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- Write up a Sample Contract
Next up, you’ll start the real business side of things: writing up a sample contract. Every service you provide must have a written contract backing it up. This will only work in your favor. The key benefits, as we see it, in making sure you have a written contract before taking on any web design project are as follows:
- It saves you time
- It saves you money
- It saves you aggravation
When you’re first starting out as a freelance web designer, the task of writing up a contract can seem daunting, to say the least. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
We recommend taking the following steps when writing up your contract:
- Have a clearly defined statement of work
This is a crucial section of your contract because, as the saying goes, the client (customer) is always right. If you don’t know what the client is expecting from you, it’s very possible that he won’t be satisfied with your work once you’ve completed it. A statement of work also enables you to understand and clearly define the scope of the project what the time frame for completing it (well) will be.
- Streamline the review and approval process
One thing you definitely want to avoid is sending the client a substantial amount of work that you’ve done, and then not hearing from them for ages. Once your contract specifies the number of days the client has to review designs and get back to you, you can avoid delays and miscommunications that result in projects that fall through the cracks.
- Protect yourself in the case of project termination
There are many circumstances that could cause a project to be terminated. This could be in the hands of the client (his decision to terminate) or by an unexpected event that isn’t in their control. In either case, including a clause in your contract which protects you from losing your income in the event of project termination is a must-have.
- Protect yourself from copyright infringement
In the relationship between a web designer and their client, one example of copyright infringement could take place is if a client pulled a photo or visual of yours off of a Google image search and included in the assets to go on his new website.
If this happens, you will want the legal grounds to protect your digital property? And make sure you maintain the ownership you’re entitled to.
- Consult with an attorney and designate a legal jurisdiction near you and address it in the contract
In the worst case scenario, there are situations where a web designer and their client have a conflict or disagreement, and end up in a situation where one party sues the other.
If you are the party being sued and haven’t designated a legal jurisdiction in your contract, you may end up having to travel to the client’s (the party filing a lawsuit) legal jurisdiction of choice. This is certainly not a situation that you want to find yourself in.
For these reasons, you’ll also want to consult with an attorney before finalizing your contract. It’s always good to have an expert make sure that you’re protecting all of your rights and aren’t risking being in trouble later on.
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