Freelance contract template

Need to create a freelance contract form? You’re in the right place.

Learn how to create a freelance contract with this quick guide – and download your customizable template to get started.

What is a Freelance contract?

As a freelancer you’ll want to use contracts to set out the scope of the working agreement between you and a client. 

While there are different types of freelance contract, you’ll need the right one in place to clarify the job you’re undertaking, agree the fee, and set out payment terms.

Having a good freelance contract in place means you have a record of your agreement which you can refer back to as required. It makes your relationship with the client more professional, reduces the chances of a misunderstanding, and helps you to get paid on time.

How to create a freelancer contract?

1. Download the free template

The easiest way to create your freelance contract is to use a template. This smart shortcut lets you save time while still producing a professional contract.

Download your free template in your preferred format – Microsoft Word is a good choice as it’s familiar to most people.

2. Fill it in with your own details 

You’ll be able to customize your freelance contract form to add in your company branding, payment details, and the specifics of the job you’re carrying out. Having a detailed record at this point means both sides understand the agreement. Double check you’ve covered everything required – any changes can be made before signing.

3. Send your freelance contract

Sed your completed contract to your client. They’ll have the chance to check it over, ask any questions they need, and then sign and return it to show agreement. Keep this for your records.

4. Get paid with zero fees

Get paid for your work into your Wise business account to save money on currency conversion when you’re working with international clients. Wise business accounts come with a linked debit card, low cost international payment services, and no maintenance fees to worry about.

Types of freelance contracts

1. Letter of Agreement (LOA)

A letter of agreement is one of the simplest forms of freelance contract. Your LOA will set out the terms of the project you’re working on, as well as the fee and payment terms. The letter should be written in plain English, and signed by both parties to show agreement.

2. Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA)

If you’re taking on commercially sensitive work, you may be asked to use an NDA, or NDA clause, to ensure the confidentiality of the project. A client may ask you to sign a nondisclosure agreement in which you commit that you won’t share details of the work you’re involved in. 

3. Formal Contract

Formal contracts are a good idea for freelancers – especially if you’re working with a new client, or taking on a large or complex project. By setting out the full details, including the scope of work, milestones and payment terms, both you and the client are protected, and the chances of a misunderstanding are reduced.

4. Non Compete Agreement

Depending on the type of work you’re doing, clients may ask you to sign a non compete agreement, or add a non compete clause to your contract. This is an agreement you won’t enter into direct competition with the client – often within a stated time frame after you finish your freelance work.

5. Statement of Work (SOW)

A statement of work – which is also called a scope of work – is a good way to make sure both you and your client are clear on the details of the project you’re agreeing to. By setting out the project in writing, including the overarching goal, milestones, measures and time scale, you can clarify and confirm everything before you get started.

Download a freelance contract template

Having a written agreement/contract for your freelance work it could be an important step in protecting your business and avoid misunderstandings.  We’ve gathered together a few of the best free contract templates for freelancers:

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Freelance contract - FAQs

1. When do you need a freelance contract?

It’s good practise to create a freelance contract for every project you work on. Having a contract – or a similar document like a letter of agreement – gives some protection to both freelancer and client, and provides an opportunity to set out, agree and double check the scope of work.

2. What should a freelance contract include?

You’ll be able to customize your freelance contract template to suit your own personal needs. However, most freelance contracts should contain:

  • Your contact details, and those of the client
  • Detailed project scope
  • Fee and payment terms
  • Deadline agreement
  • Ownership and copyright information
  • Signatures to show agreement

3. What to look for in a freelance contract?

The right freelance contract for your needs will depend on the type of project you’re undertaking. Make sure the contract has enough detail in it to clarify the project and avoid misunderstandings. It’s especially important, for example, to set out the way you’ll bill for the work, and the payment terms. This can help make sure you get paid on time, and without hassle.

4. What's the difference between a short term and long term contract?

A freelance contract may be a one off agreement to take on a specific short term project. However, it could also be a more complex, long term contract which covers a multi-stage project or ongoing work. Make sure you choose the right contract type for the work you’re agreeing to.

5. What's the difference between a short term and long term contract?

A freelance contract may be a one off agreement to take on a specific short term project. However, it could also be a more complex, long term contract which covers a multi-stage project or ongoing work. Make sure you choose the right contract type for the work you’re agreeing to.

6. Is a freelancer considered self-employed?

A freelancer would normally be considered to be self-employed. However, not all self-employed people are freelancers.

Freelancers take on work from a range of clients, and may work on many different projects at once. Other self employed people may be business owners, contractors or sole proprietors for example.