You might have read this story on Clients from Hell, where a freelance web developer was sued for not completing a $50,000 project. The client had been dodgy from the start of their collaboration; the developer had seen the red flags, but he chose to give the client the benefit of the doubt. The client even went as far as changing the contract terms seven times over, from paying the freelance web developer by hour to per project basis, but eventually ended up agreeing to pay the developer by the hour weekly.
Things went sour between the two when the client kept excusing himself from not paying what he owed to the freelance web developer. As the timeframe comes closer to end, the developer changed his mind and decided to not finish the project until he was paid.
The client begged but the developer refused and resorted to hiring a legal counselor to settle the matter once and for all. The issue was harbored to the court where the client changed his story by telling the authorities that it was the developer who should owe him $50,000 for non-completion; hence, breaching the contract.
Serious legal matters like this case could have been avoided if the web developer was able to prepare his own service contract. In there, he could have defined his own expectations from the project, what both parties agree to do, work details, legal implications, copyrights, and payment terms, for example. This way, he didn't have to depend on what was stated in the client's contract alone but rather could have established a solid support for his rights to the property (i.e. codes), responsibilities and liabilities with a freelance web development contract.
It’s not the first time we are hearing about such cases. Both freelancers and clients can suffer in case they’re not using a contract. Freelance business is riskier than you think, and so, you’re only safe working with a contract as a web developer. Web development contracts go a long way to protect your freelance business.
If you’re a newbie in the freelance world, you may not know the nitty-gritty of a good web developer contract. But even then, this shouldn’t worry you as there are several web development contract template PDFs that can guide you through. Depending on the freelance developer contract template you choose, you’ll be able to get a suitable web contract structure and flow that will help you design one. Web development contracts are one of the easiest to design. You can almost do everything with a web development contract template.
However, not all freelancer developer contract template PDFs will be of help. As such, you have to take the time to choose the best.
Bonsai can provide you with well-crafted written agreements that also take your client's best interest into account. A contract is an agreement between two people, and, therefore, a good web development contract template should also cover your client’s interests.
These freelance design contracts are derived from a beneficial perspective on both parties that can define expectations and reassurances that are crucial to preventing sensitive issues that may arise.
So, why do freelancers need web development contracts for their freelance business? Well, from the scenario given above, you already have an idea why you need a web development contract template. But even then, we can still highlight some of these benefits.
Let’s take a look below.
As a freelancer, you need to define the scope of your services to be on the safe side. With a Web development contract template, you should be able to let your client know the limits of your services. But why do you need to do this? As a freelancer, you’d like to get paid for what you do, including any extra services you offer to the client. However, if you don’t state this clearly in your freelance developer contract template, you risk working for free. Therefore, let your clients know the services they’ll be paying for, and in case they need an extra service, let them know how much you’ll be charging for this. Clients don’t like it when you ask for extra payment that you didn’t prepare them for. It can affect your relationship.
When do you expect payment from your client, and how much do you expect ate the end of every project? Your web development contract should answer this. After working so hard to meet a client’s deadline, the last thing you’d expect is late payment. Since you don’t want to argue with your client during payment, you better make use of a freelance developer contract template to highlight your terms of payment. This not only protects you from late payment but also ensures you get paid for what you work for. Some clients tend to be stubborn when it comes to payment, and so, the only way to be safe is to ensure your payment terms are well defined.
While you may not think of project termination coming your way, things happen. Your client may just decide that they’re not going to continue with the project due to unavoidable circumstances. In that case what happens? Do you need to be paid for the services already offered or do you need compensation for early termination? Your freelance development web contract template needs to answer this. However, the terms of termination should be fair to both of you. Most of the web development contracts uploaded online will give you an idea of how to go about this.
Communication is very important in the freelance world. Any communication breakdown can affect the flow of business, and, therefore, it’s something to look at. How do you intend to communicate with your client? Is it via email or phone calls? Your web developer contract needs to highlight this. In that way, you’ll know who to blame in case of a communication breakdown that impairs the functions of a business. However, as you do this, try to be fair to your client. Get to know the mode of communication that works best for them.
Who owns copyright rights? Both you and your client need to know this before you start working together. Some projects are very sensitive, especially if you’re contributing to copyrighted material. Since you’d like to maintain a good relationship with your client, you need to get down to this. I agree with them first before proceeding with the work. You also need to take into account confidentiality. What wouldn’t they want you to share with third parties? Get to know this and include it in the contract.
Now that you know why you need a contract as a freelance web developer, get a template and design one for your business.