Standard Contract Template

 

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Standard Contract Template

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Standard Contract Template

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The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Designer"). The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. WORK AND PAYMENT.

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Designer to do the following: The Designer will assist the Client with graphic design services.

1.2 Schedule. The Designer will begin work on April 17, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Designer at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Designer a rate of $85.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Designer $1,000.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Designer's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Designer will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Designer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Designer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Designer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Designer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Designer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 Designer’s Use Of Work Product. Once the Designer gives the work product to the Client, the Designer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Designer here. The Client gives the Designer permission to use the work product as part of the Designer's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Designer's work and not for any other purpose. The Designer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 Designer’s Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Designer’s help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Designer agrees to help with that. For example, the Designer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Designer, the Designer agrees that the Client can act on the Designer’s behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Designer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Designer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Designer’s agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Designer and on the Designer’s behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 Designer’s IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Designer might use intellectual property that the Designer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Designer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Designer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)).

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Did you land that freelance gig that you have been looking for? You can’t wait to get started on the work. However, you know starting without a contract in place will be a mistake. The problem is many freelancers do not know what makes up a standard contract. However, you can use a standard contract template to create an agreement that establishes the relationship between you and your client. 

How do you determine if a contract template meets the standard if you don’t know what a standard contract template should contain? We have explained the features you should look out for in a contract when you are creating one for the first time.

Standard Contract Template
Image Credits: slideshare.net

Even if you have written a contract before, you can update it to standard by taking note of these necessary features of a contract.

Requirements of a standard contract template

There are several reasons why a standard contract is essential for freelancing transactions. First, it helps you protect your own and your client's interest. It also ensures that you get paid as and when due if it is crafted correctly. A standard contract solidifies the agreement between you and your clients. So, what is a standard contract, especially for a freelancer?

1. Introductory statement in the standard contract template

This section of a standard contract is concise and straightforward. It establishes the identity of the client and freelancer or consultant. You give a short overview of the task you will do for the client and the agreed start date. The first statement states who, what, and when.  

2. Terms and conditions in the standard contract template

The terms and conditions section should clearly state the expectations of both parties from the transaction. Start by establishing your terms, when and how you will be paid, your rates, etc. You should include what the client can expect from you – your deliverables. You should ensure all terms and conditions are stated in detail in this section.

3. The Scope of the project in the standard contract template

One of the challenges freelancers face is clients that keep increasing the scope of a project without paying more. A standard contract template will contain the terms that help you check scope creep. You state the full extent of the task. You can indicate a specific fee for any add-ons that the client might want to give you.

4. Revisions and changes in the standard contract template

Explain in simple terms how you deal with any changes, revisions, and additions that the client might require. This section should protect you from picky clients who ask for unreasonable changes. You can request for extra payment if the client makes changes after you have commenced work or allow for only a specific number of edits. 

Standard Contract Template Sample
Image Credits: pinimg.com

5. Copyright in the standard contract sample

Under the Works Made for Hire section of the US copyright laws, in cases where a copyright agreement is not made between a client and freelancer, the created work belongs to the freelancer, even if the client had paid for it. Therefore, it is essential to transfer the rights to the work to your clients after they have paid for it. If you use your work in your freelance portfolio, it should be clearly stated.

6. Payment in your standard contract template

If you worked for it, you should get paid for it at the right time. Every standard contract template has a section for payment. It lets your client know when and how you expect payment for the job done. The part ensures that you get your upfront payment at the scheduled time through the appropriate channel.

7. Termination and signatures in the standard contract template

A termination clause allows both you and your client to leave the contract harmoniously. You should also not forget that a standard contract is not complete without the signatures. You don’t want such a 'tiny' detail to make your contract invalid. 

These features will be contained in any standard contract template. All you will have to do is make specific changes to suit you and your client's unique relationship.

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