How to write one up? What the bleep the contract should say? If you need one for every project? Do you need to be a registered business first? Is all of this overkill? What are you suppose to say about payment? And deposits? And late fees? And intellectual property? Is it going to be super awkward sending one? And, most importantly, will they know that you actually have no idea what "indemnification" means? 😃(DON'T WORRY, I GOT YOU.)
When you send a contract, you're sending a signal: you're an expert, you know what you're doing, and you will take care of the other party. Clients and vendors need to feel this way about your work in order to hire you and feel good about paying you the money you're asking for. On the other hand, when you don't send an agreement—or when you send a lackluster contract that's been hacked together from bits and pieces around the Internet—it sends another signal. The other party might notice that know you're green, they'll worry about the quality of your work, you'll get far more push back, and they'll be far less willing to pay you the same money for the same work. Great contracts do not equal uptight overkill: they equal put-together pro. And they equal 3X the revenue for you.
All Contracts as a Clean, Downloadable Word Version
The intellectual property attorneys that drafted these agreements charge $425/hour—except for the New York lawyer that charged $800/hour. Not a typo.
Quick Reference Cheat Sheets
You no longer have to send an agreement and hope to vodka no one asks you to clarify—I've included a line-by-line breakdown that you can download and reference anytime you need to explain what the word "indemnification" means. (Bonus round: you'll also know what YOU are signing!)
Video Walk-Throughs With Ash
Freelancers are intimidated by contracts, and rightfully so: who understands all of that legalese? The good news is, ALL of it is there to protect you, and I'll personally walk you through each agreement and not only give you the low-down on what everything means...but best practices for doing business like a boss. (Because, yes, you do need a deposit, and yes, you absolutely should have a clause that states that the work isn't theirs until final payment is made. #EXPERIENCE)
Do I need this? Is this right for me?
There's only one way to find out! Take our quiz and answer a few questions that will help you determine if this kit is right for you.
Does this apply to countries outside of the U.S.?
Every country is different; this kit was based on U.S. law and best practices. Conceptually, this is still a great way to learn about the things you need to look out for when doing business online with clients and customers, but your situation should be reviewed by a qualified professional in your country. Many of our customers take our templates and use them as starting points to tweak, which we recommend.
Are these attorney-drafted contracts?
Yes—in fact, these were created by my intellectual property attorneys specifically for my own online business, and I wanted to share them with you as an educational resource to help you understand the things you don't know you don't know yet. That said, I am not a lawyer (or a violinist, just to be clear), and this is not a substitute for hiring a lawyer or a certified professional in your state or country, so make sure you consult with those good folks. What’s included, here, are expressions of opinion, so let it be known through all the land that I can’t guarantee any outcomes, promise you any ponies, or make anyone come back from the dead. (Yet.)