You’re a freelancer — Now what… Contracts!
Setting Up Contracts as a Freelancer
Whether we like it or not, our modern day depends largely on contracts. From your cellphone contract to the contract you make when you promise your account has sufficient funds to pay for something you buy, there are contracts in place everywhere for our protection. Nothing could be more important as a freelancer and you are not under the umbrella of an organization to safeguard you and your work.
Setting up contracts can often be a daunting task for anyone unfamiliar, and it is important to consult professionals because of the potential ramifications. Whether you are looking over a template for your own work or reviewing a contract sent to you, here are some components to look for:
Any and every contract you enter into should be extremely specific, to the point where you think it is overdone. It needs to discuss service terms, scope of work, and any deliverables that you are responsible for among anything else you consider part of the transaction.
The devil is in the details. If it is a deliverable, you must describe when it is due, how it will be delivered, how much will be delivered, and what will be delivered with such detail that another deliverable could not be mistaken for yours.
This is an ever-growing issue in the digital space. When your customer contracts with you, do you or your customer own the product? If you are looking to still own it, then make sure your contract is clear about only granting a license, and not the freedom to use the product at will.
While everyone tries to provide the perfect service on time, that does not always happen. Your contract needs to provide procedure for both outcomes.
A contract can cover any length of time you want it to. It merely has to be written that way. But even though you can draft a contract to span 100 years, it is important to update and revisit it every few years, if not more. Relationships, economies, markets and projects change. It is important to document these new developments through amendments or new contracts.
Ultimately, your contract is designed to protect you and your work. If you don’t think you are able to adequately safeguard yourself, you should reach out to someone who can.
Use a dedicated storage space – like SimpleForms – to store tax information. It’s easy to use – map out the template to show exactly where to complete, sign and return all in a protected portal dedicated to your freelancing.
About the author
Angela Yu is a New Jersey and New York attorney with a multifaceted practice area focusing in corporate, real estate and general contract law. Ms. Yu is a published legal author and holds a J.D. and M.B.A. from Rutgers School of Law and Rutgers Business School.
Angela Yu does not provide legal advice on this website. This blog post and any blog posts authored by Angela Yu do not constitute legal advice.