This is not legal advice. These are observations based on my time as a freelancer and what I think about contracts for freelancers.
Contracts. Does anyone, except lawyers, want to deal with these docs?
They can be complex, but they’re absolutely necessary.
Here are three important things I’ve added to my freelance contract over the years.
1. How many revisions you’ll allow
Edits and feedback are normal.
What isn’t normal or acceptable is an endless number of requests for changes.
Set a limit.
My current limit is two rounds of revisions per deliverable.
2. What happens when things go out of scope
It’s almost inevitable that you’ll deal with scope creep.
Extra requests can either be an annoyance that’s painful to deal with.
Or an opportunity (to reinforce boundaries and potentially make more money.)
How this goes is completely up to you.
Have a section of your contract that’s dedicated to requests that are out of scope.
How will those requests be handled?
What will you charge you accept these requests?
3. When invoices are sent
Most freelancers know they need to set payment terms.
There are fewer people that specify when the invoice is sent.
Is it as soon as you complete the work?
Or once the client approves the work?
If it is the latter, you’ll want to set a limit on how long they have to provide their approval.
The bottom line: What you need to know about contracts for freelancers
If you’re new to freelancing and don’t have your own contract, get one.
Don’t do work if you don’t have this in place.
Many freelance service providers get burned without one.
If you have a contract?
Understand that you can change it.
In my opinion, it should evolve as your business evolves.
Looking for a freelance contract? I use AND.CO’s contract template. (Affiliate link.)