Freelance Designer

Hiring Toolkit



Why do you need an RFP?

To hire a Designer more efficiently and professionally, use an RFP. This will provide answers up front to cut down on questions, and remove many non-qualified applicants. Use a scoring system to come to a decision more quickly, and then start the contract based on the chosen proposal.

Request For Proposal

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Starting a project with a freelancer? Use Bonsai to automate your proposals collection.



How should you structure your interview?

Begin with a discussion of the requirements of the position. After that, talk about the skills needed for your Designer role. Then, go into company culture and expectations, and how the candidate might fit in. Save time for additional queries towards the end of the interview.

Freelance Designer

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your creative process?
  • What do you think will be the major trends in design next year?
  • What is your design background?
  • How do you use analytics in your design approach?
  • What makes good user experience?
  • What are your strengths?

Interviewing multiple freelancers? Keep track of the process on Bonsai.



How much should you pay your freelancers?

Your Designer’s pay rate should be based on an estimate of the revenue, or value, of the project. Be sure to look at average costs of working in-house or through an agency. Then, take all this information and review current freelancers on the Bonsai rates explorer.


Why do you need a freelance contract?

A freelance contract will protect your company and your Designer. By detailing deadlines and milestones, you can avoid late deliverables. By setting payment terms, you’ll be on the same page about budgets and timelines. It’s also important to lay out details on intellectual property rights from the start.

Freelance Designer Contract
This Contract is between Orange Computer Inc. (the "Client") and Jane Smith LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Freelancer").The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Freelance UX Designer to do the following: Build and iterate on product mockups with UX team. Convert mockups into fully functional elements to be integrated by front-end developers.

1.2 Schedule. The Designer will begin work on September 10, 2017 and must finish the work by October 15, 2017. 

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Designer a flat fee of $5,500.00 (USD). Of this, the Client will pay the Designer $2500.00 (USD) before work begins. 

1.4 Expenses. The Client will not reimburse the Designer's expenses. 

1.5 Invoices. The Designer will invoice the Client at the end of the project. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 30 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per week 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. 

2.1 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, 
See the full contract & make your own.


Why is on-boarding important?

On-boarding your Designer gets the project off the ground and straight into motion. Complete internal compliance documents like NDAs, and external documentation such as tax forms. Get your freelancer the tools they need, like software and login credentials, and introduce them to the members of their new team.

Sign a contract
Sign a non-disclosure agreement
Collect a Form W-9
A W-9 form is required for any US company working with US-based freelancers
Share company vision & culture booklet
Set up the design environment (share invision access, ...)
Share development and design process specificities (interaction with product and developement team, integration process, sprint time, design reviews, ...)
Add to internal communication tools (Slack, ...)

Starting a project with freelancers? Use Bonsai to streamline your on-boarding.



Why is compliance important?

The Department of Labor has made the enforcement of misclassifications a top priority since 2016. This means full compliance for your designer is critical, because in California it’s very costly to rectify any errors. Penalties can cost anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 for each violation.

IRS 20-Point Checklist

  • Must the individual take instructions from your management staff regarding when, where, and how work is to be done?
  • Does the individual receive training from your company?
  • Is the success or continuation of your business somewhat dependent on the type of service provided by the individual?
  • Must the individual personally perform the contracted services?
  • Have you hired, supervised, or paid individuals to assist the worker in completing the project stated in the contract?
  • Is there a continuing relationship between your company and the individual?
  • Must the individual work set hours?
  • Is the individual required to work full time at your company?
  • Is the work performed on company premises?
  • Is the individual required to follow a set sequence or routine in the performance of his work?
  • Must the individual give you reports regarding his/her work?
  • Is the individual paid by the hour, week, or month?
  • Do you reimburse the individual for business/travel expenses?
  • Do you supply the individual with needed tools or materials?
  • Have you made a significant investment in facilities used by the individual to perform services?
  • Is the individual free from suffering a loss or realizing a profit based on his work?
  • Does the individual only perform services for your company?
  • Does the individual limit the availability of his services to the general public?
  • Do you have the right to discharge the individual?
  • May the individual terminate his services at any time?

Starting a project with a freelancer? Use a dedicated system to ensure compliance.


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