Contract Writing for Freelancers | Margot Harrington | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Kick-off Lecture


    • 2.

      Coming Soon


    • 3.

      Terms and Conditions


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About This Class

So you've been in business for yourself for a little while. You know you should have a contract, maybe you even have one, but is it really comprehensive? Maybe you can't afford a lawyer and you've cobbled together your own version on a wish and a prayer. It's time to clear up the gray area before you get burned. (Or, again, as the case may be. Cause let's be real – it happens to all of us at least once.)

Designed by Colin Harman

What You'll Learn

  • Developing Your Contract. How to define scope, deliverables, timelines, budgets.
  • Five Parts of a Good Contract. What do effective terms & conditions look like.
  • Fine Print. Breaking down the legalese so you can mold it to your own needs.

What You'll Make

Come to class with an example of a project you might do and you'll leave with tools to write your own contract or proposal, giving you more confidence, credibility, and ultimately, a better grasp on your profits.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Margot Harrington

Communication Designer at Pitch Design Union


After several years of agency graphic design experience, I was laid off, and have been running my own studio for over 6 years now. Since then I've found it hard to find financial, legal, client, and life-balance advice for the microbusiness owner which is why I'm focusing on these issues with Skillshare. I've worked tirelessly on ironing out these details so my projects would go as smoothly as possible. I can translate my learning in a way that speaks to every creative person, especially the ones who would rather spend their time making the stuff over worrying about the fine print, managing their budgets, and difficult clients.

As a Graphic Designer, many of my examples, including the sample proposals and budgets I will show you are optimized for my particular type of work (... See full profile

