Freelancers rely on contracts when doing business or performing work for others. And so, when it comes to client contracts, it’s important to keep certain factors in mind or you run the risk of encountering a serious issue down the line. Create & Cultivate lists a few red flags to look out for and how you can protect yourself and your work.
Scheduling payments is often a hugely contentious issue when it comes to freelance work. If a schedule isn’t explicitly spelled out, you’re likely to become frustrated by not receiving payment in a timely manner. Additionally, the other party will be able to claim that they weren’t aware of the schedule and thus not responsible for missing a deadline. Make sure everyone is on the same page as to when payments must be remitted. You should also include when you’re responsible for completing work, which can entail multiple deadlines until the project is completed.
You also want to keep liability issues in mind. If you enter into an agreement as an individual, you’re personally liable for any legal issues that arise. In this case, forming a limited liability company provides numerous benefits. Not only will you enjoy advantages in terms of taxes, it will also protect your assets in the event you’re subject to a lawsuit. An attorney can help you determine the best business formation for your specific needs.
Lastly, make sure unexpected circumstances are accounted for. This is often referred to as a force majeure clause, which basically means a circumstance outside of your control prevented you from fulfilling your duties. These circumstances don’t relieve you of all agreed upon duties. Instead, it prevents a client from suing you for something like a missed deadline, with the understanding that you’ll complete work once it’s possible.