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Why you need a freelancer agreement
It’s no coincidence that the rise of the gig economy and global networks of freelancers are coinciding with the boom of startups across cities around the world. Freelancers are a god-send to startups who want flexible, high-quality and faster work, and don’t want to pay high agency fees for work.
When startups use freelancers to deliver work, it is important to enter some form of written services agreement with them. Why? Because ultimately it is necessary at the very least to include in the freelancer contract the following points:
Clearly establish the scope of the task at hand – you don’t want any misunderstandings on the exact scope of the task and you need to make sure that when you make final
Ensure the intellectual property created by the freelancer belongs to your company.
Ensure the freelancer is legally required to keep your project confidential and not use any information learned for other purposes.
Ensure that you have clearly agreed on what should be actually delivered and when.
Agree a procedure for feedback on the deliverables, so that if the freelancer delivers low quality work, then you have the right to tell them to make changes.
Agree fees and the method of payment.
Agree the circumstances that either of you could break from your agreement, and ways for doing so if you need to.
Our freelancer services agreement contains all the above mentioned-points. You can create your freelancer agreement here.
In addition, if they are doing large amounts of work for you, it is also necessary to confirm that they are in fact a freelancer and not an employee of your company. If they were an employee, there would be some added responsibilities and costs on your side as the employer, such as making minimum pension contributions and national insurance payments.
Do you always need a written agreement?
A contract doesn’t actually need to be a written signed document. You could complete a contract over email for example, or even via a conversation (although unless it's recorded, it might be very hard to prove it exists). However, having something clearly signed and in writing is the best way to ensure everything is unambiguously covered and agreed. If you aren’t going to have a proper written contract, then we definitely advise you to try and cover off the above points by email which the freelancer clearly acknowledges and agrees to.
If you have any questions or you're having legal issues on this topic, feel free to get in touch with us on this.
This article was written by Legal Sidekick. Legal Sidekick is the legal platform for startups. We offer automated startup contracts and loads of startup legal resources and guides. For 'hire a freelancer' queries, please contact us at email@example.com.