Even though we’ve literally written the book on getting started with contracts as a freelancer, I thought this article did a nice job of summing up a few key things you should (almost) always include in a contract when freelancing.
Take a look at what Freelancer’s Union recommends:
Scope of work – What will the project consist of? What is the freelancer expected to provide? Be as specific as possible!
Ownership of work – Who owns the final product, whether it’s a logo, app, or other intangible? Does the freelancer retain rights to the design, or does it belong to the client?
Revisions – How many revisions can the client ask for, and will the freelancer charge for revisions of a finished project?
Deadlines – This may seem obvious, but it’s necessary information! When does the project need to be completed? When is payment due?
Payment amount – Again, this sounds obvious, but it’s important to agree on a rate and stick to it. If you charge an hourly rate, how will timekeeping be done? How will you invoice your client?
Payment timing and late fees – You want to make sure that you get paid on time! Include language around payment timing, late fees, and other repercussions.
Reimbursement of expenses – This section might not apply to every project, but before you set out to pick up supplies for that photoshoot, make sure you know whether you’ll be reimbursed or not.
Kill fees – For one reason or another, sometimes projects just don’t work out. Still, a freelancer shouldn’t put in hours on a project that gets spiked without pay. Kill fees are an important part of a contract — they’ll ensure that even if the client cancels the project, you won’t be stiffed.
Read the rest at Freelancers Union.