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1. Kick-off Lecture: Hi, Skillshare. This is Margot. I'm your teacher for Contract Writing 101 For Freelancers. I'm recording this talk today on a Sunday afternoon in Chicago. It's a pretty nice day outside, but I'm really excited to unpack some of these details with you and get started. I'm going to switch over to my slides now but I just wanted to introduce myself so you can have a face to match with the voice. Again, you can contact me through the class website, but I'm also really responsive on Twitter. My username is pitch design. I hope to see you on there. Let's get started. Here we go. Contract Writing 101 For Freelancers. This is video 1 of a three-part series. What's wrong with a generic online contract anyway? First of all, they have too much non-specific legalese. It's pretty much one-size-fits-all, and you are not one no one is. I'm pretty much guessing that if you are freelancing or working for yourself, you probably have a pretty similar approach to what it is you do. I'm here today to help you figure out how your needs are different and how you can explain those to a client so you can do your business better. What this class isn't about, we're not going to spend a ton of time on pricing and optimizing profits. Though, structuring your contracts better certainly come with this bonus. I have to this end shared some pricing strategies and guidelines on our class page to help you maximize your profits but it's too much in a general way to get into it. There are so many of us taking this class. We all live in different cities, in different parts of the world, and are in different industries. Making really specific suggestions to help you improve your profits is just not very helpful. However, if you would like to ask some specific questions after you've read the resources that I've shared, by all means, please do. We can definitely all learn from each other in that way. So don't be shy. There is a lot of fear to talk about contracts, which I'm just not about. I don't understand it. I think that discussing the challenges and the vague areas about this helps us all do business better. I guess that's why I'm teaching this glass because I feel passionately about making sure everybody can do the best business that they can. What I can promise to talk about today in class is how to define your scope, your timeline, and your budget. We'll unpack what effective terms and conditions look like and break down the uncertainty and the legalese in terms of the specific fine-print of a contract. Questions. Hopefully, you have them. I welcome those. If you feel like sharing publicly, the class Q&A section is a great place for that, or learning from other people's questions is amazing. I really want you guys to send me, so bring it on. If you want to do a more private location or non class topic, send me a tweet. I'm super active and responsive on Twitter. My handle is @pitchdesign. Your homework, use the information resources as a starting point to tailor your own contract. I can't necessarily write this for you. Hopefully, this gives you a great start and you can take it from there. I'd love to see what you do. Upload it to the Projects tab to share with me and the rest of the class for feedback. Let's get this show on the road. Video 2 coming up shortly. 2. Coming Soon: Welcome to video number 2, in the Contract Writing 101 for freelancer series. In this video, we will cover the four parts of a contract and just define different contract types. In the third video, we will go over the final part of a contract, step 5, which is all about the terms and conditions. What makes up a good contract? What's getting done? How it's getting done? When it's getting done? How much is it going to cost? Number 1 is obviously super important. I can't stress this enough. You really want to spend some good quality time interviewing your potential client to assess their needs. They may come to you asking for something entirely different that may not make sense for their project or for their budget, and so they might be a little bit of negotiating to actually figure out what it is you're going to be doing for them. Lots of questions here about their history, their background, why they're contracting you, how they arrived at this certain set of deliverables to see what else you can unpack and assess in terms of what it is that will work. Once you have that initial conversation, you want to put together an itemized list of the project tasks and be as specific as possible within this list. Anything that you will possibly be delivering for them, even if it's a small as a color palette or sketches or whatnot, needs to be spelled out so you can include it in for what you're billing them. This itemized list of tasks is also called the scope of the project. It's also referred to as a statement of work. This is the main ingredient to keep scope [inaudible] from happening. Sometimes later in the project, they'll come up with an idea that might make total sense. But it wasn't negotiated and input in the statement of work at the outset of the project. You're either A revise the statement of work, revise the contract to include this new deliverable, bill it separately or tell them you're not doing it without some extra rates. This is a really great way of making sure that you're only doing what you're getting paid for. Once you have that sorted out, you want to explain to the client how you're going to get it done. I think just there's misconception among clients and creative people that there's this magical smoke and mirrors that the work just appears, they really have no idea how much work and time and effort and energy goes into figuring out what the end product is. The better you can spell your process, the more they will be able to understand how you get there and there'll be less likely to question it and you'll also be able to