Free Animation Contract Template

Fully editable with standard terms and clauses. Send and e-sign it online.

Bonsai has helped create 1,023,928 documents and counting.

Trusted by thousands of agencies and consulting firms
4.8/5 on Capterra
4.8/5 on G2
Successful agencies, consulting and professional services firms rely on Bonsai every day to run their business.
Table of contents

What is an animation contract?

An animation contract is the formal written agreement between an animation agency or freelancer and their client that discusses the scope of the project and the boundaries of their working relationship.

All freelancers and providers of animation services should have their own animation contract template to ensure that their rights are protected when working with a new client. The easiest way to do this is by creating and using an animation contract template. Both parties should review and sign this document in writing to constitute the start of the work agreement.

Note: We’ve done the hard work of looking over thousands of animation contracts, so we know what should be included. Create and edit your own animation contract template here for free!

What to include in the animation contract

Your animation contract should cover the basics of the working relationship, such as the work scope, the roles of all involved stakeholders, copyright ownership, the management of confidential information, and how any disputes will be addressed. Getting the contract signed means it’s in full force. The contract is a legal document to reference and use when one or more parties are not upholding their end of the bargain, so the contract terms are essential.

The scope of work

All involved parties should agree on the services required. Specificity is critical in all contracts between freelancers and their clients. Without specificity, terms are left up to interpretation. If a specific service is included, such as a kickoff call or mockup, that should be listed in this section of the contract.

Details on the work scope to be incorporated into a final animation contract include:

  • The name of the contractor and the company owner or client
  • Payment terms, including deposits or final payment requirements
  • Milestone and deadline dates, including target project completion
  • How revisions will be handled
  • What, if anything, the client agrees to provide (like logos, color palettes, or other collateral)
  • What items are not included in the scope of work
  • A termination clause which details what is required for either party to end the contract

Payment terms

Payment terms are some of the most important aspects of any animation contract. A freelancer’s business can suffer if a client doesn’t pay on time. The right terms increase a freelancer’s likelihood of being paid the total amount owed on time. Some additional payment issues to evaluate are:

  • Fees for late payments
  • An hourly rate for other time spent or additional fees for other work requested by the client outside the scope of the contract
  • Explanations of full payment and the milestones it’s broken into, such as monthly payments or a series of milestones to be released to the freelancer
  • How payment must be made, such as through ACH or credit card

Milestone and deadline dates

Details around milestones and deadline dates are vital. A client might have a specific launch date intended for their final animation and a freelancer should do everything in their power to make sure their efforts align with this day. Remember that adding deadline dates could put you in the position of breach of contract if you don’t meet these deadlines, so take these seriously.

Deadlines and milestones are also important for payment purposes. For example, you might include a clause that says you will be unable to begin on the second draft of an animation until the milestone payment for the first draft has been approved and released to you. This protects a freelancer’s boundaries and increases their chances of being paid on time.

How revisions will be handled

Revisions are a big gray area for many freelancers, but being specific upfront will limit arguments and frustration for both parties. It’s reasonable for animation contract clients to expect the chance to provide feedback and to have their edits incorporated. At the same time, it’s not a good idea to offer unlimited revisions.

Most animation freelancers will offer 2-3 rounds of revisions maximum to ensure a clear endpoint for the working relationship. If the client requests further edits, make sure the price is updated to reflect that.

What the client agrees to provide

The freelancer can be blocked from completing their work if they don’t get the support, files, or revisions needed from the client. Therefore, it’s helpful to call out what the client must provide for the freelancer to deliver.

What services are not included

Ambiguity causes problems in contracts, especially when the client misunderstood what “completed work” means. Perhaps custom files, promotion of the finished product, or unique animations are not included in the freelancer’s package. If a client gets confused, it’s helpful to refer back to this as a very clear indication of those services sitting outside of the existing contract’s scope.

A termination clause

A termination clause allows either party to end the working relationship because of unforeseen circumstances, an inability to come to terms or agreement with a client, or some other reason. A termination clause might require written notice of 30 days, for example.


For freelancers, it’s vital to read between the lines of any template or client-provided contract to determine what the agreement constitutes or doesn’t. Most work-for-hire agreements, for example, make it very clear the client is not the employer of the independent contractor.

