Are you freelancing? Are you doing design work, managing social media accounts, writing blogs, or providing creative deliverables to clients? If so, you need a contract. I can't emphasize enough the importance of written agreements when doing business. Particularly when freelancing independently and working on multifaceted projects with set deadlines; it is important to hash out the terms of the work and payments. This blog details 4 important clauses to have in your freelance contract.
1.) Modified or Additional Services. Sometimes you start a project and it begins to snowball with different or additional work at the request of the client. They may want a new section added to their website, or more artwork created for their social media accounts. Include a clause in your agreement that explains the process for modifying or adding to the services you originally agreed to complete. Also, set limits for the number of client revisions, two or three is common.
2.) Intellectual Property (IP). Creatives..... well, they create. Oftentimes this generates issues with the ownership of the logos, artwork, and products that are created for clients. Who does the intellectual property created by you belong to? A few suggestions in this area are to transfer the IP to the client upon full payment, reserve the right to use materials you create for the client in your own promotions and portfolio, and make it the client's responsibility to clear any copyright or trademarks on materials they provide to you for use.
3.) Compensation in the Event of Early Termination. Sometimes you begin diligently working on a project, devoting hours to creating something the client will love, and they cancel the work for any of a number of reasons. It happens. Make sure to include a clause as to how you will be compensated in the event of an early termination. You may ask for a particular percentage of the contract, or explain that client will be billed on an hourly rate for the time you already spent working. Don't forget to carefully detail grounds for termination, for yourself and client, in the contract as well.
4.) Confidentiality. When working for clients, especially business entities, you may encounter sensitive proprietary information. For example, you may have access to identifiable customer information or passwords to social media accounts owned by the client. Be sure to explain to your client that you will keep their important info confidential and not disclose it to a 3rd-party.
These are just four clauses to consider in your freelance contract. I highly recommend having a contract template including a description of work that details what is included in the project, how much it will cost, and when the work will be provided. The contract should be tailored to what kind of business you do and how you do business. If you have any questions contact us here at E. Jones Law + Policy.
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