Download Your Freelancer Contract Template – Totally Free!

Download Your Freelancer Contract Template Above ☝️

Along with my invoice template, a freelance contract template is an essential documents for anyone who works for themself as a freelancer.

Why do I need a contract as a freelancer?

Excellent question, my young padawan. A contract helps you put all the essential information about your working relationship and the work itself in one place and shows that all parties agree to these terms. It’s a way of legally understanding who has agreed to what and under what terms.

Contracts exist to protect both clients and freelancers.

What should a contract include?

Contracts normally include the project scope, payments to be made, the deliverables and the deadlines for the work to be completed. Some contracts also include things like confidentiality agreements (also known as NDAs, or Non-Disclosure Agreements), liability, cancellation policies and intellectual property rights.

A contract helps safeguard you as a freelancer, but also gives the client piece of mind that they’ll be protected should anything go awry, and that all parties’ expectations have been outlined clearly before work begins.

Do freelancers have to use a contract?

Nope, you don’t have to. But in my opinion you really shouldn’t be doing business without one. Although I know a few freelancers who make a point of not using contracts, most freelancers do, and most clients will expect one as a matter of course. Essentially, having a professional-looking contract as a freelancer is table-stakes stuff.

Needless to say that everyone needs to sign the contract before you begin work. Before I start any work (and I mean ANY!) I ask for a non-refundable deposit (normally 50% – sometimes less on particularly large projects) in order for me to book time to complete the work in my calendar.

Why? Well, once I’ve sold my time to one client, I can’t resell it to another client last minute. So if a client pulls the plug on a project, and I haven’t charged a deposit, I’m up a certain creek without a paddle, unable to find a new client to replace that work in time. Not a fun place to be.

There are quite a few free contract templates available online. My advice would be to Google a whole bunch of sites and copy and paste various sections together until you get all the pieces you need altogether. Once you’ve done that, contact a lawyer and double-check that it passes muster.

How should I use this contract?

Once you’ve downloaded this freelancer contract template, begin by opening it up and editing everything that has been highlighted in yellow. You’ll need to change your name and the client’s name, and input the details of the new project. Then I’d suggest reading through it thoroughly and deleting and adding the parts that don’t reflect your particular business.

As I’m a freelance copywriter, this contract includes a section about the number of rounds allowed for amends. If you work in an industry where this isn’t relevant, (PPC or social media advertising, for example), then just delete that and add in anything specific to your field of expertise. After that, I’d strongly recommend finding a lawyer to give it the once over for your own piece of mind.

So, if you’d like to download an editable example of a freelancer contract template, just enter your email in the form, and I’ll whiz you one over shortly.