Freelancers typically work with numerous clients, and maintaining solid relationships with them is essential to success. While you want to perform efficiently and turn out quality work as soon as possible, developing a contract before you get started is a must.
However, it is equally important that the contract is valid and legally binding. Entrepreneur explains three common contract issues freelancers run into. By being aware of these common issues, you can take steps to avoid them.
Not developing the statement of work properly
The statement of work section explains the fees you provide, as well as the rate you charge for these fees. The more detail you add to this section, the better. When the statement of work is vague or unclear, there is a much higher risk of a dispute. Explain the precise nature of the services you provide, how you will complete the project, the number of revisions, and the basis for your rates.
Beginning work before an agreement is in place
Contract creation is the first step upon securing a new client. While it is tempting to begin work immediately and develop the contract as you go, this approach can backfire spectacularly. It also benefits you from a creative perspective, since contract creation and development may clarify some aspect of the project you are unsure about.
Failing to ask pertinent questions during contract review
Along with the major points of a freelance contract, there are also lots of other variables that need addressed. For example, will you receive a reimbursement for travel expenses? Who will ultimately own whatever you are creating for the client? Are you subject to a non-disclosure agreement? Are methods in place for changing the project if necessary?
A good contract will safeguard your best interests, but it will also provide an understanding of rights and responsibilities. It is better to make everything clear at the outset to ensure everyone is on the same page.