The 4 Must-Haves for any Freelance Design Contract

As a freelancer, we understand that you wear a lot of hats. From the actual job, the follow-thru on payment, handling taxes; it’s easy to get caught up in feeling overwhelmed. It’s for this exact reason that having a clearly defined contract is so important. As a designer, this may feel like you’re working with the wrong side of your brain.

Simple steps to a better design contract – Quiktract App For Creatives

Luckily, we are here to help demystify some of these things and make sure you know the absolute “must-haves” any agreement you draft up should include.

1. Outline The Process 

When working with a client it can be easy to gloss over the “How” and only focus on the “What.” Meaning, often times you will come to an agreement on what the finished product should be and not necessarily the steps you need to take to get there.

In any agreement make sure you outline the key benchmarks and feedback methods you’d like to set up in order to stay on track.

2. Get Clear On Payment

In any business deal knowing your worth is key. The same should ring true when drafting your contract. The murkier the payment specifics the easier it is to not get paid, simple as that. By creating exact payment dates, whether that be something arbitrary or at the completion of the job, you can remain on top of getting your money.

Another beneficial thing to do is ask for an upfront deposit. Prepayment is helpful when working with a new client. It allows both parties to stay focused and helps instill trust early on.

3. Know Your Rights

In another blog post I talked about being wary of the “Work For Hire” agreement. Now, contracts like this in the design space are a little more common than in music; but that doesn’t mean that that always has to be the case. A “Work For Hire” agreement gives your client 100% right to do whatever they wish with your finished product.

If you feel like the price you’re agreeing to isn’t fair, then there is nothing wrong with charging more. Clearly understanding your usage rights is critical to any contract you sign.

Here’s a video of one of our community member’s telling the story of how a design she got paid $40 for ended up on Kendall Jenner.

4. Revisions. Revisions. Revisions

The job isn’t done until it’s done. That may sound repetitive, but that is just a fact of doing business. It is important not only to meet your deadline but to also maintain a healthy working relationship with your client. Many times I’ve been on the wrong end of an agreement where I found myself making the 8th tweak to a logo with my only design notes being, “Can you make this pop more?”

Design Revisions – Quiktract App For Creatives

It’s important to avoid that at all cost. The best thing to do is to clearly outline the number of acceptable revisions on any job. This client may not know how much work goes into something, and that’s perfectly okay – it’s why they called you.

By outlining that your willing to do 3 revisions max, it allows your client to be more careful and precise with the changes that they might ask to make.

Have any other contract “must-haves” as a designer? Feel free to let us know and be sure to download Quiktract, the easiest way to draft up your next design agreement!

Cole Midkiff


The Five Things Your Freelance Contract Needs | Quiktract

Contracts and agreements can feel cumbersome and daunting. The stigma behind having to sign a freelance contract or agreement is overwhelming and immediately becomes a negative experience.

More often than not you have to sit in a lawyer’s office, drive to a bank, or have someone come and meet you just to have them cancel last minute. You are stuck with a stack of papers, filled with “sign here” sticky notes and legal jargon defining terms and actions that you don’t even understand. But go ahead, sign away!

Freelancer contracts and agreements should not be daunting, and better yet, they don’t have to be!

It’s time to remove the fear of contracts, save time and money drafting them, and get to work doing what we love most as freelancers.

A contract’s language does not need to be complicated or contain legal jargon. In fact, the simpler and plainer the language, the more easily the contract can be understood. Remember, contracts and agreements are in place to protect both parties!

What Needs To Be In A Freelance Contract - Quiktract

We are here today to share with you the five things your freelance contract actually needs.

1. A Clear and Concise Title

Your contract’s title is so important! It is the first thing that either party is going to read, and it helps set the tone for what is to come in the remainder of the agreement.

2. Who Is Involved?

 Make sure you are identifying each party correctly. If you do not spell out who is involved and correctly identify each party then the contract/agreement becomes obsolete.

It is important to address specifically who is involved and use proper names of those entities. For example,

“This agreement is between: Quiktract, LLC DBA: Quiktract & Harvest Pretzels, Inc. DBA: Harvest.”

How To Set Up An Independent Contractor Agreement For Freelancing - Quiktract

3. Details, Details, Details!

Write out the description of your services and/or the results achievable.

This is the most important part!

Provide the full details of why the agreement is in place, the work to be done, and the result that are expected (depending on the agreement). Detail is key!

This is also where you should thoroughly define your scope of work. Your scope will work as an outline of what is (and is not) included within your freelance agreement that you can refer back to if expectations on either side change with time.

For more information on project scope check out the article, Project Scope on SearchCIO.

For example,

“Harvest Pretzels, Inc. DBA: Harvest will provide pretzels to Quiktract, LLC DBA: Quiktract’s employees the week for June 10 – 14, 2019, daily from 11:00am – 1:00pm for a celebration for all Quiktract employees.  Pretzels will be distributed at Quiktract’s headquarters in Los Angeles, CA on the quad. Harvest will arrive 15 minutes prior to start time daily to insure they are properly setup and ready for the rush. Harvest will have six employees daily at the stand to man it. Harvest is responsible for setup and take down daily.”

What To Include In Freelancer Contract - Quiktract

4. All Dates

Whether it’s the date the contract was created, the date the contract was signed, or the dates that milestones should be hit, do not forget them. Dates are so important!

Not only does proving dates help keep you accountable and on track, but it helps the other party to plan accordingly, and minimizes confusion or false expectations of what is to be expected when.

Don’t let concerns about circumstances changing keep you from defining these dates. With Quiktract your agreements can be adjusted and signed off on in real time as these changes may occur.

5. Payments – The Nitty Gritty

Often payments are the reason why people seek out contracts or agreements.

It can be uncomfortable discussing money, especially if you are doing work for people you know personally. We all get that feeling in our gut when the topic of getting paid is brought up.

Money is such a sensitive topic but getting thorough details of payment is important.

Make sure to provide the payment amount, method of payment, timing of payments and how expenses will be handled.

For example,

“Quiktract, LLC DBA: Quiktract & Harvest Pretzels, Inc. DBA: Harvest, has a contract for one week – June 10 – 14, 2019. Harvest will provide 500 pretzels over the course of the week, for a fixed amount of: $250.00. Quiktract will pay Harvest $150 on the 10th of June, and the remaining the 14th of June at the wrap of the event. Both payments will be made with a check.”

What Do You Have to Include In an Independent Contractor and Freelancer Agreement - Quiktract

Don’t ever let the stigma of contract scare you from providing the services you love. Resources like Quiktract help you create legally binding freelance contracts, send invoices, accept or request payments, and save the trips to the attorney’s office so you can get back to doing what you love.

Sign-up with Quiktract to protect your work and simplify the way you conduct business!

Don’t have enough freelance clients to write up contracts for? Check out 5 Tips For More Effective Networking For Freelancers; How To Get More Freelance Clients and grow your client base.

By | 2021-04-01T10:23:20+00:00 May 9th, 2019|Contracts, Freelance Help|0 Comments