Freelance contracts – it’s all in the detail

Solicitors for freelancer contract Are you a freelancer who needs a contract for a project or a general freelance contract template? Perhaps you are a business using a freelancer and you need to ensure things are very clear and you understand what you are getting and are legally covered. Either way, we hope what follows

Home » Uncategorized » Freelance contracts – it’s all in the detail

Solicitors for freelancer contract

Are you a freelancer who needs a contract for a project or a general freelance contract template? Perhaps you are a business using a freelancer and you need to ensure things are very clear and you understand what you are getting and are legally covered. Either way, we hope what follows helps and we’d be happy to help you get the freelance agreement right.

Let’s be honest – most of what will go in your contract will be standard – things like the contract length, payment, basic warranties and so on. Most contracts of this type will have the detail in a schedule.

The key to getting the schedule right, for both sides, will often be carefully defining exactly what the services provided should be, what constitutes satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance, events of termination and so on. This part of a freelance contract can vary hugely and this is where a lawyer can add value.

Other aspects of freelance contracts which can easily be overlooked and which are legally very important include :-

  • Insurance – always important to consider what happens if things go wrong and that being able to sue for breach of contract and/or negligence is not the same as getting money. If the other party can’t pay, you’ll still be out of pocket. Does the freelancer have specialist professional or industry specific insurance?Indemnity – an indemnity clause, if well worded, is the strongest contractual form of assurance available. It’s better than a warranty.
  • GDPR – a freelancer is almost certain to have access to personal data involving a business. This can range from just information about staff necessary for the freelancer to do the work, but it could be far more sensitive customer or supplier data. GDPR is being taken very seriously by businesses, so GDPR clauses should go into a freelancer agreement in almost every case.
  • Ownership of work – a very common use of freelancers is for design work such as web design, software code, visual branding and related work. Don’t assume that when engaging a freelancer and paying them that you will definitely automatically legally own the IP created. This may not be the case unless it’s made very clear in your freelancer contract.
  • Timing – time issues are almost always really important in any contract. With a  freelancer who may be working with other clients at the same time, take care to ensure that deliverables on time are very clear and the consequences of not meeting the timescales agreed. Don’t assume that unless you make it very clear that a freelancer missing agreed timings means that you will have the legal right to terminate the contract. If you want that, it needs to be carefully drafted and included in your agreement.
  • Confidentiality – this is always important and ties in with GDPR. You certainly don’t want a freelancer using or disclosing your important business information such as any client databases, know how and so on.
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