02 Jan Freelance Writing Contract: What to Include In Yours (+ Downloadable Template)
If you’re thinking about becoming a freelance writer or want to make sure your business is running smoothly, then this post is for you! Writing is a creative and rewarding job, but it can also be a confusing and frustrating one—especially if you don’t know how to protect yourself financially.
If you’re a freelance writer and you don’t have a contract, then you could be at risk. A freelance writing contract can help you avoid misunderstandings with clients and protect your income should your work be stolen or used without permission.
We’ll discuss what a freelance writing contract is and why you should have one—plus, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to write your own!
What Is a Freelance Writing Contract?
A freelance writing contract is an agreement between you and the client that outlines the terms of your agreement and helps to ensure that both parties are clear about what is expected of them. It also protects you if your work is stolen or used without permission.
It’s important to have a written contract because it outlines the details of your work, including what you’ll be paid, when you’ll get paid, and how much time will be given for revisions. Having a contract in place is also essential in order to have a written record of what was discussed during preliminary conversations with the client.
Why It’s Important to Have a Freelance Contract
It’s a good idea to have one whenever you work with another person, no matter how small or simple the project may be. If you are hiring someone else to write one for you, it’s best to make sure they understand what your needs are before they start working on it.
For starters, a freelance writing contract protects both parties from misunderstandings around the scope of work and cost. Second, it clarifies expectations for the work that needs to be done so everyone is on the same page about what’s expected at every stage of the project. A third reason for having a freelance contract is that it helps prevent disputes down the road if one party tries to make changes that weren’t outlined in the original agreement.
Finally, having a contract is just a good business practice. It shows your client that you take their project seriously and that you care about providing them with high-quality work.
As a freelancer, if you don’t have an employment agreement in place (a written contract), then there are various risks associated with doing freelance work without an employment agreement in place that could leave both parties vulnerable if things go wrong. But what exactly should you include in a freelance contract?
What to Include in a Freelance Writing Contract
When writing your own contract or using a premade template, you should ensure a few key components are included. Let’s look at some of the important details to include in your contract.
1. Name and Contact Details
Before you sign a contract, make sure that it includes all your contact information as well as the names and titles of everyone who is involved with or has signed off on the deal. This is an important point because you want to know who to contact if there are any issues. If you’re working with a team, the contract should include details on which person will be responsible for handling communication with you and what their role is within the company. To make sure that both parties are on the same page, it’s essential that your contract clearly outlines what services or products each party expects from their relationship.
2. Scope of Work
Be sure to also include the scope of work you’re agreeing to. This should include the tasks you’ll be expected to complete, as well as any materials or equipment that will be provided by the company. It’s also worth clarifying what happens if either party fails to meet their obligations or if the project takes longer than expected. You don’t want either party wasting time on something that doesn’t actually get them anywhere in terms of results.
3. Payment Terms and Schedule
Of course, one of the most important details to include is the payment terms. These will differ depending on whether you charge a flat fee, or bill the client by the hour. Either way, you’ll want to outline the cost, payment schedule, and any additional fees if applicable.
If this information isn’t included in your contract, it’s harder to know whether everything has been paid correctly at the end of a project—and if there are any disputes later on down the road!
4. Delivery and Acceptance Requirements
It’s best to clarify all terms up front—such as how payments will be processed, when deadlines begin and end, etc.—to avoid problems in the future. Liability and indemnification are also important, especially if you’re working on projects that could have high-stakes consequences for the client or their business. If you’re designing for a company in your industry, for example, you’ll want to make sure they won’t use any of your concepts or designs after your contract ends (or before it begins).
Building Your Own Freelance Writing Contract Template
While you know more about what to include in your contract, you may still be unsure of how to write your own—don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together an easy-to-follow template below with all of these elements included, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks (or get someone else who knows their way around contracts).
Now that you know how to create a freelance writer contract, it’s time for you to start writing your own! You can download the freelance writing contract template below.
And if you need more help, check out our guide on how to get freelance writing clients (with a step-by-step video).