Free Contract Templates

All of our contract templates have been vetted by lawyers and legal experts. Find the contract that matches your industry, customize it, sign it and send it!

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Additional templates are only available within Bonsai.

What is a contract template?

A contract is a legally binding agreement between you and your client. It’s as simple as that.

A contract template is basically the draft version of the contract, with all your needs and requirements preloaded onto it (which you’ll be easily able to edit later on).

With sections stating your job description, the intended work you’ll do, your payment details, and any other descriptives or legal requirements needed, a contract template is a must-have for freelancers and their clients to stay protected.

Sounds easy, right? It doesn’t take a law firm to create a simple contract template.

The real value here is that a contract template will save you a lot of time and effort when you’re negotiating with a new client. This means you can spend more time doing what actually makes you passionate, instead of the negotiations and the paperwork.  

What information should be included in a contract?

Before you begin writing your own contract, you should always seek legal advice to make sure what you're making is actually a legally binding document.

That being said, every basic and formal contract should include these essential elements:


For the work and payment details section, you’ll want to include details on:

Project or job description

This will include an outline of your full services for the client.

Timeframe of the contract

You should detail your start and end date, as well as any service times. For example, a wedding photographer will want to state when they’ll arrive and when their breaks are throughout the day.

Payment details

Here you’ll state what the client is paying you (whether that’s a flat fee, per hour, or something else), your payment schedule, as well as any deposits before the work starts. It’s common for a wedding photography contract to include any cancellation fees or non-refundable deposits.


You may need to travel, rent a hotel, or even purchase new clothes so you abide by a dress code for the job. Outline if the client is required to reimburse you for any expenses.

Invoice details

Include how and when you’ll invoice the client. Outline when the due date is and any incurring late fees should they miss it.


You’ll want to agree on how much (if at all) support is provided to the client once the job is done. This can include editing or touching up photos if you’re a wedding photographer.


This section should include details on:

The client’s ownership of the work product

This will be a detailed section stating that the client owns the final work product. You’ll want to agree on what that includes and when the client obtains ownership.

Your usage of the work product

As freelancers, you can state any permissions the client gives you for using the final product. As a wedding photographer, you’ll want to have permission to showcase photos in your portfolio.

Help you provide secure ownership

This section is for when the client needs your help to prove the product is theirs. You should agree that you’ll help the client secure ownership and if you aren’t available to help, the client can speak on your behalf.

Your intellectual property and usage

Include details on intellectual property (IP) usage permissions and ownership.

The client’s intellectual property and usage

Similar to the section above, the client also has IP that you may use as long as they give permission. This could include using their logo on your portfolio.


Include a statement about any restrictions working with close competitors for the duration of the contract. Outline any partnership agreements you may have.


You’ll want to outline any non-solicitation clauses here for you and the client.


For a legally binding document, you should include a representations section which will cover:

Who has the authority to sign

Basically, a statement that promises both parties to have the authority to sign.

The right to use the intellectual property involved with the final product

Explain that the parties involved (including any independent contractors or subcontractors) have the right to use the IP involved with creating the final product.

You comply with law

State that you promise to comply with the laws of the country that you are in.

The final product doesn’t infringe

A promise that the final product doesn’t infringe on another party's IP.

The client promises to provide feedback

Make a state about the client promising to give you feedback on the final product in a timely manner.


This section will detail the terms and conditions around the termination of the contract. This could be on a particular date or after the completion of a specific project.


Add in the details about the working relationship between you, as a freelancer or independent contractor, and the client. This can include things like whether or not you use your own equipment, if you’re provided training, or any tax responsibilities.


Here you’ll explain the access and handling of confidential information between the two (or more) parties.

Remember to add what kind of permission you and your client give and do not give each other.

We recommend seeking legal advice for this section of the contract, as it can be very detailed and need specialist input.

The client’s confidential information

Here you should determine what happens when you or the client come across each other’s confidential information. You'll also want to add any non-disclosure agreements here too, which would be helpful for protecting a company's trade secrets.