charge more because you have included all the steps and explain them really nicely. Don't forget to include how many revisions that's really important. Just to give you an overview of how I view this, my steps follow a general process. I began with research and brainstorming, sometimes as much of up to a third of the project budget if I can get them to sign off on that. I really can't stress to them how important research and brainstorming is in terms of developing the right context for their project and making sure that it is as well thought out and carefully planned and sensitive to all of the issues and competitors and really crafting an unique voice for them and I can't really do that until I spent a lot of time really immersing myself in their worlds. That includes budget for time spent buying books and magazines or other supplemental materials that will help me do my best work for them. Then from there, moving out to the design exploration, that's pretty straightforward. That's where the bulk of the actual work is being done. Followed by the revisions, and then followed by the build-out, which of course varies depending on what the project is. Sometimes it's as simple as sending files to print. Sometimes it's more complex. I find sub-contracting a web developer, for example, or handing off to the next person in the next stage of the process, which we'll unpack a little more later. Step 3, is pretty good. Yeah, you want a timeline. You don't want the client thinking that you're just going to disappear into either or not deliver when you say you're going to deliver. If you have deadlines then they better have some deadlines for their feedback, so you can know when to expect that e-mail or when to expect that meeting with them. Keeps the project on schedule and that helps, when you're getting paid so you can schedule and plan your budgets and your finances better. I developed the fees and the pricing well, after I have, that's definitely my last step when I'm figuring out how to plan a project. Don't forget to include a profit margin for yourself and know how much you have to save for taxes when you are working out your budgets. I think it's a lot easier to include a profit margin if you are billing the project on a flat fee or a daily or weekly rate instead of an hourly rate. I try and steer clear of hourly rates for an entire project. Occasionally, I'll do a little side thing, if it's a couple of hours here and there to supplement the main project but the bulk of it I try and do for a flat project fee. The reason being for this is, as I said, it's a lot easier to make a profit margin. When I use general hourly guideline, I have enough experience to know roughly how long it will take me to put together a design mark up or how much research I will need to get my brain into a good place. Then I add a few supplemental hours on top of that in terms of, padding, if I run into an error or something somehow unexpectedly takes longer than it's going to cause you know how that always happens. Then a little bit of a premium on top of that is an added incentive for me to finish it as quickly as possible. If you're working at an hourly rate, you want as many hours as you can get and the client wants you to work as little hours so they have a less budget, so that inherently is a conflict of interests that sets you at odds and just makes the whole working relationship a little more challenging. It's really terrible if you submitted invoice that has a bunch of extra hours even if you warn them that you are taking longer or it's just an estimate, hourly rates, things was very blah, blah, blah like it never goes over very well, so I try and avoid that whenever possible. Then I do have more flat project fee and I do have that additional incentive to turn things around more quickly, to stream on my own process, which works great for me. I really respond well to that. Then on the other project where I do have a little bit of overages or maybe there is something that did take me longer, I'm not necessarily going into the red. I may dig into my profit margin a little bit on that project, but at the very least, I wouldn't, I'm going to be breaking even for sure. The other thing to consider in terms of profit margins and pricing for your time is that, anyone who sells retail products, they buy those things that cost and then they mark them up 50 percent at the very minimum to recoup the costs that they spent on that merchandise. Well, if you're just working in hourly rate, you're not making a profit, you're just selling your time for cost, which not only is exhausting, but it keeps you working a hell of a lot longer than you need to be doing, we all like to have things like nights, evenings off and weekends off, so having a little more control over that is a really great way to protect your time better. Something to think about as you build your fee structure and definitely make sure you reference the other links and resources that I included on our project page for some other ideas to help you organize that in the way that's best for you. I'm going to go over an excerpt from my proposal that spells out everything I just talked about aside from the terms, as I've said, the terms will get to in the next video. All that fine print will come later. This is just a sample proposal that I had sent recently, it was for a large project, a logo design exploration, as well as stationary and like brand extension. A logo really is just one part of a brand, but then this brand extensions like business cards, stationery, all these like little tiny deliverables that would come at the end of a project, for example. In this case, I hadn't met this client, it was something I was bidding via the Internet and so in that case, I can't necessarily introduce myself in person. I really like to have this nice just introductory, a little bit more about my personality so I can invite them into my