Creating a Freelancing Agreement or Contract - Part 1

July 6th, 2016

When you become a freelance translator, you have to find a way to let your clients know exactly what they can expect to receive from you.

Creating a Freelancing Agreement or Contract  - Part 1 | One Hour Translation

When you become a freelance translation expert, you have to find a way to let your clients know exactly what they can expect to receive from you. When freelance gigs are your business, then you need some sort of formal agreement or contract in place in order to protect yourself, and to a certain degree, to protect your clients. The reason why we say you need to protect your client is that, when you have a contract in place and the client understands that their interests are also being protected, then you won’t have any issues when asking clients to sign your agreement.

Below we’ve listed our simple guide on how to create a freelancing contract. Once you’ve created the template for your contract, then it will be very easy to adapt it to other freelance assignments.

The document that you’re going to create will look like an invoice. Most word processing programs provide a choice of invoice templates and a document wizard, so open up one of these templates, or alternatively, create a new one. The document you’re going to create must be as clear and specific as possible.

  • Type the words Contract, Service Terms, Scope of Work, or a variation of these words in a bold 14-point font size, meaning that the font for this heading should be bigger than the rest of the document.
  • Next, you’ll include all your contact information on the left-hand side, so type your name, address, and contact email and telephone information here.
  • Now, on the right-hand side put the date, and all the contact information you have for your client.
  • The next thing you need to do is assign a job number to this project. Write this number down for your own records, and include this information on your contract: for easy reference this should appear above the client’s contact information. Remember to keep a record of all job numbers: each job number should be associated with a specific client.
  • Write a few lines to explain the scope of work or the job description: offer as much detail as possible and be very specific about what the client will receive from you.
  • Next comes the core of the contract. It’s here that you’ll detail exactly what you will and won’t be doing for this client. You need to be very clear and specific with details here so there’s no room left for doubt. Also include what translation information you require from the client, and include a timeline for completion.

Are you offering a flat-rate charge, or will you be charging by the hour? If the answer is ‘by the hour’ then your hourly rate should be included in the contract with an estimate of how long you anticipate it will take to complete the project. Next you need to show the anticipated final price. If the answer is ‘a flat rate’ then the contract should state that this is the bottom line price. Now for your terms!

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