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Client wants me to sign a non-circumvent before interviewing or starting the contract

micahsiva
Active Member
Micah S Member Since: Jun 21, 2018
1 of 5

I was invited to submit a proposal, and it was well received by the potential client.

 

They responded that they would like to interview me via video call, but before doing so, they want me to sign a 5-year non-circumvent contract. Given that I don't know the full details, if we are a mutual fit, or the length and full scope of the project, I'm wary of doing so. Additionally, I work with multiple clients in the same industry, and don't want a pre-interview contract to become an issue down the line. I can also see that I am 1/3 freelancers being interviewed - does anyone have any insight on this?

 

Thanks!

florydev
Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
2 of 5

I have signed many NDA's before getting the details of a project.  My criteria for doing so are:

 

1) I can read it and understand it.  If it gets complicated enough that I can't understand it I consider engaging a lawyer. Rarely would I consider a project on Upwork worth engaging a lawyer.

 

2) It is actually an NDA, a lot of these agreements are hand spun by crapping things together off the Internet and sometimes, either purposefully or no, the agreements also include provisions that are more like a non-compete or something to retain my exclusivity.  Those I will not sign.  I usually just turn down the project without explaining why.

 

It is not uncommon for clients to want to protect their ideas and for that I cannot blame them but I am not something to be tied down.  

 

 

wescowley
Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
3 of 5

If that in any way limits your ability to work with other clients, I'd say "no, thanks" and walk away.

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 5

Micah S wrote:

I was invited to submit a proposal, and it was well received by the potential client.

 

They responded that they would like to interview me via video call, but before doing so, they want me to sign a 5-year non-circumvent contract. Given that I don't know the full details, if we are a mutual fit, or the length and full scope of the project, I'm wary of doing so. Additionally, I work with multiple clients in the same industry, and don't want a pre-interview contract to become an issue down the line. I can also see that I am 1/3 freelancers being interviewed - does anyone have any insight on this?

 

Thanks!


I would not sign a 5-year non-circumvention unless the client was paying me (in advance) the value of 5 years' of my time. 

burke_jim
Active Member
Jim B Member Since: Jun 9, 2021
5 of 5

I think what your Upwork client is asking is that you agree not to circumvent them by establishing a work arrangement with their client. They want to remain the middle person and continue to get paid by their client for the work you do! Not sure I'd agree to that.

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