First up is a general contract. If you’re not using an online service that offers built-in contract protection(Guru, Elance, etc,) you MUST have a contract before you start any work. It not only protects you, but it gives your clients peace of mind that they will get precisely what they pay for.
The more detailed you can be (and you can get as minute with the project details as you want – just add more paper) the better off you’ll be, and it’ll be less likely that you run into the dreaded doing-more-than-I-agreed-to syndrome that seems to haunt us all.
The contract that’s here is, by no means, iron clad and leakproof – but it’s been good enough to get me out of more than one pinch, and usually, the signing of a contract is enough to guarantee that your client isn’t going to bail on you.
One word of advice for all freelancers – and I’ve learned this the hard way: If your client won’t sign a contract, DO NOT DO WORK FOR THEM. It’s not worth it. You might not get burned, but the possibility is increased exponentially if your client is not willing to sign on the dotted line.
Click here to download a zip file with the general contract. It’s saved as a PDF, EPS and AI file. Done on a Mac, but portable and reconfigurable. If you dig it and use it, all I ask is for a “thanks.” Links would be nice, a donation would be even better, but – that’s up to you and your conscious. Don’t sell it for profit. Cool?