For some inexplicable reason, the world seems to love complex stuff. Nevertheless, that does not mean that nobody yearns for simplicity. As a freelancer, you owe it to your clients to keep things simple for them, especially where agreements are concerned. A freelance agreement has multiple important clauses, which can be hard to understand. In your case, you should strive to create or sign a simple printable contract agreement. Keeping everything simple protects you – and your clients – from the pitfalls of freelancing arrangements. Here is how you can do that.
Clarify the Issues
An agreement that clarifies the most critical issues in plain English that anyone can understand is the best. For the most part, it should identify you as the freelancer. It should identify the client too. Next, it has to specify the work for which clients have hired or are hiring you. After that, it needs to talk about the rates; that is, what you charge for the freelance services you are providing. A good printable contract agreement also delves into issues of time; that is, the time needed to complete the project and hand it over back to your client.
Get Everything in Writing
In some freelance niches, you might find yourself interacting with a client who is hundreds of thousands of miles away. Here, you would have to protect yourself in case such clients prove quite troublesome when you need your payment. Therefore, get everything in writing as the first step. As enforceable and legal as oral contracts and agreements are, you stand a better chance of finding an amicable solution for troubles with your clients through written agreements. Reduce the risk of losing your hard-earned money with written contracts.
Avoid Too Much Legalese
Freelance projects do not require too much legalese to enforce. You do not have to impress clients with your grasp of legal terminology such as “heretofore” and “party of the first part” to win their hearts and minds. Most freelance clients simply wish to know that you understand what they require, your role in the project, and deadlines. A good printable contract agreement captures the essential elements of the project and everything the two of you have negotiated without all the legalese. Kill the legalese before it pushes clients away and causes huge losses.
Identify Each Party Correctly
Clients love it when freelancers recognize and identify them correctly. Therefore, check if the printable contract agreement has identified your clients correctly before sending or signing it. Make sure that you write the client’s legal name correctly on the contract. Identify yourself using your legal or registered name. That way, every party knows their roles, responsibilities, and obligations, as specified under the agreement. Remember, this requirement applies whether you are dealing with a business or an individual.
Specify All Important Details Including Payment Obligations
Finally, your printable contract agreement must specify all the important information, including payment obligations. These details should appear on the body of the agreement. While you do not need a 300-page agreement, you should find creative ways of including all essential information. Payment obligations must be clearly stated in black and white so that nobody is in doubt as to the identity of the person expected to pay you. While talking about payment, the contract must clarify:
- Who pays whom
- When payments are made
- Conditions for making payments
Simple agreements are worth the effort, time, and money every single time. Therefore, you should learn to treasure them. Simplify the issues for your client, yourself, and any party you might hire to arbitrate any issue arising between you and the client. You will never go wrong with simplicity. Just remember to clarify any issue that could jeopardize the project, first. Next, make sure that everything is in writing, especially whatever you agree with your client. Reduce or eliminate all legalese, identify each party correctly, and specify all critical details too!