If you’re freelancing for a client, you need contracts for your projects. There’s only one problem: Generating contracts is a pain in the butt. However, a new Freelancers Union Contract Generator tool makes it easier. The project, from the Freelancers Union and a startup called AND CO makes writing freelance project contracts as easy as 1-2-3.
The Freelance Contract is a simple site that lets anyone create contracts for their projects in a matter of seconds.
Freelancers Union Contract Generator: How Does The Freelance Contract Work?
The Freelance Contract guides freelancers through a handful of questions and then quickly generates a contract for their project.
Freelancers are asked to enter their client’s information, including their address and contact information. They then enter the currency they want to be paid in, the name of the project, the project’s start and end date, and proceed into setting up billing and product specs.
Clients can be asked to pay on a per-project or hourly/daily/weekly/monthly basis; the freelancer then enters pay rates and information on deliverables, exclusions, specifications, and schedule.
From there, you specify ownership rights for your project and information on payment terms and deposits or late fees.
A contract is then automatically generated based on your parameters and takes a matter of seconds.
Freelancers Union Contract Generator: Why The Freelance Contract Is Important
Leif Abraham, AND CO’s CEO, tells Almost Millions that “I think roughly 20 to 25% of freelancers don’t use a contract for each of their projects, which is a risky thing. Not having a contract in the first place often leads to more freelancers being stiffed by clients. In general, a contract really puts protection in place and puts it into the market to help freelancers get money they’re intended to be paid.”
The contract generator also complies with a new law in New York (where the Freelancers Union is based) which is really important. The Freelancing Isn’t Free Act protects freelancers from deadbeat clients. The law, which goes into effect on May 15, requires a written contract which covers payments and payment deadlines for all work valued over $800. Employers are required to pay no later than 30 days after the contract’s deadline.
In addition, if freelancers have to take a client to court and if they win, the client is responsible for attorney fees and double damages. In addition, the act creates an administrative enforcement process with the Department of Consumer Affairs to protect freelancers.
Abraham says that although the Freelancers Union Contract Generator is specifically designed to comply with the New York law, it can be used by freelancers anywhere.
Freelancers Union Contract Generator: Is It For Me?
The Freelance Contract generates simple contracts in under five minutes that are great for simple projects. However, there’s one big caveat–at press time, it’s designed for simple projects such as small-scale web design, article writing or per-project graphic design and does not create PDFs which can be edited or tweaked by a freelancer prior to signing.
The Freelancers Union Contract Generator creates extremely useful contracts for short-term projects and projects with a clearly defined scope of work. However, for more complicated freelance gigs–things such as open-ended consulting or management projects with a lot of moving pieces–it might be worth hand drafting a contract or modifying one from a third party instead.
But for simple projects, which make up the bulk of contract work, The Freelance Contract is awesome.
Freelancers Union Contract Generator: Further Reading For Freelance Contracts
If you have a complicated project that needs a specialized freelance contract, or if you just prefer writing your own contracts, there are a few options. Docracy is a great resource which offers tens of thousands of free, open-source contracts you can tweak for your project.
However, if you’re writing your own contract, remember: Almost Millions are not lawyers and you should always seek legal advice if you have questions about contracts.
With that said, there are also some great resources out there if you want to learn how to write contracts, or just up your contract-writing game. Check out Drafting Contracts: How & Why Lawyers Do What They Do and A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting.
Have any advice for writing contracts for your freelance clients? Let us know in the comments.