Once your freelance business really takes off, you may consider establishing an agency.
In other words, you can subcontract people to do work for you, and you get part of the payment in exchange for finding the clients.
But if you have an agency, you have to be sure that your employees are performing the work you want them to, and you want to protect yourself by making sure your clients are crystal clear on what work is being done - and not being done. That’s also true if you work for an agency.
So having a standard agency contract is important. By clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities, you can ensure your agency will be successful. Having access to an agency contract PDF will make it easy to get started on new work, and will ensure consistency among all the contracts of the agency.
Whether you use a professional service for the administrative parts of your freelance business, or you build your own template, there are 9 key points to know about your agency contract PDF.
Just because you’re now part of an agency, or running one, doesn’t mean you don’t need to have contracts with clients. Let’s say you have a client for which you do regular work, even on a retainer basis. You may feel that a good working relationship is enough, and a contract isn’t necessary.
It is. Make sure you have an agency contract with any client, big or small, and for any kind of work, complex or simple. A contract protects both parties, and your agency. And, it ensures that you only have to do the work outlined in the contract, preventing scope creep or debates about what work remains to be done. It also makes sure all your freelancers are following the same guidelines.
A contract also signals to your clients that you run a professional organization, and is likely something that most clients will expect when working with you.
Start with a standard template that you can use any time you take on new clients or new work.
To do that, create an electronic version of a template that can easily be edited, and then converted to PDF before sending to the client. This also makes it easy for anyone in the agency to access the template, even if you have remote workers in various locations.
An agency contract PDF creates a legal agreement between your agency and the company for which you’ll be performing work. Include a standard section that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each of the parties to the contract, and any relevant details of the partnership.
For instance, if your agency will be taking on a social media marketing campaign on behalf of a client, state that as the purpose of the agency contract.
There will be certain sections that will be part of every contract, so build them into a template that can be reused.
Sections such as client name, address and contact person, duration of the contract, agency name and contact information, are all examples of sections that would appear in any agency contract.
In most freelancer contracts, you agree to doing the work yourself, so there is often a clause stating that the work cannot be subcontracted.
But in the case of an agency, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
So build a clause into your agency contract PDF that spells out who will be doing the work. Perhaps you list a specific freelancer, or several freelancers, or you state that the work will be done by the agency. That way, the work can be handled by anyone in the organization, and it’s the responsibility of the agency to assign the right person for the job.
The actual work you’ll perform for a client can be developed in a separate document and added to the contract template.
Or, include guidelines in the template for anyone to update, including:
You may also want to include terms by which additional work would be done, including additional payment for work beyond the original contract.
Your agency contract PDF should include terms that would be part of any agreement.
Examples include provisions for ownership of intellectual property at the conclusion of the contract; confidentiality clauses; a termination clause; and late payment terms.
By having these non-negotiable terms saved permanently in an agency contract PDF, you’ll ensure everyone in the agency includes them when taking on new work.
A contract is binding once both parties have agreed to it and signed it. So your agency contract PDF should conclude with a section where the client and a representative of your agency can both sign it.
And don’t worry about getting a PDF signed, since there are ways to electronically sign PDF documents, making life simple for remote workers. You don’t have to require the client to print off the agency contract PDF, sign it, scan it and send it back.
In fact, consider including information on how to electronically sign a PDF as part of your agency contract PDF, or as a link below the signature lines.
Everything included in your agency contract PDF may be clear to you, but that may not be the case for the freelancers who work for you.
Having a guidebook that accompanies the contract would help everyone understand each section of the document.
For instance, a guide would provide information on what should be included in the scope of work, so that everyone in the organization follows the same format when building a contract.