process and show them some of my other clients and collaborators to just to build up that trust a little bit and and include some of me in this proposal so it doesn't necessarily seem like there's really heavy-handed, super serious business document. It is that it is all of those things, but, they're hiring me, so I want to show them as much of my flare as I can. That can even include a few jokes and some lighthearted talk. It doesn't necessarily have to sound like super serious all the time. Here we have just some work examples. Like I said, was for branding and for a website so just some different options to get them started and then I'm linking to some of my websites that I designed and built here. Then the website exploration is a little bit of an interesting case because I think websites are a really typical project where there's a lot of scope creep or at least a lot of risk of that because, you're halfway through the project and the client decides they want a slideshow or they want to start a blog or "Hey, here's this really awesome content that I didn't even realize I could talk about. Let's add in a whole new page." This has been developed to curb that. The initial phase of the website is to figure out how the information planning and through out the steps and the wireframes and just basic blueprint of how the site goes. You can see the deliverables I've listed, the timeline is listed, their feedback deadline is listed and the fee is listed. The next step is designing those wireframes. I typically don't include wireframe revisions in my proposal because if I do have any changes, I will just incorporate them into the website design phase. I will also sometimes break this up into some steps, so the deliverables don't necessarily have to be due all on the same day. I'll send them a homepage layout, get feedback on that, apply the feedback to the homepage, and then build it to a second info page, etc, until by the end of the last revision step, we have a fully completed functional website. Also, you see at the bottom, Mid-Project Invoice Due. The excerpt of this project is taken, there would have been a logo exploration happening before this where I would have had an upfront fee due. I like to bill at the beginning, in the middle, and the end of a project. Just again, helps with the cash flow and you're going to trust them to pay you if they've already paid you once, twice, three times. By the end of the project, you shouldn't have any concerns of them disappearing and falling off the face of the earth because you've already been through that step. Development is again, building out the actual designed websites. You'll see here, the list of deliverables and the things that are included and the things that are not included are really important. Especially if they're going to come back and ask for some additional features or they want to toss in another piece of design work. That's a really great way of, ''Did I say I was going to promise that? Nope, I didn't. Okay, let's renegotiate, et cetera.'' Then finally, the final phase, launch, debugging, browser testing, deliverables. Me committing to be there for email support, to help them through their questions because there's going to be some, ''Oops, I messed this up or I forgot how to do this. Can you please help me?'' Instructions for how to work with their CMS, and then several hours, four hours is pretty baseline in terms of working out bugs. Sometimes it takes a little longer, sometimes it takes a little less but like I said, is flexible with a little bit of extra padding so that if that kind of thing does happen, it's not the end of the world. What I just showed you wasn't a pretty solid example of just a regular project by project contract, so I would put that together for one contract that would span probably three mini-projects over the course of a couple of months. There are other types if you are interested. For example, a retainer and a long-term agreements. You can sign a contract that can be valid for whatever certain amount of time that you want to specify. Then underneath that umbrella contract, you have multiple statements of work. That's a little bit different than a retainer. A retainer is you're on call with a company and you are getting paid. Usually, it's just a flat fee every month and then that fee is built up over how much work you think you'll probably be doing. The thing to note about long-term contracts with short-term statements of work is that if you decide to change your terms or you have a different plan that you want to change, that contract, it's valid, you might not be able to really edit it until it expires. In which case, you can come with a new contract and then just continue on with the new contract. Retainers are a little tricky too. Sometimes you've gotten into a retainer with a company and it turns out that they are sending you way more work than you budgeted for or way less work than you budgeted for. Those definitely need to come in with built-in reviews every three months to check in to make sure that both of you are happy with the turnaround and also how much work is getting done because you would like to have the option to renegotiate, if so. I recommend long-term agreements/retainers for a company that you've known and worked with for a long time. If you already have a relationship with them established, it's a great way to have really regular contact with them. If you're signing a retainer with a client, they're going to expect that you're on call, so you need to be willing to be on call with them. Then those little tiny projects or just like small requests here and there can come in and as needed. I would not recommend a retainer or a long-term agreement with a first-time clients. I like to try out a process with them first just to see how it goes and then if it goes well or if they have a lot of other needs and they want to step up the involvement, then