The following is a sample contract I use for clients who hire me to produce work for hire as a freelance writer. If you are a freelancer yourself, feel free to use this contract as a template.
Please bear in mind that I am not a lawyer and you are still recommended to consult a lawyer before using or signing any contract, including the template below.
For potential or current clients: Most terms of this contract are negotiable prior to hiring me for a new project. This copy is to serve only as a sample of the most frequent and accepted terms.
FREELANCE WRITING CONTRACT
The purpose of this letter is to outline the scope of the freelance writing and editing services that [WRITER] (“Writer”) will perform for [CLIENT] (“Client”).
SERVICES TO RENDER:
Writer agrees to write web content for Client, the length of which shall be decided and mutually agreed upon via email for each specific assignment. Writer guarantees Client with one (1) first draft and one (1) revision, with full rewrites costing an additional fee (as defined below).
Writer assures Client that any final work submitted is of a commercially-reasonable and acceptable quality in accordance with the stylistic guidelines provided by Client; is factually sound; and is of comparable quality to published content available on Client’s website (or used as a point of comparison by Client).
Client will provide any relevant information to Writer to help facilitate the accuracy and content of each assignment and is responsible for the hosting and publishing of each finished piece of work.
SCOPE OF PROJECT:
Writer agrees to:
- Construct an outline and await approval before beginning content production on any one specific assignment (when requested/required)
- Write content for topics provided by or accepted by Client, ranging in length as required by Client and agreed upon via email by both parties
- Accurately perform research (when applicable)
- Write in a style and tone similar to content published already by Client; and/or to write in accordance with Client’s instructions and/or style guide (or equivalent)
- Perform one (1) in-depth revision after submission of a first draft
- Write, edit, and share documents through Google Drive/Docs
- Submit article to Client by deadlines agreed upon via email per assignment
- Maintain and protect the confidentiality and intellectual property of any proprietary information provided to Writer from Client or its subsidiaries, partners, etc., and to only use any such information within the terms permitted by Client
The fee for writing services will be:
- $[X] for assignments ranging between 500 to 800 words
- $[X] for assignments ranging between 800 to 1200 words
- $[X] for assignments of 1200 words or more
Writer will inform Client of the fee for each specific assignment prior to production.
Subsequent revisions beyond the first free revision will cost $[X] per hour (rounded to the nearest quarter-hour); Writer may waive this fee at his discretion.
Invoices will be sent to Client upon submission of the first draft. Payment is required within thirty (30) days of the invoice date (Net-30).
Rewrites requested by Client due to a change in project scope and/or article/post topic will cost an additional 75% of the original fee. A rewrite fee will not be applied in cases where Writer failed to adhere to Client’s specifications or requirements.
This contract will be in effect immediately upon signing and remain in effect until cancelled by either party.
TERMS OF PAYMENT:
Invoices will be due 30 days after receipt (Net-30). An invoice is sent upon submission of a draft.
In the event of an overdue invoice, Writer will halt all pending content production until payment is received. Writer may also retain and engage debt collection and/or legal services in the event any invoice is more than ninety (90) days past due.
There will be a 5% compounding late fee for invoices not paid by Net-30 terms.
ASSIGNMENT AND OWNERSHIP OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:
Writer hereby understands and agrees that all Content submitted to, and published by, Client under this Agreement shall be considered works for hire, and further, to the extent any intellectual property right does not pass pursuant to a work for hire, Writer hereby assigns to Client all rights to publish the Content, and all previously submitted articles of Writer, in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which it can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, including without limitation the rights to archive, republish, edit, repackage, or revise any Article in any manner as Client sees fit.
Upon receipt and acceptance of work submitted to Client by Writer, Client relinquishes Writer of any and all liabilities, damages, claims, costs, expenses, or losses associated with Client’s defense. Writer provides the work as-is and Client’s acceptance of such work constitutes transfer of associated liabilities, etc. with the work. Writer guarantees that the work is written with the best of intentions, is free of plagiarism, is as accurate as reasonably possible, and includes no slander or libel. Client’s acceptance of submitted work represents Client’s agreement that the work is legally suitable for publishing and distribution. Writer is not responsible for any changes or edits made to the piece after work is submitted and accepted by Client.
GOVERNING LAW AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION:
This contract and any dispute arising hereunder shall be governed by the laws of the jurisdiction of Writer’s primary business location (the “Writer’s Jurisdiction”), without regard to the conflicts of law provisions thereof. For all purposes of this contract, both parties consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in the courts located in the Writer’s Jurisdiction [STATE].
The failure of either party to enforce its rights under this contract at any time for any period shall not be construed as a waiver of such rights.