Freelance IT Jobs: Freelance Contract Dos and Don'ts
Freelance IT jobs have several advantages, but it is not easy. It involves several tasks that are outside of your area of expertise. Designing a freelance contract is one of them. To do so, you need to become an accountant, an H.R representative and lot of people at the same time. But don’t panic, there are some basic tips you can follow to turn this into a successful experience.
- Be Thorough
Unfortunately, freelancers do not count with a legal department in the event something doesn‘t turn up us expected. For that reason you need to be thorough when drafting your contract. It must contain every detail regarding the project you were hired to take on.
It must go from the very basics to the tiniest details. Remember, nothing is too redundant in a contract, so don‘t be afraid to put in writing what you consider obvious. Even if this doesn’t make sense to you, remember this piece of paper is supposed to cover your back.
So define the basics in your contract. Name the person or company who's hiring you to do the job. Explain what kind of job you’ll be performing and define the responsibilities of both parties in the project. This will definitely minimize the headaches that mix ups can bring about.
- Don’t Leave Financials Aside
Many people feel awkward discussing financials or chasing their clients to finally get paid. All this can be avoided by adding a clause to your contract, in which you describe the financial terms of the project. This clause must be very clear and simple to avoid confusion.
State clearly how much you will get paid for the job, when will the payment take place and how. Once again, don't take anything for granted. Just like the saying goes, talk is cheap… get it in writing. Plus, you should also include a cancellation clause to protect yourself from last minute changes of mind.
- Timetables and Deadlines
Many freelancers tend to overlook this point when drafting a contract. Maybe, this is due to the fact that most people don't like deadlines. Nevertheless, defining a deadline for the project is of utmost importance. It will help you and your client be clear about this important detail and it will prevent nasty disagreements.
- Terms and Conditions Agreement
There should be a line stating that your client agrees and accepts the terms and conditions of the contract. This is also critical in every contract, freelance or not, because once the client signs the contract, there will be no chance for him to deny knowledge or to claim he misunderstood you.
Drafting a freelance contract may not be your favorite task, but it certainly is a very important one. So make sure you devote enough time to it. If your contract is comprehensive, clear and professional you will minimize the amount of issues that may arise during the development of the project.