Free Online Contract

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Table of contents

Freelance projects come in all shapes and sizes. From one-off design or writing tasks, to long-term web dev collaborations and ongoing consultancy under retainer agreement, no two jobs are ever the same. 

But there’s one thing that unites them all: the need for a solid business agreement.  

As a freelancer, you must ensure that you’re paid for your time and expertise, and the best way of doing that is to use a legally-binding online contract template, setting out your milestones, terms, and expectations. 

Let’s take a quick look at what you need to include in your next freelance contract:

Personal & Professional Details

First, you need to establish who the agreement is between and the nature of the relationship. This clarifies, from the word go, that you’re acting as an independent contractor or an LLC, and not as an employee of your client.

Depending where you are in the world, this can be an important distinction to make. Any uncertainty over this could result in tax issues for you and your client. And you don’t want that.

The good news is, most online contract makers use input fields for this info, making it clear who’s who from the outset.

Scope of Work

Even if your job is, on paper, a quick one, it makes sense to include a scope of work in your online contract. By outlining the work you’re being asked to do in as much detail as possible, you protect yourself from taking on additional tasks which are deemed “out of scope”.

For example, if you’re a web designer being asked to build a landing page on an existing website, you should make it clear that you will not be supplying the content for that page (that’s the client’s responsibility — more on that below).

Project Responsibilities

To successfully deliver a freelance project, you need to determine who is responsible for what. Whether that’s web copy for a web design project, or access to third party software for ongoing social media marketing tasks, be specific about who needs to deliver something, and by when.

The beauty of using an online contract is that you can agree on this via email, and simply copy & paste the list into the contract.


Your online contract should also include a section for project milestones. It’s here that you outline the dates and deadlines associated with your freelance job. Be crystal clear with regards to when something is due, and what might impact delivery.

For instance, if your client is unable to fulfil their responsibilities mentioned above, it could dramatically alter your proposed timeline. And if you fail to highlight this in the agreement, you could be held to the original deadline, causing stress and friction further down the line. 

Payment Details

Finally, your online contract should state how much, how, and when you’ll be paid for your freelance work.

The amount you quote and the method of payment you accept is entirely up to you. However, you may wish to structure the payment schedule differently depending on the type and length of the project, perhaps taking a deposit up-front, or payment upon completion of certain milestones.

As we’ll discover in the next section, using an online contract maker can help you streamline the payment process, generating invoices for each milestone with a simple click. You can also use Bonsai's freelance invoice template for this.

How can I create an online contract with Bonsai’s online contract maker?

Writing a contract using a standard contract template can help you produce a largely generic agreement relatively quickly.

But if you want to get into specifics, you’ll quickly discover that doing so can be difficult. Many templates are rigid, difficult to edit and format, and use way too much jargon. 

To avoid this, we recommend that you join an increasing number of top-tier freelancers and use an online contract maker to create your next freelance business agreement.

Bonsai’s contract generator has been vetted by experienced contract lawyers and thousands of expert freelancers, covering all of the important aspects of a contract we mentioned earlier. 

And the best bit? It’s super easy to use. 

Here’s how to make a contract with Bonsai in 5 simple steps:

Step One - Select Your Template

  • Choose from a range of ready-made online contract templates, or start with a blank template. Add your client name, project name and preferred currency.

Details form using an online contract maker

Step Two - Add Your Basic Info 

  • Next, fill in your basic info. This includes your location (country and state/province), your legal entity (if you operate as an LLC), and your client’s legal name (company/individual).
Basic info section on Bonsai's online contract maker

Step Three - Add Your Scope of Work

  • Describe the scope of work in as much detail as possible. You can also attach a separate statement of work file here if you wish.

Scope of work section on Bonsai's online contract maker

Step Four - Add Your Payment Details 

  • Determine how and how much your client will pay you for your freelance services here. You can choose from a flat fee, milestone payments, or hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rates.

    You can outline payment terms (net 15 days for invoices, for example), late payment fees, and contract start and end dates here.

    And you can also automatically generate an invoice if you’re requesting a deposit prior to starting work. This can be sent along with the contract, or you can choose to send it manually.
Payment details section of Bonsai's online contract maker

Step Five - Review & Sign Your Online Contract

  • Now you’re ready to review your vetted and legal contract. And if you want to make any edits to the template, you can do so at this stage.

    If you’re happy with the finished agreement, you can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to digitally sign it with a legally-binding online signature, before sending it to your client to do likewise. You can also follow our guide on how to insert signature in Word and how to digitally sign a PDF.

Digital signature using an online contract maker

And that’s it! Super easy. Once sent, you can return to your dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed. 

Ready to freelance like a pro? Create an online contract with Bonsai. 

What are the Advantages of Creating a Contract with Bonsai?

A ready-to-use contract template offers a number of benefits to freelancers and small businesses that they wouldn’t otherwise get with a homemade legal agreement. Free contract templates from Bonsai are:

  • Quick and easy: a contract template does all the time-consuming work for you. It’s got all the sections required for a world class agreement–all you need to do is jump in, add project-related details, your branding, and any necessary info on the parties involved.
  • Legally sound: a formal contract needs to be a legally binding document–otherwise, it’s unenforceable. Using a Bonsai template gives you a legally binding contract without the pain of having to seek legal advice or consider local laws.
  • Comprehensive: the contract maker software ensures you include all the essential elements you need to create a binding agreement. Whether it’s a construction contract or an independent contractor agreement–the free legal forms on Bonsai have you covered.
  • Online: create a digital contract in just a few clicks with Bonsai. Legal contracts have never been simpler–and neither has the signing process. Bonsai’s electronic signatures allow you to manage the entire process online. Send and receive signed documents without worrying about confidential information–such as contact details and personal information–ending up in the wrong hands.

All of these considerations make Bonsai a must-have resource for small businesses and freelancers alike. Whether it’s contract templates or invoice templates–you can save time with Bonsai.

Contract builder using Bonsai's online contract maker

How Else Can Bonsai Help You?

We’re glad you asked.

Bonsai’s archive of over 400+ business templates can help you create proposals, contracts, agreements, scopes of work, quotations, and invoices–all from the same dashboard. 

Maybe you’re bringing in a new employee for your fast growing small business? We’ve got an employment contract template for that here. Perhaps you’re looking to keep things private? Take a look at our non-disclosure agreement template here. There are plenty more templates where that came from–sign up today for free to access them all.

Bonsai’s templates enable you to manage your business documents easily and securely in one place. Create contracts in minutes and easily customize templates for clients new and old to ensure your business delivers comprehensive and specific contracts every single time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about this template.

Are there free contract templates?

Bonsai has lawyer curated general contract templates that you can easily edit. Simply create a free account and download the template.

What are the 5 requirements for a valid contract?

The 5 requirements for a contract to be valid are: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, Mutuality of obligation, and Competency and capacity. You may add more information to your contract, just make sure that the 5 requirements mentioned are present.

What is the most basic rule to a contract?

While there are 5 requirements of a valid contract, the most basic rule is simple. That there is an offer from one party and it is accepted by another party.