Third-party confidential information

This is similar to the above clause, where you’ll mention the same or similar agreements should you come across the confidential information of a third party.


Here is a short statement basically explaining that neither party is liable if the other breaches the contract unknowingly.


This section involves legal protections and other formalities. You’ll want to state that if one party is fined or sued then there is no liability, damages, or expenses pushed onto the other party (you or the client).

Remember to have two sections, one for each party involved.


This is a general overview of the contract agreement itself, which should include:

Assigning rights

This statement is around the obligations of giving the contract over to another party should it need to happen.


If a dispute between the parties involved can be resolved through arbitration.

Modifications or waivers

If anything has to change in this legal document, both parties must agree to it in writing.

Notices terms

State all the terms and conditions around giving notice.


This explains what happens should there be any unenforceable parts of the contract .

Signature terms

How both parties will be agreeing to sign the contract and what counts as an original copy.

Governing law

A quick statement explaining that the contract is under the law of the governing body involved.

Contract validity

A short sentence underlining the validity of the contract.


In this section, both parties will add their signatures agreeing to the terms of the contract.

How many copies of a contract do I need?

You and your client should both have at least one copy of the originally signed contract and any formal documentation when required. Whether it’s an independent contractor agreement, partnership agreement, simple lease agreement, cleaning services agreement or rental agreement, any legally binding contract should be held by both parties in its original form. Photocopies are also a good idea – you never know when your original copy may be lost.

Do I need a lawyer or a notary?

Remember that for any major services or deals you should always include a lawyer or a notary. However, depending on the type of work you do, legal counsel isn’t always necessary when it comes to independent contractor contracts.

How to create your contract

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to create your contract.

1) Create an account

First, set up a Bonsai account. The only information you need to enter is your name and email address.

2) Click on "create contract"

Once signed into Bonsai, you can jump right into creating a contract by going to your Dashboard and choosing create a contract.

3) Choose your industry

That takes you right to the first step in creating a contract, including a drop-down menu where you select your industry.

4) Fill in the project details

Make sure you also insert a client name, type of project, choosing standard template, and then selecting template type. For this example, we are using a sample client, and a blog post contract template for a freelance writing business.

5) Enter basic information

The next step will walk you through information for the contract, starting with your location, including which state in the United States.

You select whether you work through a company, and if you do, there are different company structures from which to choose, and then you insert the company name and your title.

6) Describe the scope of work

Based on the choice of a writer doing a blog post, this section is auto-populated, but you can easily change the contents to describe what you will be doing for the client.

You can also attach a statement of work, which is another time-saver. You can have a variety of your standard work tasks saved and ready to be attached, which makes the contracts simple and easy to do, and any in-depth details about the work can be in the statement of work document.

7) Include payment details

You can choose from a multitude of payment options, including a flat fee, milestones, and hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rates.

If you choose milestones, for instance, you then add the amount and add the milestone dates, with the option to add as many as you need. If you choose hourly, you insert your rate. It’s so simple and flexible.

8) Integrate your invoices

In the final step, you reap even greater benefits from the Bonsai system, because the contract you just created, complete with payment terms, is integrated with an invoicing system. That means your invoices are already done based on the contract.

You have the flexibility to decide whether or not you want the system to create the invoices, and whether or not you want them sent automatically. As stated, you can always review and edit them before they’re sent.

9) Sign the contract

Once you’ve made all the edits and you’re ready to finalize the contract, sign contract is the final step.

Then, you will simply type in your name, and a signature is created with your email address below it.

You’re then ready to send the contract to your client. When they receive it, there’s a section for them to sign next to your e-signature, with the legal binding statement that means it’s official. You can start your work.

9) Save as PDF

But you can do more, by choosing the More Options drop-down menu. If you haven’t yet sent the contract, you can un-sign it and edit it. You can duplicate it, delete it, and download it as a PDF.

If you choose View Project, you’ll get a dashboard that displays an overview, including the client’s name, invoices, time tracking and more.

And, perhaps best of all, you can turn this contract into a contract template. Then you’ll be able to use this work time and again, for various clients and projects.