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Contracts for freelancers and independent contractors hired outside your country must have some important clauses to ensure safety for both parties is guaranteed and that terms and concepts are clear and not misunderstood.
Below are some important elements to have in those contracts:
1. Names and contact details: Make a distinction in including the business names of your company and the business of the freelancer so it is clear you are undergoing business as legal entities rather than as individuals. Be sure to also include contact numbers, email, and mailing addresses.
2. Project preview: This entails the details of the project and specifics of the job description of the independent contractor, including the length of time the project is expected to take and the hours the contractor is expected to work.
3. Project deliverables: This means defining explicitly what the freelancer is expected to produce or complete.
4. Pricing and rates: This should clearly state the type of pricing you agreed to pay and the sum thereof. Will it be hourly or at a flat rate based on when the project is completed? These factors all depend on the nature of the work being done.
5. Deadlines/timelines: Every contract must have a date when the business relationship begins and ends. While it may only sometimes be possible to have a pre-decided deadline, it is good to have a date on which you expect to end.
Be bold about being extremely detailed about penalties for missing timeframes.
6. Ownership/copyright: This determines who owns the work done, so this is very important. The common thing is that the freelancer owns the work until you pay it, but they no longer bear any rights to use or resell it afterward.
7. Dates for payments and options: Within this clause, you state the type of payment method, the timeline for that payment, and the currency of it. You may also include what would happen if payments were late.
A payment schedule or timeline should specify if you will pay 50% upfront and then the remainder afterward or in three installments. Whatever you and the freelancer agree on should be included.
8. Termination and kill fees: This clause ensures that the contractor still gets compensated should anything arise that cause the project to stop or you decide to cancel due to changing plans.
Whatever the reason that may cause the project to be terminated, be clear about the amount or rate they should be compensated.
9. Signatures: The signatures of you and the freelancer are what complete the contract, making it a binding legal document.
10. Legal terms: These are definitions of the legal terms that are important for both parties to understand their obligations.
See an example of a freelance agreement below:
This free example was downloaded from Freelancermap.
1. Names and contact details
2. Duties/services: Clear description of the type of work to be done
3. Compensation: The amount agreed upon to be paid and how often
4. Payments options.
6. Work Requirements: Tools and equipment required of the independent contractor to work remotely.
7. Work Schedule: This should outline how often the contractor is expected to work weekly/monthly with clear time slots to start and end.
8. Benefits: Perks the contractor will receive other than regular compensation.
9. Probation: Details of when a probation period will start and end to determine if the candidate should matriculate to permanent employment or continue the probation period further.
10. Termination of Employment: This clause should detail the violations that can cause an employer to terminate the contractor's employment as well as the stipulated amount of notice to be given and required notice to be provided by the contractor if they decide to quit.
12. Legal Terms.
See below an example of this type of contract:
This free example was downloaded from Signaturely.
“You should also keep these things in mind when managing and recruiting remote freelancers:
1. The cultural differences that exist between you and the people you hire. Depending on the country, things such as holidays and job titles hold different weights.
2. Research the pay rates of job roles based on each country you are hiring from.
3. Try hiring from countries where you already have people so that you can have greater synergy and manage holidays, schedules, and time-offs more easily.
4. Make sure you have an overlap period where everybody's schedule intersects; it should be a minimum of 3-4 hours.
5. Set a default time zone for your company to keep everyone in sync.”
Tailoring freelance agreements that cover all your bases can be tedious and may require you to seek legal help in drafting them.
But in the end, they are beneficial because they protect those involved by holding everyone accountable, affirm the relationship between parties as legal and binding, ensure protection, and that legal measures are taken if anybody involved violates them.