The days of relying on a client’s word or a simple handshake to seal the deal are over. This is a sad reality for freelancers, as we must take precautionary measures to make sure we get paid. Most clients will send payment, even if it is late. But, sadly there are a few who won’t. Use this guide to help you get paid for all of your freelancing work.
Prepare a Contract
This point cannot be stressed enough. It is very important for freelancers to have contracts for most of their projects. Include the following details in the contract.
- Specific details breaking down the work involved.
- Method of payment (paypal, bank transfer, etc.)
- Amount due upon project completion.
- Any milestones or retainers.
When both parties are in agreement about the above mentioned items, both should sign and date the contract. Make sure to keep a copy for future reference.
Request a Retainer/Milestone
Some freelance projects are larger than others and may require a retainer and/or milestone. For large-scale projects requesting such, is not unreasonable. They also guarantee a freelancer receives at least some money for their work, if at the end of the project the client decides not to send payment.
Come to a consensus with the client about the amount of money that will be due before commencing work on the project or half-way through it. The retainer or milestone collected mid-project will come off the balance owing upon completion.
In a world less trustworthy than in the past, it is important to protect ourselves. Using a contract and/or requesting a retainer will help make sure a freelancer receives payment. Once the freelancer establishes a good working relationship, they might choose to work differently with their clients.