talk retainers, long-term agreements, or a long-term agreement after you've been around the block a couple times. The other option is called iteration. Projects are agile projects, which are really common with software developments or startups. The idea here is you have a really short, highly involved engagement with a client. Usually, it's a week or two weeks, where you have a set budget, a set deliverable, and a set delivery date, so you work through that within that time period. Whether or not it takes more or less work, that's what kind of money you have, and that's what kind of time frame, and that's what kind of budget, so those things are totally set. It's really great to get a lot of work done in a really quick amount of time and it also provides the client a lot of incentive to give a lot of quick feedback. Since they only have you booked for a short period of time, they're really going to want to make sure that that work is coming out correctly. Also, the point here is that you if you're working on software, you're working on an app, or some kind of project that has a lot of iterations, you can push out your new features really quickly, put your new app in the App Store, have people upload it, and getting testing feedback right away. Then schedule another agile session for a month later or two weeks later, whatever it is, where you can do the next round of upgrades. The only risk of this setup is it's not great for clients who want to know what their budget is going to be upfront. Because if they're coming to you with a new feature that you didn't expect, that came later in the project with all this new knowledge, you can't necessarily foresee those changes, so you can't give them a flat or a set budget upfront or a total budget. It's also tricky in terms of schedule overlap. If you're married to this client for two weeks and then it turns out they need just one other thing or they really just want to add on just one more small little deliverable, it can be really easy to say yes to them. Before you know it, you've got a couple of loose ends and you're trying to do highly focused agile billing with your next client or your next project and then they're all overlapping, which can just lead to a lot of burnout. You have to be really careful with your scheduling here. That's something to be concerned with if you aren't able to have that much control over and may not be the best type of contract for you. If you're going to be sub-contracting, it's definitely a good practice to use a contract for that too. I find they generally follow the same structure. If I'm contracting say a developer or a copywriter, I am responsible for their work and accountability. If they don't deliver, if they don't know the due dates, or they didn't provide the work when they said they were going to, it's up to me to either include some term about payment doc or something to make up for the fact that they didn't uphold their end of the agreement. It's also really important to make sure that it's clear who owns the rights and has the rights to work. If I contract another designer or an illustrator, who owns the rights to that project? Who gets to put it in their portfolio? Who gets to work with it in the end? Who gets to keep it? It's case-by-case. I'm mostly okay sharing work. I don't have no problem giving a subcontractor of mine access to whatever it is that they want for their portfolio or whatnot, but just to make those things clear in advance, is I was helpful. There's also the opportunities and times when I have been the subcontractee with another business. Instead of me giving them a contract, they give me a contract to work on-site or to work with their specific terms. Most companies, especially design agencies, will provide you with this. Oftentimes, a big part of it is a non-disclosure or non-compete agreement. Which basically means that you're not allowed to share or post anything online, or on your blog, project process, or updates without specifically written permission beforehand. Then a non-compete is a pretty standard. Just that you're not going to be working for one of their competitors within a certain time frame just because you're considered a biased resource at that point and you wouldn't necessarily be able to do any work that's not going to put them in a compromising position. Again, I have no problem with that, but it's totally personal and definitely something you should disclose at the outset if you think you have any conflicts there. That brings us to the end of Video 2. The tech guys, we are almost done. See you in Part 3. 3. Terms and Conditions: All right guys. Video 3 of 3 here, contract writing 101 for freelancers. Here is where we are going to unpick the nitty-gritty terms and conditions, what you need and why, and what they even mean. So just to start off with a disclaimer, as you know, I am a designer, at this point I'm not a lawyer. While I have read all of this information past actual lawyers, this is still not the same as actually talking to a legal professional about your specific situation. You are more than welcome to any of the information in this class, including the boilerplate language that I'm going to upload to our project space for you. Please use it for your own purposes and tailor it to your own context, but in doing so you agree to hold me and Skillshare harmless if you happen to, knock on wood, get in a dispute. Lawyers are still a good idea for all of us. Chances are really good at some point in your life, you will be working with one on something. So better to just get beyond that intimidation factor right out of the gate, and hopefully, thanks to this class, you should feel confident approaching a lawyer when you need one. It's a great thing to be faced with a big enough project that you want a lawyer to look over your contract and to be able to toss them a few whatever their hourly rate is to help you feel ready to