We all know that sometimes it’s tough when employers refuse to pay you, claim your work, and ask you to go far and beyond what your initial job entailed. So, what can we do to protect ourselves from scams, terrible employers and other annoyances while we are just trying to make a living?
To protect what’s yours and to ensure that you’re getting the best payouts on your projects, you need to use contracts. You should protect the things that you have worked hard to make and you shouldn’t do business with anyone who won’t sign a contract. If a client is too scared to sign a contract, it’s usually a sign of a scam or otherwise a bad employment situation.
Since we can’t be too sure about anyone on the Internet, here are a few resources that will help keep you protected while you work hard to build your business. Let’s take a look at templates for contracts that don’t cost you a dime.
Please Note: I’m not a lawyer, so you shouldn’t take legal advice from me. It’s always best to talk to a lawyer when making a contract.
Take it from a man who has signed and created thousands of contracts in his days. In this straight forward article, Andrew Clarke offers so many great tips on how to create a contract that is solid, and would win any fight in the legal system. This contract offers you a chance to create something unique for your clients and your business, so you don’t have to be embarrassed with mistakes in fill in the blank style contracts.
Ah yes, the beloved fill-in-the-blank contract. It’s very simple to use, and will match almost any web-worker’s needs. This contract is going to hold up in a court situation. It covers copyright, termination notice, permissions, fees, expenses, due dates, payment schedule, and confidentiality. With this contract, you’re not going to run into trouble. The best thing about it is that it was designed by professional who has years of experience.
Here, About.com goes all-out in explaining the benefits of having a letter of agreement on all your freelance writing jobs. Not only do they give you that, but they give a sample of how one should be written. This has been an extremely useful tool for me. Since it gives so much great information, I highly suggest at least reading over the material that they have provided.
This website is really useful to freelancers, both involved in web design and writing. It gives numerous resources on all types of documentation that you should have from the very beginning of a project to the end. It starts by giving you a chance to see a questionnaire that you can use with all your clients about what the project has in store, their expectations, expense reports to ensure that your clients aren’t be overcharged, and that you’re going to recover all project costs.
About.com actually has a whole list of legal documents that you’re able to use for your projects at absolutely no cost, which is wonderful since we’re all in this to get the biggest bang for our buck. The nondisclosure agreement is very important, mostly to clients, freelancers can use it as well. It gives you a chance to keep the project as hush-hush as possible. They also offer a more formal agreement with an actual contract. This will help you tell your clients that you are serious while giving you a blanket of legal protection from not being paid.
This website offers you full access to ten different contract templates based on what type of project you’re looking to do for a client. Since every project is unique, you have the opportunity to choose from a variety of contract styles and different wording to ensure that you are covered if something goes wrong. The more clients that you gather over time, the more these contracts are going to come in handy.
Since every project is different, it’s important to go a step further than just printing off any old contract, review these and make sure that you’re choosing the right contract for each project. While you don’t want to annoy your clients with an overbearing amount of paperwork before you to get started, they will appreciate that you take your job seriously.
The bottom line is that you should always protect you, your time, and your clients. I hope these resources will help you, have a great day!