Home Freelancers Failures in Freelance Contracts: 5 Things to Include in Every Contract

Failures in Freelance Contracts: 5 Things to Include in Every Contract

If you’ve been burned by a nonpaying client, there’s a significant probability it was due to the failure of a freelance contracts.

It’s a recurring theme among freelancers that I’ve witnessed in my 16-plus years as an attorney who works with freelance writers and small businesses.

Too many authors have landed a “dream client,” begun working without freelance contracts, and then had the whole thing fall apart.

Does this sound familiar?

Avoid the failure of a freelance contract.

It does happen. Particularly for inexperienced freelancers. You’re ecstatic about obtaining a new customer and making money with your work. You begin working without first obtaining formal contracts.

Before you realize it, you’ve devoted a significant amount of time to a project. The project then shifts. Or you never get around to negotiating critical freelance contracts details. The client then fails to pay or refuses to pay because the work was not what they expected.

So, what now?

Working as a freelance writer without contracts is a risk. It might work out, but you risk losing your freelance writing success as well as your hard-earned money. The next thing you know, you’re chasing down your client, pleading with them to pay your freelancer invoice, only to receive no response.

In case you’re wondering, the answer isn’t generally litigation. Why? Even if you do manage to wring a payment from your customer, the expense of collection often wipes away the freelance check you were banking on.

Don’t put yourself in this scenario, is my suggestion. Before you begin working for a client, make sure you have a freelance contracts in place that includes these five clauses.

1. Compensation

This one is self-evident. However, you must include a retainer, late fines, and kill costs in your remuneration provision in your freelance contracts.

  • Never start a project without a retainer. A refilling retainer should also be used to assure continual cash flow. It is simple to use a refilling retainer. Your client will pay a retainer, say $750, for hourly-rate projects. You bill your hourly rate against the retainer as you work. When the retainer balance falls below a specific level, the client must “replenish” it to $750. And you don’t get back to work until the retainer is replenished.
  • In the case of flat-rate jobs, your client pays a retainer up front and then periodic payments over time. The client may pay you monthly, quarterly, or annually. You do not continue working until each retainer is paid in full. If you have a client that wishes to pay you at regular intervals to ensure your availability to work as needed, this also works on a subscription basis.
  • There are late fees and kill fees. Furthermore, the remuneration provision in your freelance contracts must include late costs if a client fails to pay on time, as well as “kill fees” if the client cancels the project after you’ve started working on it. A kill fee is a set amount of money paid to compensate you for the time you spent on the project up until the client “killed” it.

2. Attorney Fees and Expenses

The cost of pursuing legal action is frequently an impediment for freelancers. For example, if a client owes you $350, your legal fees will consume the majority, if not all, of what the client owes you. 

However, if you triumph, this term in a freelance contract permits you to collect not just the $350, but also your attorney’s fees and charges. Furthermore, simply including this provision in your freelance contract can dissuade a customer from stiffing you.

3. Work Scope

Avoid scope creep by clearly describing the job you will perform. Anything outside the limits of that work must be arranged individually and documented in a new freelance writing contract.

4. Clause of Merger

This provision indicates that any project-related agreements between the parties are “merged” into the written contract. This condition prevents any party from claiming that something that isn’t addressed in the freelance contract is a part of the agreement. In other words, if it isn’t stated in the contract, it isn’t a part of the deal.

5. Agreement Modifications

All revisions must be submitted in writing and signed by both parties. There is no change if it is not in writing, and the parties are obligated by the initial freelance contract. This provision, like the merger clause, will ensure that there are no misconceptions between the parties about what is and isn’t in the agreement.

Bottom line: Get it in writing to prevent being burned. Before you start working on a project for any client, be sure you have a freelance contract in place. Take the time to discuss these five conditions with your client and come up with terms on which you can both agree.

These five clauses must be included in any contract you sign. They will safeguard you and make certain that you are paid.

What problems have you faced with freelance contracts as a writer? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

Source: Make A Living Writing


About Skyhigh.Vip  

Skyhigh.Vip is a global institutional investor with a vast interest in Arts / Construction / Education / Business Services / E-Sports and various other growth industries.  

Several of its popular portfolios include GO Chambers which is the world’s largest business chamber listing provider with over 30,000 active chambers as its members.  

Flexgigzz is the Asia leading marketplace for freelancers service and together with SOHO Learning Hub which is an online platform for short courses and both of them aims to be the number one provider in Asia. For growth industries such as E-Sport Authority which is dedicated to providing independent media coverage to all E-Sport News related from around the world and for the art world, there is Atelier Auction which is an investable art auctioneer and being in the art scene for decades.

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