As a freelancer, you need more than a gentlemen’s agreement when it comes to freelancing services between you and your client. Although not all clients will be out to swindle you through the services you offer, serious misunderstandings can occur because both parties assumed certain issues at the outset. On the other hand, some clients would take advantage of a freelancer’s ignorance in regard to legally binding contracts. How can you avoid such scenarios and make your freelance contracts more enforceable?
How to protect yourself as a freelancer through an enforceable contract
You may not be in a position to hire a lawyer to make the contract for you. The good news is that you can create one yourself. This is how.
1. Make it clear in the contract what the job at hand is. Be as specific as you can in regard to amount of work and duration. Make it clear what implications will follow if the client changes the requirements of the job or asks for revisions
2. In addition to the above, it is helpful to make it clear for how long the contract is valid.
3. Make all money matters as clear as it can be. These relates to amount, down-payment, milestones, any reimbursements and reasons and how to deal with any late payments.
4. Let it be clear on how any counter-offer will be handled.
5. Copyright matters should be clear on who owns the rights. More on this relates to where and who can use the work in question. Further clarification should be whether you deserve any mention in relation to what you have created and whether you will get any royalties from the proceeds of your effort.
If the client expects absolute copyright rights, then you might want to factor in this fact in your pricing and make your quote higher knowing that you are giving up all claims to such works. Whatever you do, make sure you cover yourself against future misunderstandings with your client which almost always leads to loss of money on your side.