be professional:
a. praise yourself:
It is very important to talk, write and act like professional when you are in the field. Never show any immature or childish behavior of yours. Be regular and honest. You can make your contract look beautiful and attractive. There is no need to hesitate in making it a little more graceful, elegant and decent. This might impress the client.
b. Be creative:
You can always make designs for layouts of the contract. There are few things which shouldn’t be in the contract. Never use the underline text. This will make it hard to read. Do not use italics and caps a lot. Coloring the text is not a good idea. This will only show the immature behavior. Use the white space for the margin. Never forget mentioning the page numbers if the contract is long enough.
6. Hire a lawyer:
a. Know your rights:
Be aware of all the steps, so for that purpose always consult your lawyer. Hiring a lawyer can be an essential step. A lawyer can guide you through all the steps of the contract. There are many things regarding your rights which you might not know so, a lawyer or attorney will help you in this process.
b. Get help from different sources:
If the client gives you some extra work and claim it to be legal, then you can always contact your lawyer to get the authentic information regarding this aspect. Also, you can hire a volunteer lawyer or read law books related to your field in order to get real information and not getting into trouble.
Remember that it is always better to know every step of the job or business you want to do. Do not agree on doing the job if you think you cannot handle it. Writing a contract is an essential part, so don’t forget to get one if you haven’t given it a thought yet.