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Is it okay if to add someone to agency if i hired him from Upwork

Hi i have an agency but i am planning to add freelancers to my agency.
is it okay to add in agency team if i have hired them previously from my client account?


Hi Shehroz,


Thank you for your message. Yes, you can add a previously hired freelancer to your agency. You can hire this freelancer again after adding them to your agency. As a side note, avoid posting jobs to recruit or hire freelancer to your agency.


Thank you,



Hello Pradeep,

I read on another post that if you hire members of your agency it can lead to your account's suspension. This is technically the same thing just that you are hiring them first. Also, you say that you can hire freelancers from your own agency. Petra says it can get your account suspended. Take a look: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Hire-a-freelancer-from-own-agency/m-p/514932


I am currently working as a Sales Agency providing access to sales teams and I am currently landing jobs through my freelancer profile. 

However, I am growing my business and would like to also grow my Agency Profile. This is a problem because the contractual relationship with my clients is done through my freelancer profile, however, I am responsible for the team and the team is working under the banner of my business. 

In this post, the moderator says it is okay to hire a member of your agency before and after you add them to the agency, however due to the non-intuitive way the relationships are laid out with Upwork Agencies this means that at the end of the relationship you would essentially be submitting a review to your agency or building up the profile of one of your members and as stated in this post: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Hire-a-freelancer-from-own-agency/m-p/514932 

I guess that the first post is wrong. If that is the case I do not understand how I am supposed to hire my agency members who by convention and common business practice should be working for me and not my client directly, through upwork. 

I like upwork because I can provide payment protection for them, take care of any legal obligations, and automate the payroll.

Therefore the two options that I have left are either hire them outside of Upwork through another service provider like Deel, hire them through another company's client account which I am sure is going to be seen as a violation of the ToS, or hire them through Upwork but then be banned from ever having them in my agency. 

Help me out, I know human systems are not perfect, but I genuinely do not want to find a workaround or violate any of the ToS. 

You may ask why don't I just have my client hire them directly? The reason is that they want to be clear of any liabilities with the TCPA and also want to be clear of having to worry about payroll and expenses and prefer to pay me a flat fee. It is just the nature of our deal, which outside of Upwork makes sense as they are hiring an agency which is me. 
You may also ask why don't I just hire them outside of Upwork? The answer is simple. That's what is going to end up happening. However, I am asking this question because I am familiar with Upwork, and if I can hire my talent right here it would be great. But then again there is the conflict of interest thing with the reviews and the confusion of the two posts so what is the correct answer? 

My current chosen solution is Deel to stay clear from any ToS violation, but yeah let me know if I can do Upwork or not.

Hi Edgardo,


Thanks for reaching out! I understand you are concerned with how working with other freelancers through an agency works on Upwork. If you create an agency, you will invite other freelancers to join your team. The following are the two types of agency relations:


Exclusive Agency Relationships

Exclusive agency members work on Upwork only as part of their agency. This is the most common type of agency relationship. Your profile and proposals will be branded with your agency to make the agency’s part in the work relationship clear to the clients. All contracts will be paid to the agency and the agency will pay you. In this relationship, you cannot submit proposals for jobs as an individual or bill clients directly. 

Non-Exclusive Agency Relationships

Non-exclusive agency members can work on Upwork independently and as part of an agency. Agency contracts will be paid to the agency. Independent contracts are paid to you.

If you wish to be treated as an agency member in search results, on your profile, and when clients reach out to you, you’ll need to set the agency as your default team in your Settings  My Teams.

Either way, you’ll have the choice every time you submit a proposal to specify if you’d be working on that project independently or as an agency member.


In terms of payments, all contracts are paid into the agency’s collective financial account balance. Therefore, as the agency owner, you will need to discuss with your agency members about how you will be sending their payments. 

To learn more about managing an agency, I highly recommend that you please read these help articles

~ Joanne
Community Member

Hey Joanne thank you for reaching out. Actually I understand how it works but perhaps my question was not clear.


I want to hire my workers through Upwork to stay legally compliant at a cost effective rate, but I don't want that to mean that down the line I cannot add them as agency team members once they have proven themselves. I am worried that adding agency members that I have previously hired from my client account will be seen as profile building. Also after adding them to my agency I am worried that I am going to have to move out of Upwork to avoid a conflict of interest. 


Do you know what a solution could be. I want to hire them through Upwork and once they upgrade their skills I want to add them to my agency as members.

Thank you for the clarification, Edgardo. As long as you've ended the contracts with the freelancers you've hired under your client profile, you can add them as agency team members. 

~ Luiggi
Community Member

Hi Shehroze, 

I am a professional data analyst, I want to join an agency.

I would be thankful if you can add me in your agency.



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