do your business better. So just a heads up that that could happen and not to be afraid of it. So probably the most important and least understood term is how to discuss ownership, usage, and licensing. So how I like to explain this is you want to retain some form of ownership or some parts of your process and of your work, and you're essentially renting a usage license to your client for them to use your work in the purposes that you describe, not the purposes that they describe. So this varies a lot depending on what type of creative work you do. As an illustrator or a photographer, you really want to get sorted out what context the client is going to use your artwork in. Is it going on the cover of a magazine? Is it a half-page? What circulation does this publication have? How long do they want to be able to use this image for? Do they want to sublicense it? Do they want to put it on coffee mugs, or t-shirts, dog bowls, whatever have you? So the point is this, that you want to iron that out and get it all approved so that you're not hounding them a year or six months after the fact because they put your photo on a key key that you didn't okay. You can also charge a premium for a full outright bio. This is less common with smaller businesses, but it's more with a larger corporation who may want outright ownership of an illustration to use perpetually forever. You can charge for that. Charging for all these usage scenarios is one of the ways that illustrators and photographers make their money because they get to control all these different contexts of how their image gets reproduced. So definitely you want to make that really super clear. It's all based on personal choice. Whatever you feel like doing, whatever you feel like offering, it may help to have a lawyer or someone like me, for example, read what you have written there just to make sure that it's sounding good and making sense and it's clear. Also, you definitely own everything outright until your final payment has been received. So that's another incentive to get the client to pay you on time. So to give you a specific example of this and unpack the legalese, I'm going to read you my usage and licensing term. Title to all design is maintained by Margot Harrington until final payment is received. After full payment, use of all design and assets created in this agreement, of course just this agreement, is transferred to, client name, exclusively, meaning no one else can use that artwork. Usage is limited to print and web materials, but doesn't include the right to modify or resell artwork. Again, that clause about sublicensing it or reselling it in a different context is not okay. They're not allowed to make money off work that I made without my consent. So I think that's pretty clear. I also retain all rights to any elements of deliverables that are part of my own process that aren't specifically designed and/or created for you. So the reason for this is that there's that certain personal flair or personal touch and previous knowledge that I use when working with clients that's ownable and not something that I can necessarily describe in words, but it certainly relates to my way of working and I can't guarantee that I won't be able to reuse that with another client. I want to be able to reuse that with another client. So this also includes things like source code. Website code, for example, the web is open-source, you can't necessarily trademark code in the same way that you can trademark a photo or a logo. So oftentimes it also makes a lot of sense and saves everyone a lot of time and money to reuse code from project to project. So yeah. This also includes any tools that we've purchased or used, I can use those tools again with someone else: research, previous know-how, and documentation. Documentation also includes working files, earlier versions of the logos, all of those things I have complete title and ownership to, I'm only releasing rights to the final artwork. The last statement in bold is the actual licensing agreement. So on payment, I grant you a perpetual, irrevocable, limited, non-exclusive, non transferable, worldwide license, without the right to grant sublicenses, to use in connection with the work or products created under this agreement. So all of those fancy ten dollar words basically just means the license lasts forever, it's irrevocable, meaning it can't be overturned, it's limited in what the items can be used for. Non-exclusive means that if it's being transferred to a company, anyone associated with that company can work with the artwork, but no one outside of the company has that right. Non-transferable, meaning that they can't transfer this license to anyone else. It's valid worldwide and there's no right to grant sublicenses for whatever has been involved with the work or products created under the agreement. So hopeful that it helps you understand how to write a licensing term for yourself in the means that makes the most sense for how you work. Number 2, copyright. So we are all pretty familiar with what copyright entails, I'm sure you've heard this just being thrown around pretty simply. But the thing that most people don't know about is that having a term about copyright protects both you and the client. You are guaranteeing to provide original artwork and the client is guaranteeing that they have the rights to give you access to the assets or content that you get to design with or illustrate a photograph. You need an indemnity and a liability clause that protects you if some judgment arises after the fact that makes the client liable for damages and not you. So how I phrase this is, "I guarantee to the best of my integrity, knowledge, and belief that the work I create will not violate the copyright of any other party. Should judgment arise after the project completion, I'm not liable for similarities. You guarantee that you own all right, title, or otherwise