What Constitutes A Legally Binding Contract For Freelancers?




Everyday we work with new and interesting clients and each and every day there are various issues that we encounter. One of the many issues is contracting. There are clients that refuse to sign contracts, others that simply believe emails cover them and then there are those that simply say “trust me” (huge red flag!). I have learned through all the trials and tribulations that the only way to have a good working relationship is to HAVE A CONTRACT. But, not just any old contract that you copy off the internet, find a lawyer and have them draw up a US contract, and a contract to bind overseas clients.

There are only services that can help to create a legally binding contract. However if you have to create your own because of budget constraints make sure that it always states your job goals and outlines it all clearly. Otherwise you end up doing more for less, or never reaping the money that your clients owe you at all.

1. Define the scope of the work you will be doing.

2. Sell your services, and let your clients know that you are the professional.

3. Identify what your client should be doing. This means your client needs to know that if they refuse to send information in a timely fashion then the timeframe and pricing will change. It’s a standard idea-if you went to burger king ordered a sandwich and told the cashier to wait about two days, they would throw your food away and wipe your slate. Same concept, let them know payment upfront, stay firm and also let them know you don’t work all the time-so keeping up with your defined timeframe is imperitive. No matter how many times you tell them, you might have to tell them again. Just get used to reiterating yourself.

Remember EMAIL is not a legally binding contract, remember that. Some states will honor it as a legally binding contract but as a freelance service provider then it will not pass. You may have clients try to sue you for services in their home state that they were nto happy with, but remember you never stepped foot in that state, the issues and borders are fuzzy. Do what you need to do in order to provide services to your clients to keep them helathy and happy.

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