5 Must-Have Clauses for any Freelancer Contract

freelance contract clauses
Written by Mallikarjuna
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Do you make a freelance contract when you start working on a freelance project? If not, then you should start doing it right away. Working on a freelance project without a formal contract is a direct invitation to people to take your advantage.  

The flexibility of working as a freelancer offers several benefits. Yet without an accounting department to handle your finances or an HR team to onboard you, freelancing can be overwhelming. And it does not matter if you are just new in the world of freelancing, or you are an experienced one. You should always require the polishing of your freelancing contracts.

It sounds convenient to skip a formal proposal but having some document is essential to protect yourself from fraud. With your freelance proposal be firm with contract clauses

So, this, in turn, leaves us with the question of what a freelance contract is?

In simple terms, it is a legal document that sketches out the essential points of your agreement with the concerned person to avoid any miscommunication or forgery on any side. It can be in several forms, like a formal email stating the projects you will be handling to any signed physical sheet that comprises several clauses. However, the more professional the contract is, the more secured you are from any violation.

You may feel it is sufficient that your clients acknowledged the payment for your services as proof, but your freelance contract should be more detailed. Put it in this way – that a freelance contract prevents you from unneeded complexities with any client in the future. But this can only happen if it consists of the proper clauses.

All you should include in your freelance contract differs depending on the kind of services you offer. Here are some essential clauses that you must have in your freelance contract, irrespective of all the variables.

1.Scope Of The Project

Let us see this scenario which you might have witnessed once or twice. You have an email conversation with the clients and start working on their projects. They ensure you the work is simple and fix the amount on that basis. But eventually, you realize it is much more complex than stated. Apart from the primary task discussed are some add-on tasks that may take more of your time. As a result, you are not left with any spare time to take up any new projects.

This scenario is known as scope creep and can hugely reduce the time and energy you can have for paid work. To avoid such a situation, you need to set the work scope initially and include it in the contract.

This section should comprise the following details:

  • The work you are getting and agreeing to take over.
  • The deliverables your clients expect for their projects.
  • The timeline of the project.
  • The conditions in case there are any add-on tasks and compensation for the same.

This line-up of vital details sets up a crystal-clear expectation for both parties, and there is no chance of discrepancies.

2.Single Point of Contact

Well, this clause is undoubtedly a life savior. If you ever have the opportunity to collaborate with such clients where two or more people are involved in giving you the guidelines and feedback, you must know the importance of this clause.

By adding this clause in your contract, you are restricting your interaction to one person. Every change request or any feedback should come from that single person you contracted with, no matter whether your client is working in any big firm or is a solopreneur.

The more people deal with you, the more arguments they have to iron out. Having one person dealing with you protects you from any confusion and rework.

3.Total Free Revisions

Have you ever come across any client who was very tough to impress? Even if you give a write-up of the Forbes level, create a logo better than Google, or code an app with the broadest set of functionalities, they will come up with something they want to change.

There might be chances that you are dealing with a perfectionist. Or the client might be confused themselves. These instances can be a common issue when working with the middleman.

And then you need to work on the project all over again halfway through the given time. So, you have to begin working on the project right from the beginning and complete the assignment. Consequently, you are devoting more hours to the same compensation; your hourly rate takes a plunge.

An easy solution to the stated complexities is to include a clause in your freelance contract which indicates the total number of revisions you will provide for free and what you will charge after reaching that limit.    

4.Pricing and Rates

Stating the prices and rates is probably an essential clause which you must have in your contract. A well-defined clause will set the amount you will get paid for your hard work. It must also include whether you will get the payment in a lump sum or get paid hourly. For a big project which will cover numerous months or is open-ended, you need to define the payment frequency.

Discussions on whether to require advanced payment for big projects or wait until their completion have not yet resulted in a clear disposition. But you and your client may negotiate on this matter and arrive at an agreement that will give you a sense of security. However, if you have prepared a right and firm contract, agreeing to get the payment regularly should go well with both parties.

5.Ownership and Rights

In preparing your freelance contract, ensure to add points related to intellectual property and ownership rights. This move will make your clients think twice about showcasing your work as their own when you wish to have the ownership.

When stating rights and ownership, you may wish to clear the air that the client does not know about the ideas or data used to finish the task. This clarification is essential if you feel that the client might copy and recreate your job. However, if the client wants you to give the training on the project, then this clause is not essential.

Over to You

If you feel that a freelance contract causes difficulty for your clients and will discourage them from collaborating with you, rest assured as you are far away from reality. It indicates to the clients that you are serious about the business.

The exciting part is that making a freelance contract is relatively easy, which does not require you to hire the services of an expert. You can get several templates on the web. Select the one that meets all your needs, or you can even hire freelancers from 24 Task to get your work done within your budget.

About the author


Mallikarjuna is a Search Engine Optimization specialist at 24Task, a leading online freelancing platform. Mallikarjuna is a search engine enthusiast and a specialist in Digital Marketing who has helped businesses reach their audience digitally through his expertise in Inbound Marketing Techniques.

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