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Four ways to get a contract template

Creative freelances don’t have time to be dealing with contracts every day. That’s why it is important that they create contract templates for their most common needs.

In this post, we’ll look at four ways to do that.

1. Write Your Own

This is actually one of the best ways for a freelancer to create their contract templates. When you write your own, you have ultimate control over the content and formatting and you can make sure all the terms which are important to you are present.

Of course, one significant downside to writing your own is that you are likely to leave things out. Another risk is that you might include the right things, but you may not provide enough detail to sufficiently reduce your risk. Moreover, contract drafting is a very unique style of writing and, while plain English is great, you are still likely to make mistakes in the language if you are not accustomed to drafting contracts.

2. Use a Third-Party Template

Using a well-drafted template from a third party is a great alternative to writing your own freelance contract templates. This is because the template (if it is well-drafted) will cover the important things and all you need to do is fill in the blanks.

The greatest risk with using a contract template is making sure the contract is reliable. Freelancers really need to research the source of the template they are using. If it is from a trade association, it may be good. But if it is just a free online download, remember you get what you pay for. And related, you should avoid using a client agreement one of your large clients gave you as your standard template because it is likely one-sided in favor of the client.

3. Use a Platform

More and more online platforms are arising on the internet that offer all kinds of ways to create and sign your contracts.

We may be a bit biased, but we think Contract Canvas is mighty fine! Create your first contract for free »

With a platform like Contract Canvas, you get the benefits of a pre-drafted template, but with the flexibility to add, remove, or change provisions as needed using language that is pre-populated by the platform. And with Contract Canvas, you can even send it to you client for digital signatures and manage your contracts in your dashboard.

4. Hire a Lawyer

When a creative professional wants to reduce their risk as much as possible, they should consider hiring a lawyer because he or she can create the most customized contract template that is just right for your specific project. While some lawyers don’t like the idea of creating templates for clients, more and more are opening to the concept.

There are obviously some downsides to lawyers too. Some of  them can be hard to work with, they may take a long time, you may pay a lot for the service and, in the end, you may end up with a document you don’t really understand.

So as with all things, you have to evaluate those tradeoffs and also the risk involved in your project.

The Creators Guide to Client Agreements

The Creator's Guide to Client Agreements

Download this free 22-page guide to learn everything you need to know about client agreements. We dive into the most common client agreement terms, how to review and negotiate contracts, and more.

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