have full authority to permit me to use any of your content for incorporation into my work product." Anything that they supply me with, they have their upholding that content's rights and usage agreement. "To the best of your knowledge, your content does not infringe the rights of any third party, and use of your content in connection with this project won't violate the rights of any third parties either. You will comply with the terms and conditions of any other licensing agreements which govern the use of third party materials incorporated into my work product." This is particularly important with fonts. In my case, most fonts are licensed with a certain number of computers per use, 1-3 computers per font. So they are agreeing to uphold that font licensing agreement. This also holds true for things like stock photos, any other photographers that we sub-contract, etc. The client is agreeing to be responsible for all of this and hold me as a designer harmless, which is awesome. Now number 3, payment terms. So these are obviously pretty important. Don't forget you can charge things like interest fees for late payments, out-of-scope charges for additional revisions. If it's not in the project proposal, if it's not listed out in your deliverables, it's out-of-scope. Having some payment terms is also your out if your client decides they don't like the work when you're on your last included round of revision. This allows you to come back to them with some options to keep the project going, so you don't end up doing free work. Here here are my payment terms: additional revisions beyond the scope are billed at hourly rate and take 2-5 days to complete, depending on their complexity. These will be itemized in the subsequent invoice. Then late invoice payments will incur interest fees at $10 per month. Termination fees. These are also called kill fees, which I don't actually prefer that terminology because I think it sounds violent and I don't ever want to associate how I work with any violent action. I also call it dissolving the project as opposed to termination too, which also sounds a little harsh. However, these are really important and chances are really good that you'll run into this at least once in your career. Fall back on this if your project gets paused, if it gets moved, canceled, or some other dispute happens. I've heard horror stories of just, everything is all lined up and ready to go and then all of a sudden the funding falls through, so this is a really great way to protect your butt if that happens. I like to keep the down payment fees if the dissolution happens in the first third of the project. After that, I just bill for the completed hours until the date of termination. Then depending on the circumstances for why things are getting terminated, you have also complete rights to withhold any work or rights to the work completed until that point. But I use my judgment based on that, it totally depends on why the project is getting canceled in the first place. How I phrase this, "Upfront payment is not refundable if the project is dissolved during Phase 1. If we dissolve the project after that, I'll bill for the completed hours up through that date. I will send you invoices for completed work within five days. Payment is due within 15 days. I have the right to put the project on hold and charge interest if payments are past due." Privacy and sharing of work. So we touched on this a little bit when we were talking about different types of contracts in the last video. Some clients are really particular about non-disclosure and some designers are really particular about non-disclosure. Lots of bloggers or creative people who their job is to share things online, aren't going to be so great with a non-disclosure agreement. It's totally a personal choice for you how you want to handle that. Most businesses will tell you in advance, but I just like to state that I have the option. I like to reserve the option and if they call me on it or want to revise the term, I'll happily do that. This also falls under the umbrella of a noncompete agreement too. But it's pretty simple, all I say is, you grant me permission to publish or share any design work online or in print for purposes of self-promotion. As you can see, any design work online or in print is really broad. Is that sketches, is that final work? I like to leave it open. I have had a couple clients request that I wait six months, or a year, or they want to see what I'm sharing before I go ahead and post it, and I think that's something I'm totally fine with that. But I do like to do it out in the open in the front. It's better to state it and then have the option versus say nothing and get a cease and desist later on down the line. Usually those are pretty bad for your work relationship. They don't tend to help things, so makes things easier. Here's a couple of other things that you aren't going to find in a boilerplate contract pray terms of the big things. But these are things that I found just off my own personal experience that help projects run more smoothly and keep expectations in check. So it's really helpful sometimes to tell them what is not included just so there's no assumptions. So I'm often questioned on whether prints, printing costs, fonts, or photography licensing fees are included, and the answer is no. But I do include a little information. They vary, so it's really hard to budget fonts and photos right up front, you just don't know how much it's going to cost, it totally depends on how the project goes. But I do like to give my clients some advanced notice so we can find some other options if the budget requires it. How out-of-scope is handled. Prior to commencing any work or additional services, I will submit an estimate for the work or service. We will discuss it and written permission is required before proceeding. It depends on the case, I have relied on e-mail for this, but