An independent contractor clause confirms the relationship between the client and the freelancer and also provides the freelancer with a reference point if the client tries to alter the relationship once the project starts.

Legally, freelancers cannot be treated like employees and paid like freelancers, so it’s worth calling out the independent contractor/client relationship within your contract.

Copyright ownership

Animators put a lot of hard work into their finished product, but copyright typically belongs to the client. If an animation freelancer wants to be able to include a portion or the finished product in their portfolio as an example of services performed, this should be listed in the animation contract.

If the freelancer will own the work and is instead licensing the right to use it to the client, it’s very important the client agrees by signing the document in full and possibly even initialing that section of the contract.

Confidential information details

Freelancers might learn confidential information about a company’s proprietary process or product in the course of creating an animation. The company might want peace of mind that you won’t disclose this confidential data.

How disputes will be handled

In the case of a dispute arising between an animation freelancer and their client, it’s a good idea to have the terms of dispute resolution addressed in advance. A standard contract template, for example, might stipulate that the parties agree to resolve things in arbitration or in small claims court in the city and state where the freelancer lives.

In addition to addressing dispute management, clauses stating who will be responsible for legal costs incurred for one party to resolve the issue should be included.

How to write an animation contract

The good news: you don’t have to start from scratch when creating an animation contract. Whether this is the first time you’ve quoted animation services or whether you’re looking for an animation contract template you can use all the time, we have a template that includes all the most important elements of animation and other services you might provide.

Start by finding out what the client wants and use that information to create custom proposal materials. Once the proposal is approved, this information can be copied into your animation contract.

Find out exactly what the client wants

Your conversation and discovery call with the client is your opportunity to determine what they need. During a sales or discovery call, ask them about their end goals.

Remember that not all clients will be familiar with the work that goes into a completed piece of animation, so this is your chance to adjust their expectations within their budget and timeline, if necessary. You don’t need to determine on the call exactly what the client needs, but take good notes that you can return to after the fact as you create your animation proposal.

Ask questions of the client during this discovery call such as:

  • Where will you use this completed animation?
  • How long would you like the animation?
  • What other animations do you like?
  • Who will voice over this animation? Has that person already been hired?
  • Are there any design elements you don’t want to use or styles you don’t like?
  • Are there any third-party materials you want incorporated into the animation?

Use the answers to these questions to create a custom proposal for the client.

Highlight what sets you apart

During your initial conversation with the client, get to know what’s most important to them, not just in terms of final product, but working relationship. You will use that information to begin creating a custom proposal and contract. This is especially important when you’re not the only agency or freelancer the client is speaking with because you need to create a proposal that stands out from the crowd.

Here are some ways that you might set yourself apart:

  • Custom animation designs
  • Ability to deliver quickly
  • Providing several options to the client to review in a first draft
  • Previous work performed for brand name clients
  • Awards you’ve received for animation work
  • Repeat business or great feedback from other clients

Creating an animation contract is simple with Bonsai

When using the Bonsai animation contract template, the most important elements of your agreement are already loaded in. You can simply use the contract template as a base for each client, making adjustments as necessary.

With our professional contract, you get the confidence of knowing that you have protected your work and your right to be paid while also presenting a professional image to the client.

Animation contract FAQs

What if the other party wants to alter the contract?

If you create and use your own animation contract template, there might come a time when a client asks to add or remove elements. As a freelancer, it’s recommended that you tread carefully in these situations as you could be impacting your rights. In the case of a big project with substantial changes in your animation contract template, a business lawyer’s review is valuable.

What is a breach of contract?

Breach of contract is a term used to describe when one or more parties have failed to provide the services outlined in the contract. For example, if the client was obligated to review the final deliverables within two months of submission but has failed to do so, the freelancer could allege that the client is in breach of contract. A breach of contract can lead to legal action, which is why the wording of any animation contract is so important.

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

How much should you charge for an animation?

Depending on experience, freelance animators can expect to make $20 to $150 per hour. This averages a yearly wage of $39,000 to $260,000. Some may charge a flat fee per job. Use Bonsai's freelance animator contract to outline this and all other crucial elements when taking on a new project.

Are animators freelancers?

