Or, download the standard PDF template.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All our templates are legally vetted, and can be signed electronically.
Or, download the non-editable PDF version.
1. Follow our step by step editing process to add your own terms to this template
2. Review & sign the contract, then send it out to be electronically signed.
3. Sit back and enjoy the time & money you just saved