If you’re in the process of looking for a freelancer to join your team, you will need to think carefully about the terms and conditions related to the service you’re looking for.
After all, freelancers don’t fall under the remit of your employees and follow different rules of engagement.
To help you get the most out of your relationship with a freelancer, here are eight terms and conditions that you should include in your freelancer contract.
1 – Agreed Rates
When you work with freelancers, you will find that everyone charges slightly differently. As you prepare your contract, consider the following:
- How will time be billed? Per project, per hour, per week/month etc.?
- Which currency are you using?
- Is the rate fixed for all projects? Or will it change depending on the scope?
- Are there any extras that need to be considered?
It’s essential to get as much information as you can in a freelancer contract, as disagreements over rates are one of the leading causes of contention between freelancers and their clients.
2 – Terms of service
The terms of service refer to the scope of the agreed delivery. The key here is to make the terms of service as simple as possible. There’s no point in filling it with legal jargon or industry-specific acronyms that are difficult to understand!
A few sentences and bullet points detailing what has been agreed between freelancer and company is more than sufficient and will ensure there is less room for confusion and misunderstanding throughout the working relationship.
3 – Payment terms
Because freelancers are self-employed, it’s important to be clear from the outset about how they will be paid. And frankly, there is no industry standard for freelancer payments, so the onus is on each company and freelancer to decide for themselves.
Here are some things to consider:
- How should the payment be made? BACS? E-Wallet (PayPal, Neteller, etc.)?
- When should the payment be made? Upon receipt of invoice? Within X days?
- Are there any payment charges that need to be accounted for? (Forex charges, bank charges, etc.) And who is liable for these costs?
- What currency will the transaction be completed in?
Timely payment to freelancers is so essential and is crucial for the success of your long-term relationship. It’s not fair to expect freelancers to chase up payments with your accounting team.
4 – Contact details
Given the digital world that we currently live and work in, there are so many ways in which companies keep in touch with their employees and the freelancers that they work with. So, you need to be clear about how you will communicate with your freelancer. Here are some important points to think about:
- How will daily communication work? Should it be done via email or a messaging app like WhatsApp or Telegram?
- Do you require a regular video chat with your freelancer to check in on the project? If so, what platform will you use?
- What are your office hours? And when can you reasonably expect to communicate with your freelancer? Remember – time zones can cause confusion when it comes to communication, so make sure you’re explicit from the outset.
Get as many relevant contact details down in the freelancer contract as you can to ensure you know how communication is going to work.
5 – Key deliverables and timeframes
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a freelancer contract is the key deliverables and timeframes articulated from the offset. You will need to include:
- What exactly is the freelancer responsible for? Include a detailed brief of the project.
- When should the project be delivered by? And are there any key milestones that need to be met?
When you’re working on your contract, make sure you’re explicitly clear, particularly where deliverables and timeframes are concerned. It’s not fair on either party if the details of the projects are up in the air, so you should be crystal clear on what to expect from one another.
6 – Ownership/Copyright/NDA
Upon completion of the project, who will own the content that has been produced? If your company wants to maintain full rights and ownership over the content, this must be stipulated in the contract.
Equally, be sure to note down any copyright terms that are relevant to your company and brand. You may even want to draw up a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that protects the integrity of the details that you share with a freelancer.
7 – Cancellation terms
In spite of your best efforts, some collaborations with freelancers just don’t work out. Therefore, it’s extremely important to include some clear cancellation terms in the contract that enable you to get out of any agreement and look for a more suitable candidate.
Ultimately, the cancellation terms can relate to various aspects of the working agreement, such as non-deliverables, late deliveries, or underperformance relating to the terms of service. Just make sure you’re explicit, so you’re not stuck in an agreement that is bad for your company.
8 – Signature and agreement
Last but not least, you need to include a section for both the hiring manager and the freelancer to sign and date. You can make use of e-signature applications if you want to formalize the process and make the signatures legally binding.
When you’re putting together a freelancer contract, it’s so important that you include as much relevant information as possible. Confusion and misunderstandings tend to arise from relationships that have been started at a whim, so be sure to take the time to put together a detailed contract that explains your key outputs and expectations.