Note: You’ll receive a version of these terms in your proposal before we start working together. Bear in mind the terms below are general, and they might change a little based on the nature of your project and any agreements we make.
I pride myself on being helpful and flexible, but it’s a good idea for us to have an agreement in place so we both know what to expect. I believe agreements like this should be easy to understand, so I’ve made sure this one uses clear language.
Having said that, if anything is unclear, please ask.
What do we both agree to do?
As my client, you agree:
- You have the power to enter into this contract on behalf of your organisation.
- To provide me with everything I need to complete the project, when I need it.
- To review my work, provide feedback and sign-off within agreed timescales.
- To stick to the payment schedule we’ve agreed to.
- Any and all materials provided are legal and accurate.
As the writer, I agree:
- I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me.
- I will carry this service out in a professional manner.
- I will respect the confidentiality of any information you give me.
The service I provide to you
- I will create the brief that we’ve agreed upon.
- I will deliver the text as a Microsoft Word document.
- If your project involves complex web pages, I’ll try to be as clear as possible about where text should sit on a page.
Changes and revisions
Most clients require me to make some changes to the work I do for them. That’s fine. However, I do have to limit the time I spend rewriting and editing. This agreement therefore includes:
- Initial delivery of a complete copy document.
- Two subsequent rounds of changes, if required.
From the day you receive the first draft, you have 14 days to submit any revisions you’d like me to make.
If I’ve received no feedback after 14 days, I’ll assume you have no revisions to make and will ask you to formally sign off on the project.
Once we’ve agreed on what the project involves, I’ll send over a document that outlines the assignment details. Make sure you are completely happy with the work described. The assignment details may not be changed once this agreement is in place and any edits to the brief must take place within the scope of what’s described there.
The reason for this is that changing the assignment details or project scope can create lots of extra work for me, particularly if I’ve already spent time on the project.
If you do decide to add any ideas or elements to the assignment details or brief, I reserve the right to send you a renewed quote based on these additional project requirements.
The main circumstances in which this situation is likely to occur are if you, for example:
- Decide to redesign the structure of your website or the layout of the pages themselves. Maybe you change the site map or add extra pages.
- Substantially alter the positioning, features or selling points of the products or services the text describes.
It’s best for both of us if I don’t start work until these items have been agreed.
Copyright and other details
Once I have received the full and final payment, as described in our agreement, copyright of the work I produce is automatically assigned to you. You can then use the work however you wish.
However, until final payment is received, copyright of the work remains with me.
I like to share my work, so I reserve the right to use any part of what I produce for self-promotional interests. (Links and such may help your Google ranking a bit, so there’s something in this for you too.)
Unless we’ve agreed on non-disclosure, I’ll usually add your company logo to my website and portfolio.
Once I’ve completed your work, I’ll also ask for a testimonial. Your review of my service is extremely important, as it helps me build trust with people who don’t yet know me. I’d really appreciate your help with this.
I believe in hitting deadlines, but I can only do this with your help. So, I can’t be responsible for a missed deadline if you have been late with a down payment, slow to supply materials or not provided feedback to agreed timescales.
I also can’t be responsible for deadlines missed due to circumstances completely beyond my control, like family emergencies, floods, war, acts of God and so on.
Further changes will take extra time. We can agree deadlines for those together, but I’ll do everything I can to meet your needs.
Payment and invoicing
To get your project onto my calendar (whether I’m starting it tomorrow, in two weeks or in five weeks), you’ll need to either:
- Pay the full amount in advance if the cost of your project is under £400.
- Pay a 50% deposit if the cost is above £400. In this case, we’ll set up a payment plan for the remaining balance.
If you’d like to hire me for one or more days, I require a 50% deposit.
We’ll set up a payment plan for the remaining balance. I require payment 7 days after you’ve received this invoice. I will not reserve these days or start work until I receive this payment.
For retainer clients who would like to hire me on a monthly basis, I require full payment in advance every month. I will not reserve these days or start work until I receive this payment.
Meetings and phone calls
Your invoice will state whether the quoted rate is inclusive of phone/video calls for project briefing and liaison.
I charge my hourly rate for meetings.
These costs will be stated clearly on your final invoice.
If you require me to travel, you must incur the cost of my travel expenses.
I also charge a discounted hourly rate for travel time, as well as charging my hourly rate for the meeting itself.
This is because the time I spend travelling also counts as my working hours.
We’ll arrange this in advance or, depending on the cost, add these expenses to your invoice later.
These costs will be stated clearly on your final invoice.
Late payment and fees
I require invoices to be paid within 15 days of you receiving the invoice. There is a £40 late fee for late payments.
Any payment that is more than 30 days overdue will be referred to a debt collection agency.
My preferred method of payment is bank transfer, though I do accept payment through credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
Any details you need will be on your invoice.
I charge 25% of the full fee for projects that require me to work to an urgent deadline. Of course, this rush fee is optional. If you’d rather not pay it, we can choose a deadline that gives me a little more time to work on your project.
Rolling hours for retainer agreements
When you sign a retainer agreement, you’re paying to reserve regular space on my calendar.
As long you’ve paid for it, your slot will be reserved even if you choose not to use it that month. As such, projects and hours cannot be rolled over into the following month.
If you miss your regular slot or fail to send me the required brief within the agreed time period (causing January’s work to enter the month of February for example), I am under no obligation to complete the missing work and you should assume that I’m unable to.
Retainer payments are non-refundable.
Cancelling our project
If you wish to cancel this service agreement, I will retain any deposit and you may be required to make an additional payment to cover any work I’ve already done.
This is to account for the work and opportunities I was unable to accept whilst working on your project.
This fee will be based on the percentage of the project completed.
You don’t have to pay for any work not completed.
Cancelling our retainer contract
If you want to cancel a retainer contract, you’ll provide one full month’s notice, and I’ll provide that last month of work.
If I cancel our contract, I’ll provide one full month’s notice. I’ll also complete that final month of work, providing I have been paid in full.
I’ll do my best to ensure all facts and statements in my work are true and that it doesn’t infringe upon any copyright or other right of a third party.
However, I can’t be liable to you, or any third party, for damages, including lost profits, lost savings, complaints, claims, litigation or other incidental, consequential or special damages which arise regarding this assignment.
If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
You cannot transfer this contract to anyone else without my permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious, and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of English courts.
Please note: All proposals are valid for 30 days after receipt and may be subject to change after this time period.
The term ‘retainer’ refers to a client who has hired me on a monthly basis.
The term ‘flat-rate project’ or ‘flat-rate order’ refers to a project with a fixed price.