How to create a freelance contract

Contract with pair of glasses and a pen

Having a good contract template for use when signing contracts as a freelancer – or even in your small business – is vital to help prevent confusion and legal issues.

Before getting in to the nuts and bolts of a contract, there are a few tips on how to write it and how it should read to a client.

Be clear

First and foremost, the language should be clear and specific.

Try not to talk in generalities or industry jargon, and clearly lay out what you expect from the contract – prices, work, timescales etc.

After all, when you get down to basics, all a contract is saying is that you’ll do a specific piece of work for an agreed cost within a defined timeframe. Get that across and you’re half way there.

Formatting your contract

Companies do expect contracts to come in a certain format.

This shows that you know the business and how it works, and that you’re trying to make life as easy as possible for the client.

Here are a few sections you’ll need in your own contract…

Title – Specifying the type of contract, what services you’re providing and who for. e.g. ‘Freelance website design contract with Google.’

Brief intro – A short introduction to the basics, such as the parties involved, what the contract will set out and key dates for the contract.

About the work – Go into a little more detail about the scope of the work, deadlines and prices, plus what happens if you go over the agreed boundaries. You can use the appendices to flesh out this area further.

Payments – This section covers invoicing, deposits, payments, and how payments can be made, e.g. bank transfer, credit card etc.

What’s not included – As well as letting them know what you will be doing, you’ll also need to specify what isn’t included in the cost such as travel costs, additional work, and over time.

Roles and responsibilities – List here what you are agreeing to and what the client is agreeing to do.

Close up of hand of businessman signing a form. Business man signing contract for future deal. Business man signing legal document. Male hand signing employee contract with a bond.

Contact – It’s always good to list who are the points of contact on both sides, along with their contact details and working hours.

Cancellation – Specify what happens if the contract is terminated and the procedure for doing so.

Copyright and confidentiality – Depending on the type of work, you might need to include details of who holds the copyright and any confidentiality agreements.

Appendices – Use these to go into further details about the legalities of specific sections.

If you have any concerns over your contract or a contract sent to you, contact a lawyer.


Posted by The Secret Businessman