Creative freelance contracts

Professional contracts help freelancers get paid
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Creative freelance contracts FAQs

Contracts can greatly help freelance creative workers. They can help ensure that clients receive the work they asked for on time and that freelance workers gets paid. Freelance contracts help both parties begin projects in a professional manner.

What should I include in my Freelance Agreement?

Your Freelance Agreement, or Independent Contractor Agreement, should include a description of the project, due dates and payment terms. It should clearly describe what is expected of you and your client. Our contracts automatically generate once you input your information such as,

  • Dates the contract will be active
  • Contact information for both parties
  • Description of service or product to be delivered
  • Payment information (lump sum, installments, fixed wage, or other)
  • How social media posts are managed
  • Whether a confidentiality clause needs to be included
  • Insurance requirements

The contract can help protect you from non-payment. It can also protect you from liability issues. If you work remotely, you can email this contract to your client and they can sign the document online.

Should I charge hourly or per project for creative work?

There is not a simple answer to this question. How to charge is a common issue among freelancers who work in creative fields such as design, music, writing or app building. To answer the question, you need to figure out how much your time is worth. Even if you charge by the project, you still need to ensure that you are being paid for how much your time is worth. How much you choose to charge also needs to make sense. You should research your industry and see what going rates are for your skill level.

Since creative work often involves multiple versions, thinking time, and trial-and-error time, it may be best to configure your hourly rate and use that number to estimate your project rate. For example, if your time is worth about $40 per hour and you think the project will take about ten hours to complete, you may choose to set the project rate at $400. Your client doesn't need to know the actual time it took to complete the project.

If your client insists on paying by the hour, make sure to charge a suitable hourly rate. You'll also want to ensure that the hours they want to pay you for are worth fitting into your schedule. A client who will pay in blocks of ten hours is more valuable than one who only wants to pay for a few hours per month. As you gain experience, you'll find that billing becomes easier.

Is freelance work considered self-employment?

Yes, and you'll need to claim the income you earn as a freelancer and pay your self-employment taxes. Self-employment taxes include Social Security and Medicare. You have to pay these taxes regardless of your income (unless you earned less than $400). To stay ahead of your tax debt, many business tax advisors recommend that you make quarterly payments to the IRS. Self-employment tax for 2018 is 15.3 percent. You will also need to pay income tax and state taxes. To be safe, save 25 to 30 percent of your income to satisfy your tax obligations. Navigating deductions for your freelance business can be complicated and the laws change often. You should consult with your accountant about how best to manage your business expenses.