Essentially, generic contract templates are agreement forms. Here, it means that you prepare a generic freelance agreement form that you would use for all contracts and projects in advance. They are not specific to the kind of project or client that you are dealing with at any given moment.
However, the fact that you are signing a generic contract or agreement does not mean that you should ignore the important role that essential elements play. A contract is only one if it captures all the essentials that make it legally enforceable.
Failing to include these essentials could expose you to massive losses. You could suffer financial losses, which are the most common. Additionally, you might experience loss of reputation, which is crucial in the freelancing world.
Now that you understand all that, let’s look at the essentials that must be in a generic contract.
A generic contract template indicates the importance of making an offer. Typically, the offer represents the kind of work for which the client needs your freelancing services. The contract has no basis for kicking off without an offer being made.
Generally, the offer includes:
An offer refers to the attempt that one party makes to enter into an agreement or contract with another. Therefore, ensure that the offer is spelled out clearly and correctly on the contract before you embark on any freelancing project.
Secondly, an offer is only good if it is accepted. For this reason, the generic contract template should include language that shows you (as the freelancer) or the client accepts the offer. Acceptance is not guaranteed. Clients or freelancers can reject the offer too.
In some cases, you might view the terms and conditions spelled out on the offer as probably too demeaning or unfair. When this happens, the other party has the option of coming up with a counter-offer or taking it off the table completely.
Nevertheless, you have the right to accept the offer if all terms and conditions appear favorable to you. In such instances, you can accept it via emails, mails, or verbally. However, as previously stated, you should seek to accept only written rather than verbal offers.
Where contracts are concerned, especially as relates to a generic contract template, you have to learn about terms such as the meeting of the minds. That is because it is a concept that validates legally binding contracts.
It shows that the parties comprehend the terms and conditions of the contract. The concept also indicates that freelancers and their clients mutually agree and assent to the contract’s terms. In certain jurisdictions, it is also referred to as:
As you can see from all those terms, it relies heavily on mutualism. It also hints at the importance of genuineness of both parties. When talking about genuineness, you are invariably also talking of intentions.
Lastly, it is critical to give consideration to all aspects of the contract. Here, you are exchanging something of value to validate the legal agreement. For the freelancer, something of value denotes the services rendered, and for clients, it means the payment or reward.
Something of value could also relate to:
However, the exchange of the protection, products, property, or any kind of service for money must be clearly stipulated in the generic contract template to make it enforceable in a court of law. Otherwise, it is not worth the piece of paper on which it is written.
Therefore, a generic contract template is a powerful tool to have and use in your freelancing business. However, as generic as it is, remembers to fill it with all the essentials of a contract to make it enforceable and valid.