When I was writing my contract, I scavenged the internet to see what other freelance designers were using on their contracts as well. Here I was, thinking I was the Queen of Google and was able to find anything that I seek. I searched and searched and could not find a legit enough contract that was easy to understand but legal. I did find a ton of information on freelanceswitch.com and on Sessions.edu. Most of the information I found would not fit into my business model.
Remember when I talked about making a freelance contract and letter you guys have a copy too? I decided that it’s best not to share this information since I would be practically spilling the beans of my business model. In other words, I don’t have anything free to give you guys on this one. Boo. I know, I’m sorry. I did search the internet and found what seemed like a standard contract that some designers are doing. I took points from several examples and formed my own contract of what I wanted that fits my business model.
I did pick up some fabulous tips from others that I wanted to share with you guys (see, I did find some free stuff). I like the point made in this contract from Smashing Magazine about the Limitation of Liability clause. It basically states that a client cannot hold the designer liable in the court due to deadlines not being met due to unforseen circumstances.
Another point that a designer discovered is to not include your clients personal information in your portfolio. My previous career was in the healthcare industry and this particular situation would constitute as a major HIPAA violation. I wouldn’t publicize my clients personal information that was provided to me. It’s like airing all your secrets to your competitors. Plus, lets not forget about spam. I hate spam and I hate people contacting me with unnecessary requests such as e-mail forwards that say I will face grave consequences if I don’t forward the e-mail to 10 other people. I think it’s great to promote the product you created, but the personal contact information needs to stay private. I believe that a contract should state that the client agrees to have their project hosted in my portfolio. Your contract should say you are transferring the copyrights to the client, but you are keeping some to use in your portfolio.
Copyright transfers bring me to my last point. Oh My Handmade wrote a very informative post about copyright transfers for logo designs. They discussed if full rights should be transferred to the client vs partial rights. You can find more information about how this needs to be included in your contract here along with examples and resources.
What resources and tools do you use for your freelance contract?