When you start out as a freelancer, you can get caught up in the excitement of all the new jobs you get, but it’s always important to think about the rights and responsibilities of you as a writer as well as your new clients. .
An independent contract not only benefits your reputation and safety, but also your customers. Since it is a legally binding document, it can protect you in the event of potential disputes. The process of creating a contract sounds a bit daunting, but there are plenty of reasons why you should do it.
1. Contracts Explain Details of Job Expectations
When starting a new project, this part of the freelance contract simply notes what both parties need to do, and this can be recalled during the work period. This helps avoid a mountain of misunderstandings about what tasks you get paid for and lets you know what work you are qualified to undertake.
For example, as a writer, you may be in charge of research, creating email campaigns, editing documents, or planning social media content, and this should be stated in the job expectations section of a contract. This is also important, so that the client does not put you in a position to do work for which you are also overqualified. Also, if a client needs you to do a revision or two, you should be aware of that as well. You do not know where to start ? Take a look at some of the best apps for creating great contract proposals.
2. Contracts Note payment terms
Without writing down payment terms and keeping track of them, it can be a risk for you as a freelance writer. After completing a series of projects, for example, you want to make sure that the proposed amount won’t change if a client changes their mind.
Will you decide on a fixed price? Is there an hourly rate or do you prefer to be paid after individual tasks? Will you be paid every 7, 14 or 30 days? Will there be a deposit paid before you get to work, or late fees if a client doesn’t pay? You can opt for direct deposit to your bank account, but if you’re more comfortable with bills, you’ll need an invoicing system. Here are the best free invoicing apps for freelancers and small business owners.
By gathering these payment details, you and your customer can agree on a payment or series of payments, including the delivery time if it is a one-time project and a deadline. This means there will be no confusion once the project is complete. Customers won’t be able to negotiate a lower price, so you won’t be underpaid. It works for both parties.
3. Confidentiality Agreements
You may be working with a client who does not want certain information to be known to the public, and this is covered by a confidentiality agreement. The client can show you some of their business finances, business strategies, or other important information. A company may want to market a legal product in one country but not in another. Keep things private between you two!
This agreement may also be separate from your freelance writing agreement, such as a nondisclosure agreement. If you are shown private information, you don’t want it leaked to their competitors and giving them an advantage. If you want to learn more about these deals for entrepreneurs and businesses, check out the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
4. Copyright Law for Freelancers
Copyright law in the freelance world can be confusing, but putting copyright information in your freelance contract will make things clearer for you and your client. When working on a project, the rights originally belong to the author, however, this changes once it is sent to the client. The rights to the work can then be transferred.
Once you have written the required work, the client may want the right to make minor changes if necessary, so this can be agreed in the ownership section. If you want to learn more about copyright law, check out the details on the US Copyright Office website. So if you want to add website writing or articles to your portfolio, for example, you’ll need to ask permission first!
5. Freelancer insurance
In your freelance contract, you may want to add the terms of the insurance. When you’re writing a project for a client, as a freelance writer, you’ll want insurance if something goes wrong. This way your customer knows you take the risks seriously and you have a contingency plan in case damage occurs.
According to commercial insurance company Get Dinghy, if a customer tries to make a claim against you, there’s a chance you’ll have to go to court, which would incur legal costs. Perhaps the client has had financial problems and cannot pay you, so writing your terms of insurance in your agreement can include mention of your legal team and what they do, as well as compensation and fees that you may have covered.
You may also want to note your general property insurance, which covers any damaged technology. It is also strongly recommended that you have an electronic signature from you and your client when agreeing to your rights. Customers will know you’re ready, and if you’re willing to pay big bucks, you’ll be covered.
Independent contract is important
Without these agreements in place, there can be payment issues, no way to enforce an agreement if the customer decides to go against the contract, legal and liability issues, and much more.
The legal document will potentially save you a heated legal battle and a long list of risks, so it is highly recommended as a layer of protection. Being freelance is a fulfilling journey, and while you’re free to go without a contract, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared.
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