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How do I create a fixed-price contract for a freelancer?

61b63f79
Active

The freelancer wants 50% upfront and 50% on satisfactory completion of a project that involves multiple deliverables. What is the best way to create this kind of contract and how is it administered?

8 REPLIES 8
martina_plaschka
Community Guru

Don't do it. Find a freelancer who doesn't ask for upfront payment. 

I disagree. For larger, really time-consuming projects, I often ask for a portion up front as the first milestone. That way I wouldn't have put in a bunch of time only to have the client flake on me before or after the first deliverable and get nothing for it. So far, that's worked out for both me and my clients. 

re: "I disagree."

 

I don't object to you disagreeing.

And Upwork does allow for freelancers to ask for upfront payments. It's not a rule violation.

 

re: "That way I wouldn't have put in a bunch of time only to have the client flake on me before or after the first deliverable and get nothing for it."

 

Or you could use an hourly contract.

Or you could set up milestones for the earliest work. Even if they are small milestones.

 

But if what you are doing is working for you, then keep doing it.


The PROBLEM is NOT freelancers like you. The PROBLEM is this: What if a client hires a scammer instead of a freelancer like yourself.

 

It IS SAFE for clients to hire you.

But is it safe for the original poster to hire the freelancer he is talking to right now?

Yeah, all that makes sense. But after all, to at least some degree, both the client and the freelancer are trusting one another to live up to their end of the contract. Seeing that a client or a freelancer has a good history is a good indicator of whether you can trust them or not, but of course is no guarantee. And as I've said, non-manual time hourly contracts are not really an option for what I do. In the cases where I do ask for an upfront payment for staring the job, if the client passes, I almost always decline the job.

I understand what you are saying. I've never done it this way, and see no reason to, since I feel well protected by the way upwork is set to up to handle payments. 

I would worry that a client would go to the forum, ask this question, and find out that I am asking for something that is out of the norm. I would find that suspicious as a client. 

prestonhunter
Community Guru

re: "The freelancer wants 50% upfront and 50% on satisfactory completion of a project that involves multiple deliverables. What is the best way to create this kind of contract and how is it administered?"

 

I work primarily as a freelancer on Upwork.

 

I have often had clients offer to pay an upfront payment when they hire me.

I always turn them down.

I am happy to work for them using Upwork's established, intended protocols.

 

It is NOT Upwork's intention that clients pay upfront payments to freelancers.

 

Dimitri:

I strongly recommend that you do not hire a freelancer who asks for an upfront payment.

 

However, if the freelancer you are hiring is 100% reliable and honest, and if nothing happens to him, then in theory it is theoretically possible for a client to hire such a freelancer and have things work out.

prestonhunter
Community Guru

Question: As a client, what does it mean when I pay an upfront payment to a freelancer?

Answer: It means that you are ready to never get that money back, no matter what.

 

Question: If I pay an upfront payment to a freelancer, and the freelancer does not complete the project, will I get that money back?

Answer: Probably not.

 

Question: Then why pay an upfront payment to a freelancer?

Answer: If a freelancer asks for an upfront payment, it means that is what it costs to get the freelancer to start working on the project. That's it. There is no specific task that will be completed or deliverable that will be provided in association with the up front payment. Just "starting the project."

 

Question: What constitutes "starting the project"?

Answer: Simply accepting the upfront payment from you constitutes "starting the project." Once the freelancer accepts that payment from you, then the freelancer's obligation to "start the project" has been fulfilled. As far as Upwork is concerned, the freelancer doesn't owe you anything else at that point.

 

Question: Can a freelancer accept an upfront payment and then close the contract?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question: That doesn't seem fair.

Answer: Okay.

 

Question: Are there freelancers who ask for upfront payments who are completely honest, professional freelancers?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question: Are there freelancers who ask for upfront payments who are not genuine freelancers at all, but are just scammers trying to steal money from unsuspecting clients?

Answer: Yes.

tagrendy
Community Leader

You would need to create 2 milestones, 1st one for the upfront payment, 2nd for the completion. After setting up 1st milestone, fund it, release it, then fund the 2nd milestone and wait for the completion to release it. 

 

Note that if issues arise you will need to go to Arbitration to maybe get refund for the 1st milestone and arbitration costs around $300 regardless of the outcome.

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