Having a solid contract with your freelance clients is a crucial part to any job.

However, you need more than just any old contract.

It needs to cover all of your bases and be easily understood by yourself and the client without falling too short or coming across as too harsh.

If you’ve ever had trouble writing contracts, you’re not alone.

Luckily, Creative Live has a great article that has exactly what you need to write an unbeatable contract.

1. Get Specific.

Just as important as the service you’ll provide, it’s crucial to define elements of service you will not provide, especially if there’s room for gray area. For example, when I write a contract for freelance developmental editing, a structural edit that addresses content, not copy, I make clear that this agreement does not constitute a copy-edit, and therefore I can’t be held responsible for copy-edit errors.

This addendum to my original contract came about the hard way—after a client insisted, after completion of services, that they had wanted a copy-edit, despite that we had not agreed to that service. Rather than burn the bridge, I did further editing, took a loss, and learned my lesson. This is another reason why you should be very clear and upfront with your clients during the proposal phase of your project, so you agree on performing only the activities you want to complete (for the agreed upon price).”

Check out the other 8 tips at Creative Live.