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11th Oct 2017
99u's resident legal expert offers 6 things that should be in every contract you write.
Putting together a contract can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. While it would be great to be able to hire an attorney to draft or review every contract, that’s not an affordable option for most people. The good news is that even a basic agreement that you write yourself is better than having no written agreement at all, provided that it’s clear, unambiguous, and covers the essentials of your business arrangement.
Here are a few tips that may help:
1. Clearly define the Scope of Work
As a creative freelancer, you’re probably accustomed to sending clients proposals that scope out your project, including your timeline. It’s not uncommon for clients to simply sign these proposals and send them back, with the proposal itself becoming the contract (or an attachment to the contract).
Regardless of how you format it, your contract should clearly and specifically state what you’re going to do for your client, and when. Err on the side of being more descriptive, not less. You need to not only list what is being delivered, but also its contents and expected delivery dates. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, a Scope of Work that reads “500 word article due in two weeks” is less helpful than one like this:
“Scope of Work: An article, written for a general audience, 500 words long, about emerging trends in mobile phone technology. Due within 10 business days of the signing of this agreement.”
2. Nail down everything related to money
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filmmaking, filmmaking tips, indie tips, freelance contracts