If you’re self-employed and working with clients on anything that requires a contract (and most things in the business world do!), one of the biggest challenges is drafting legal documents for new projects and opportunities.
Note: Disclaimer time. We’re not lawyers and are absolutely not giving legal advice in any way. Now, with that said….
One of the internet’s best hidden corners is Docracy. As a freelancer, Docracy is your friend. Know Docracy. Love Docracy.
What Is Docracy?
Docracy is a free library of legal templates. In effect, that means Docracy offers thousands of sample documents to base your own contracts, non-disclosure agreements, real estate transactions, consulting agreements and more on.
The product of a TechCrunch hackathon, Docracy launched several years ago at a hackathon. According to Docracy’s team, “Docracy is a home for contracts and other legal documents, socially curated by the communities that use them. Our mission is to make these documents freely available for everyone, while in the process making them easier to customize and use.”
It’s also amazingly useful for freelancers and anyone’s who’s self-employed.
Why Docracy Is Great For Freelancers
#1: Docracy’s massive repository has almost any kind of legal form you can imagine.
#2: Docracy also offers free signing of documents online, which is unbelievably helpful.
Getting Started With Docracy
One of the best corners of Docracy–and an amazing starting point for Almost Millions readers–is their Freelancer Bundle. The Freelancer Bundle contains a free-to-use set of sample contracts which can be customized for your clients and collaborators. According to the service, the creators of these forms are experienced freelancers, lawyers, and trade associations.
Included in the Freelancer Bundle are a sample work agreement, independent contractor agreement, work-for-hire freelance writing agreement, freelancer writer agreement, and retainer agreement.
Because Docracy is crowdsourced and has an extremely active user community, the site is home a ton of documents. Many of the most useful ones aren’t necessarily included in a bundle. Instead, you might find it useful to browse the site and find documents which give a good starting point to your self-employed business’ particular needs.
Docracy = Making Life Easier
Compared to some brand name services (Legalzoom, we’re looking right at you with our loving eyes), Docracy still requires a time investment and some elbow grease. There’s no bespoke service, you still have to customize your documents, and we heartily recommend getting actual legal advice from lawyers when it’s time to draft documents.
At the same time, many freelancers have to stretch every penny they earn. When capital is in high demand, you have to use every hustle at your expense–and a free legal document repository makes things a lot easier.
When using Docracy, the important thing is to realize these documents are just a starting point. Use professional legal advice, your own best judgement, and your own experience when customizing these documents. But if you’re starting off with a new client, are hiring part-time help, or are entering into a retainer relationship, Docracy gives you an amazing starting point.
And that’s all we need, isn’t it?