Can anyone provide an example of a business contract for a freelancer?
I am a freelance graphic designer, starting out, and would like help constructing a legally binding contract for me to present to potential clients. I am not sure how to do this or that I can even do this without a lawyer! Thanks in advance!
I've been using a standard work for hire agreement that is available in templates on Microsoft Office. If you are set up on any of the freelance websites like Elance, ODesk and GURU samples are provided. Hope that helps a little at least?!
Most of company use customized NDA or Contract document because every client has different terms of business so prepare draft not work in that case. so you need to discuss SOW and draft document according to that.
I'm not certain where you are located because that can typically affect the structure of any contract. But, in general I think it is important to set up any contract by which you will get paid done by a lawyer. Generic contracts on Legal Zoom or another legal document website are available. But, they are so boiler plated that you might not utilize one that best fits your needs. Especially since you are in an "artist" type of industry where creativity is important and you are protecting your work product.
I hope that helps.
any formal contract is available online,
just search for it,
beside my biggest tip for you regarding any kind of future contract or agreement is to call a competitor or a good rule model and see exectly how they are working, what kind of demandeds and costs, time frames and any other questions that comes in your mind- there is always some one to learn from :)
I see many of your questions are about what you can attain for free. Let me say that going into a business is not free. You don't work for free do you? Why would you expect anyone else to do so. Secondly, you need the best advisors to get off the ground. They are an investment that makes sense. If you are looking to get everything done on a shoestring, possibly it might make sense to stay employed elsewhere until you build up your resources so you stand a better chance of survival.
Wow, thanks everyone! I'll definitely check out the references posted. Much much much appreciated. I have no idea where to begin, so this is all so helpful.
In addition to the fine examples & advice of others, consider:
-> an agreement need not scare off clients (length, tone, etc.) in order to protect you, your client or both;
-> appropriate terms - particularly the non-core provisions - may well vary according to needs, strategy, relationship, etc.;
-> many client requests/demands can be anticipated; and
-> consulting with a suitable Attorney that is aware of your particular concerns, market/client factors, strategy and so on is prudent.
Liz: I completely agree with Laura and Joel. Do not attempt to do your own legal work. The purpose of having a contract is to protect you and your business if there is a dispute. Paying an experienced business attorney a reasonable fee to do that for you will save you lots of headaches and, most likely, a lot of money in the future. No templete will cover your specific needs. If you cannot afford a business attorney, you cannot afford to start your business. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
It should cost you no more than $1,500 to get a very good customer contract from an experienced business lawyer that is designed specifically for your business in the state where you are operating. It's a small investment for a big return. If you DIY, it may go great or it may go badly but you will be at risk.
If you’re drafting a document that you plan to use as your core agreement, you need to make sure that all of your rights are protected, including your proprietary information. The best way to adequately ensure that your goal is achieved is to have counsel draft, or at least review the agreement.
Here is what I found online (me trying to start web development freelance)
a contract builder: https://www.freelancersunion.org/contract-creator/
and a few samples: http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/contracts-what-should-you-include/
I have a template that I use. I had it reviewed by my attorney. He says that it provides adequate protection. Several things to consider.
1. The laws of your state regarding sever ability - clauses that can not be enforced legally are automatically removed - If you are determined not to use a lawyer, this area may still leave you a bit exposed.
2. Be specific regarding exclusivity and non-compete. Do not cripple your own business because you have agreed to be exclusive or they over extend what or who may be considered direct competition. Make sure any term discussed therein is specific.
I am NOT A LAWYER. No information provided herein should be considered legal advice. I will give you the blank template free of charge. If you want my template, email me through Mosaic Hub.
You're definitely thinking the right steps. A lack of a contract is one of the big problems that many freelancers face. There are plenty of sites that have examples of such items. I'd highly suggest looking up HOW Design, as they have numerous resources for freelancers and business owners. In addition to that, I'd recommend the book, “A Graphic Design Student’s Guide To Freelance” by Ben Hannam. It comes with a CD that has every type of form a freelancer could need; from contracts and proposal forms, to time sheets and invoices.
Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to message me.