My freelancer has finished the project to my satisfaction and i am paying the final milestone amount, does the document become mine solely, to where only I can edit it now? Does the freelancer close out the document to where they cannot edit it any longer? Thank you!
If you hired the freelancer using an hourly contract, then the work product is 100% yours. The freelancer wouldn't have a right to withhold anything created while billing time on the contract.
But you didn't use an hourly contract.
You used a fixed-price contract.
So the deliverables are whatever you agreed to in the written task description.
The files you receive may be editable.
They may NOT be editable.
It depends on what the agreement was.
The document might be yours solely.
It might not be.
Never assume that a freelancer will terminate their access to all of the documents that you shared with them (not to be confused with "provided copy of") or that they shared with you. If the deliverables were provided to you via a "share" function of any program, then you need to export that file. If your deliverable was a website, you need to change all security information that you can. Any file that you received, via any source, needs to be scanned with anti-malware before you open it.
Do all of these and similar things not because every freelancer is unethical and want to retain the ability to blackmail you, but because it is just good operational security. You don't want to end up in situations like this: HELP! My agency has hijacked my website, defrauding my customers, ruining my business. What can I do .
What type of document and does it make any difference? I have had several clients want me to sign NDA, non-competes, etc. which don't apply. Know who you are doing business with and what their procedures and polices are? Thanks!