Posts tagged ‘freelance’
A well written contract should be a fundamental part of any freelancer’s business model. It does not matter if the work is for family, or a donation to a charitable organization, boundaries and responses to unforeseen circumstances need to be addressed. Suppose you get hit by a garbage truck tomorrow, or suppose your client does. Suppose your client in his desire to rebrand goes for an option that already exists and the current rights holders sue. What happens? The contract is there to be the course of action to be taken in cases such as this, or in cases of clients who don’t pay, missed deadlines and permissions to release and use work. A good contract should be able to address all of these issues.
In writing my own contract and having it professionally vetted I have found it necessary to include clauses for: copyright, reservation of rights and publication authority, expenses, payment schedules, scope of work and responsibilities, force majeure(act of God) and lastly cancellation. This is a lot of ground to cover, and to some it can be a daunting task. Some designers wrap everything into one large contract, others make project based mini contracts. I actually use a combination of the two. I use a long term general contract that covers my rights, the client’s rights, expenses and payment, force majeure and cancellation. For everything else I write project specific proposals and in the case of completed projects that the client wants me to maintain I will write a one year maintenance agreement. The proposals cover the quote and specific fees (total cost), timelines, my responsibilities, scope of work, and client responsibilities. Maintenance agreements cover duration of the agreement, billing, and scope of support.
Each style has its advantages depending on the clients and the projects. I have found my method to be a fairly flexible solution that has worked well for a wide array of clients and projects.
For the other freelancers out there, let me know in the comments section what system you have in place and why you like it. I would definitely welcome an open discussion on this topic. If you need help or want a template to get started with, feel free to contact me either through the comments or via email. There are great resources out there and I will be more than glad to help you sort through it and to figure out a workable solution.