Before going it alone as a freelancer, many animators will develop their art at an animation studio. As a result, independent animators are frequently the most skilled, capable, and qualified professionals in the industry. If you're ready to go solo, use Bonsai's freelance animator contract to land your first project!

Using Bonsai's Animation contract template you can easily layout the working arrangement, like job scope, copyright ownership, secret information management, etc. This contract serves as a legal reference and basis for action when either party fails to fulfill their obligations. Series animation contracts often last between three and twelve months.

Using Bonsai's Animation contract template you can easily layout the working arrangement, like job scope, copyright ownership, secret information management, etc. This contract serves as a legal reference and basis for action when either party fails to fulfill their obligations. Series animation contracts often last between three and twelve months.

Template preview

Free Animation Contract Template

Animation Contract Template

First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

This Contract is between Client (the "Client") and Company, a California limited liability company (the "Animator").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Animator to do the following: Animate and produce videos

1.2 Schedule. The Animator will begin work on [START DATE] and will continue until the work is completed. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Animator at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 4, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Animator a rate of $150.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Animator $1,500.00 (USD) before work begins.

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

1.5 Invoices. The Animator will invoice the Client at the end of the project. 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 2.0% per month on the outstanding amount.


2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Animator is creating "work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, animated clips, sound files, digital designs and anything else that the Animator works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs or develops—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Animator hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Animator 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 Animator's Use Of Work Product. Once the Animator gives the work product to the Client, the Animator does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Animator here. The Client gives permission to use the work product as part of portfolios and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the work and not for any other purpose. The Client does not give permission 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 Animator's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Animator's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Animator agrees to help with that. For example, the Animator may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can't find the Animator, the Animator agrees that the Client can act on the Animator's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can't find the Animator after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Animator hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Animator's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Animator and on the Animator'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 Animator's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Animator might use intellectual property that the Animator 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 Animator is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Animator 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 9.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Animator cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 Animator's Right To Use Client IP. The Animator may need to use the Client's intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Animator to build a website, the Animator may have to use the Client's logo. The Client agrees to let the Animator use the Client's intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Animator's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Animator any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.


3.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

3.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

3.3 Animator Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Animator promises that it owns the work product, that the Animator is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Animator uses employees or subcontractors, the Animator also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Animator giving the Animator any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Animator's background IP and work product.

3.4 Animator Will Comply With Laws. The Animator promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

3.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Animator promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights, that the Animator has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Animator has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

3.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Animator if the Animator has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

3.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Animator with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights.


This Contract is ongoing until the work is completed. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 9.4. The Animator must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Animator for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Animator for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don't end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Representations); 6 (Confidential Information); 7 (Limitation of Liability); 8 (Indemnity); and 9 (General).


The Client is hiring the Animator as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

  • The Animator will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.
  • The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Animator is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.
  • The Client will not provide the Animator with any training.
  • The Client and the Animator do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.
  • The Animator cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.
  • The Animator is not entitled to the Client's benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).
  • The Animator is responsible for its own taxes.
  • The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Animator or any of the Animator's employees or subcontractors.


6.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Animator must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

6.2 The Client's Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Animator may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Animator promises to treat this information as if it is the Animator's own confidential information. The Animator may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Animator use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Animator cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Animator written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Animator may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Animator must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Animator promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Animator written permission first. The Animator must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Animator's responsibilities only stop if the Animator can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Animator came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Animator came across it, but not because of anything the Animator did or didn't do; (iii) the Animator already knew the information when the Animator came across it and the Animator didn't have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Animator with the information without requiring that the Animator keep it a secret; or (v) the Animator created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

6.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It's possible the Client and the Animator each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Animator each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Animator is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.


Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


8.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Animator or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Animator did, then the Animator may promise to come to the Client's defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

8.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Animator agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Animator has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Animator of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Animator of the promises it is making in Section 3 (Representations).

8.3 Animator Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Animator (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


9.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Animator. The Animator cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client's written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Animator's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

9.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

9.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Animator must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

9.4 Notices.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party's address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

9.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that's the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

9.6 Signatures. The Client and the Animator must sign this document using Bonsai's e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

9.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of California govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Animator under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

9.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties' final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.


First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.