I've mentioned client contracts a couple of times on this website, when talking about how you can prevent clients from not paying you and protecting yourself as a business owner. But what should they actually include?
Your details and your client's details
Including both names and addresses, and company numbers if either of you is incorporated.
The services you'll be providing
You need to make what you'll be doing very clear to avoid any confusion about whether the work you've done is as agreed. This also protects you from the client trying to add extra tasks on to your work without payment.
You might also want to include any services you will not be providing, for example, you may be writing a 1,000 word article but will not be providing pictures to go alongside it.
How long the work will continue
Your contract should include the date your work will start from and how long it will continue, if your work with the client isn't just a one-time thing. You may also wish to include a notice period to avoid either party from stopping work without telling the other about it.
The most important part! Make it very clear how much you're charging, how often you'll be invoicing (weekly/monthly/annually) and when the period you'll be charging for will start, if relevant.
As someone who is self-employed, this is the most important part of your contract to avoid clients paying you late or not at all. I think the best thing to do is to show you a real example of what to include, so here are the payment terms I include in my client contracts:
Payment should be made to the bank account details included on the invoice.
Payment will be due in accordance with the timescale set out in the invoice.
Any outstanding payment issues will be referred to a solicitor and may incur interest charges.
Short and sweet, eh?
Both you and your client need to sign and date the contract to confirm that you've both read and agree to it.
Et voila! You've got yourself a clear and concise client contract to protect both of you in case anything goes wrong. Do you include anything different in your contracts? Let me know in the comments!
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