Making sure you have the right
freelance contracts

When you are freelancing for different organisations, you will need to consider what type of contracts you have with them and are they suitable for the type of role you are taking on. If you are working through an agency or third party they will usually have a freelance contract they can send you, which will protect you if there are any issues with the client or payment, however if you are working directly for the client or an organisation, especially if this is for a term of an event then working without a contract with them can be risky and you can potentially lose income on the work you have done for them if they decide not to pay or make changes to what has been agreed, for instance cancelling the event or changes to staffing for the event.


In most case this won’t happen but as a freelancer you have to make sure you protect your income as you won’t have an HR department to help you with this.

Making sure you are either supplied with a good contract or have your own freelance contract you can give the clients is essential.

There are paid for freelance contracts available though legal sites, or sometimes clients/organisers can supply you with them, but it’s important to understand what will be required of you and the client/organiser and that this is detailed in the contract.


Make sure you understand the length of the contract and the payments terms, This means making sure you know when you will be paid and how frequently, Usually you will request payment but sending an invoice as per a payment schedule that has been agreed between yourself and the client, but some companies will have 60 day terms for paying invoices so be careful that this doesn’t leave you out of pocket as a freelancer, don’t be afraid to ask for more standard payment terms if the terms the client or company has doesn’t work for you, regular invoice payment terms are usually 15days/30days.


What happens at end of the contract, this is really important as some clients may want to extend the contract, so you need to consider any provisions for renewing the contract and setting time limits on this so you aren’t waiting around for months for a client to get back to you.  Find out what type of handover of the event the client expects and make sure for yourself that you have provisions for handing back any event information.


What happens if you are unable to complete the contract for an emergency or sickness/ill health, You need to make sure you understand and establish what will happen in an emergency situation, and if you need to make arrangements for the event to be covered if you are unable to complete the contract, or would the client be responsible for this. Ensuring there is a process and confirm who is responsible for supplying someone to complete the work is another essential you need to confirm on any type of freelance contract


What happens if there is an disaster or emergency that makes the contract invalid , i.e for recent example the covid pandemic, make sure you understand  how this financially affects your contract and if the contract would be terminated, or would you be liable for any payments to the client.


Are there any data implications you need to be aware of, how you will handle any data for the event and what is expected of you for this from the clients point of view, since GDPR was introduced companies need to show how they handle data and you as a freelancer will also need to be able to show how you handle data.


Does the contract look agreeable to you, if not don’t be afraid to make changes or request changes, this could be a big part of your income so you need to make sure the terms work for you, and the client.


You are not expected to be an expect in legal contracts but it is good to have an understanding of what they mean as this your income at stake, there are legal advisors, some free who can give you advise on certain areas of contracts if required so don’t feel like you have to know everything, if there are any terms that seems confusing or not what you expected it is always good practice to consult an expert.