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Freelance Contract Review

Updated: March 28, 2023
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A freelance contract review helps freelancers thoroughly review the contract to ensure that no details are missed. Once the final freelance contract is drafted, the freelancer must ensure to recheck all the details present with the contract. The process of going through the freelance contract again is known as a freelance contract review. During this, the freelancer must check all the clauses and ensure that the drafted contract is as per the discussion with the client.

What to check during the freelance contract review?

While doing the freelance contract review, a checklist is a way to ensure that no detail is missed out. Here are ten elements that one must check while conducting the review process.

Services offered

There are several different services that freelancers may offer. However, while discussing with a client, the scope of work and services taken are well defined. For instance, a freelance content writer may offer services such as LinkedIn profile writing, social media copy posts, website content, etc. However, it is always possible that the client has opted for only one or two services. Therefore, it is necessary to mention that clearly within the contract. During the freelance contract review, ensure that the services and their limits are clearly stated.

Payment terms

Most freelancers have their own payment structure, which must be mentioned within the contract. For example, whether the freelancer shall be charging on a per-hour basis, per article basis, etc. During the freelance contract review, check whether these are mentioned, along with the cost distribution. Moreover, the currency must also be stated clearly. Many freelancers also have a different timeline for payment, for instance, whether the payment is completed in advance, half in advance, per month basis or in full after the end of the project.

Copyright and Ownership

When it comes to freelancing, it must be clear whether the freelancer shall be recognized for their work or whether it is ghost work. Ghost work means that the client shall have complete ownership and copyright of the generated work during the contract period. Therefore, one must check for the copyright and ownership clauses in the freelance contract review. It is highly possible that the freelancer is not allowed to share the work done or may have to face legal consequences. Moreover, the transfer of deliverables must also be stated clearly.

Termination policies

Check for the termination and renewal policy during the freelance contract review to check how the contract shall end. Termination of the contract must be possible from both ends, but clear clauses regarding the same must be clearly stated. For example, the notice period that must be offered to the other party etc. Moreover, outlining the reasons that may lead to direct termination of the contract, such as late delivery, plagiarism, etc., can also be helpful as it helps both parties have a clear idea. Finally, payment structure in terms of terminations must also be stated.

Contract renewal

Suppose the freelance contract is drafted for a defined time span and must be renewed after the end of the previous contract. In that case, both parties can mutually decide and mention the contract renewal policies. For instance, a hike in the payment structure can be defined and stated in the original contract. This helps the process of contract renewal faster and hassle-free. Moreover, both parties already know what to expect from the other party if they wish to have a contract renewal.

Exclusive contracts

Most freelancers work with different clients at one time. This gives them the liberty to work at their own pace with the clients they prefer. For this exact purpose, it is necessary to mention the exclusivity clause within the freelance contract, which states that the freelancer is free to work with other clients during the contract period. However, if both parties agree that the freelancer shall only work on that project for a defined time span during the freelance contract review, make sure to make the necessary changes. Add in the exclusivity clause, which states that the freelancer must deliver their services only to the other party during the defined contract period.

Confidentiality clauses

While working with a client, it is necessary to ensure their privacy. By signing or adding a confidentiality clause, a freelancer can assure their client that everything they share during the contract period shall be confidential. Most freelancers also get a Non-Disclosure Agreement added during the freelance contract review.

Revisions

If this section is not added to the contract, the freelancer may end up revising the draft several times. Thus, one must ensure to get this section added during the freelance contract review. It is necessary to limit the number of revisions that freelancers offer for a delivered project. If the client further requires revisions, an additional charge can be demanded by the freelancer. Stating the same within the contract can help reduce complications in the future.

Indemnity clauses

Adding indemnity clauses to the agreement helps ensure what shall happen if the contract is breached. It helps protect the personal property and assets of all parties involved within the contract. Furthermore, it also stated who shall be responsible in case of breach of contract. Compensation terms regarding the breaches may also be mentioned in the contract.

Other terms

Apart from the terms stated above, if there are any other terms that are exclusively discussed between the client and the freelancer, the same must be mentioned within the contract. For instance, if the freelancer requires a video testimonial or a mention on the client's profile for promotion, the same can be discussed with the client. If both parties agree to this, it must be stated within the contract.

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Key Terms

  • Freelancer - A contractual person who offers services for a defined time period.
  • Non Disclosure Agreement - It is also known as an NDA, which is signed between two parties and states that any information shared during the agreement cannot be shared with other parties.

Conclusion

Several things a freelancer must consider during the freelance contract review to ensure and safeguard their rights. Most freelancers draw up short-term contracts, which can be renewed as per requirements. However, it is essential to ensure that no detail is missed out in the freelance contract. Hiring a lawyer from ContractsCounsel can help ensure your legal protection while looking into the contract deeply.

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