if it is a big change order or a big request, or it really messes up the timeline for example, it puts things on pause, it always helps to just send them a new agreement. Just send them a new proposal, or a contract just to start from a clean slate. Just a little reminder. So this is the binding document. By moving forward with the project, you agree to terms, budget, and to pay invoices by the due date. This one on website code support is really important for people who work in the web. I find that some mention of the fact that just websites display differently on different screens and browsers. Especially now that Responsive is becoming so huge, and smart phones and tablets display things so differently from each other, there's always going to be some weird, minor cosmetic differences. Those are normal, we can only control them to a certain point as long as the website functions normally, and it's not obviously broken, then that's the best I want to promise. Also, for an additional fee, the website can be built to support out-of-date code in a versions of Internet Explorer 8 and older. I [inaudible] don't support those, unless I'm specifically requested to, in which case I definitely revise the budget. Because it costs a lot of my money to have a website work in older versions of Internet Explorer, simply because the code is really challenging and not up to date, and frankly terrible. So they would have to pay extra money for that. Good practice that everyone who works in the web should include, some mention of what level of browser and device support they are offering. The guarantee here in cases of submitting a proposal with advanced date scheduled. Usually, I give clients a week to 10 days to think over the project before I actually start working on it. If they need a little more time, I can only guarantee the due dates and the milestone dates until whatever that date is. After that day, the offer still stands but I do reserve the ability to revise the project due dates in case my schedule has shifted. I think someone in the forum asked a question about what happens if you have an agreement, and then the client disappears for a week, and you're supposed to be starting, and you heard hear from them. Well, here we go, so this is a really great way to help them stay on top of giving you feedback in a timely fashion. Lastly, this is an obvious. Include a place for both you and the client to sign the document, that's what makes it binding. You'd think it would be obvious, but just doesn't hurt to mention it. Then here's some final suggestions. I mentioned this already, but invoice the beginning, the middle, and the end, definitely helps with cash flow. It sucks to have to spend six months on a project, and then get paid for it all at once at the end. Get an accountant if you don't already have one, this is huge. I know that they have a little bit of the same intimidation factor that lawyers do, however this is such an investment that will pay you back entirely in handsome. I know a fair amount of creative people who insist on doing their own taxes. To me it seems like a waste of time and energy, because tax laws and the percentages of what the government is going to take from you every year changes. I would just rather leave that in the hands of the professionals. Many accountants that I've come across work with really small businesses. A lot of them have sliding fee scales, so you pay based on your income. Which is really amazing when you're starting out things are a little shaky. So definitely don't be afraid to reach out and ask for some help there, it will definitely save you money. Also look for free accounting resources nearby. In Chicago, there's a fair amount of them. I went to a seminar, accounting for artists and creative people, just to talk specifically about the types of deductions and write-offs that are specifically related to photographers, or designers, or artists. Just inform yourself and stay organized on it. Well, in the middle of a project, don't forget to put your copyright ownership on work and files that you're sharing. So a little mention at the bottom of the footer that this is copyrighted, it belongs to you with your name. This is really great if the files get into the wrong hands, or say the project gets paused, or say something gets taken out of context, you can pretty much guarantee that they're breaching the contract by using it without your usage, if you can confirm that the files that you sent had that mark on there. Then finally, also obvious but much harder to stay on top of in practice is keeping a record of the invoices in time sheets that are still outstanding, and the ones that have come in. It seems pretty obvious, but again, it's easier said than done. You can't budget and you can't make any big ticket purchases like vacations, or upgrading, or investing back into your business until you have a handle on what's up with your finances. Time sheets are also really important especially retainer clients who more than likely will wonder where your hours are going, and how much time is getting spent where. So even if you're not billing hourly, having some backup to prove that you're legit there, if it ever gets called into question, is always a good idea. Then finally, this process is scalable for sure. If you were faced with an amazing large project, congratulations. This will certainly work in your favor to just build in more layers or building a bigger schedule, or more revisions, or whatever it is. Once you've been through this process a few times, it's much more streamlined to tailor when you're faced with new projects, so definitely it gets easier. That's the end guys, thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking this class. I hope it's helped. I can't wait to see how you do your homework, and I will be looking for you in the Q&A's. Give me a shout. I'll see you in a couple days. See you soon. Bye.