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Freelancer contract with upwork

Hi all,


   As my last post has gone unanswered by Upwork, but has been buried deep in another thread of posts they would like to ignore, I thought I would ask another question.


As freelancers we clearly have a contract between us and Upwork. To the best of my understanding this lays out the terms such as us not moving clients off the platform, fee structures, ect. Ect.


I'd like to know the legalities of changing said contract and how that impacts my rights? 


Obviously this has to do with upwork deciding to double the 5% commission on long term/large clients. 


Specifically I would like to know, hopefully from UPWORK, at the end of 2023, when you double the fees I currently pay every single week, will I be allowed to move those clients off the platform without penalty? 


I'm all for change, and improvements, but not when that means changing current existing agreements to favour just one side of the party.


Hopefully this will warrant a reply of its own rather than being buried in the abyss of unhappy freelancer posts.




Community Member

Almost all of my current contracts are 5%. They reminded me in one email how ridiculously one-sided this is. I remember when they changed from the 10% flat to the crazy tier, doubling our rates back then too. I changed my whole approach to picking and keeping clients because of it. I am not paying double after tens of thousands of dollars in sales and years of partnership. I paid that 20% they forced on me for these clients and did my 10k in work with each, my rate should stay as is. This is some BS!

Community Member

Hopefully, someone replies to answer your question, as I felt the same way about us increasing the 5% commission on long-term/large clients. 


Community Member

Hi Jonathan,

Please, refer to the section 15.2 of the User Agreement for more information about this.

For more information about converting your contracts to move outside of Upwork, please refer to this article and the section 7.3 of the User Agreement. Those terms and processes will continue to apply.

~ Valeria

Thank you Valeria,


Having read 7.2 could you please clarify, it states that if you have worked with your client for 2 years then there is just a nominal $1 fee, which obviously sounds fine, but it then goes on to say that no conversion fee shall be less than $1000. 


Could you please confirm if $1 is all that needs to be paid for a client I have had for a period over two years? 


Many thanks


That's correct, relationships that have been maintained for at least two years on the platform may be converted for a fee of $1 plus any applicable taxes. 

~ Valeria

If that is the case, why would we stay? Is there a specific way to do this? I am with the author of this thread, I am more than happy to pull my clients off that I've had for years...

Thank you Valeria, that is reassuring to know. 


Lastley, could you please confirm if, once these steps have been taken to move off platform, am i correct in thinking we could then move to the 'any hire' provision and pay 0% fees whilst maintaining the same messaging and payment facilities we currently have? (I am aware we would loose payment protection, but as these are long standing clients this is not an issue).


many thanks


Any Hire can be used if the client found you independently outside Upwork. This is not the case if you have worked with them on Upwork.

Yes, thank you, i'm aware how it is advertised, I had just hoped that rather than push freelancers and clients completely off the site that they might allow them to stay using this - clearly not (which should have been obvious as they would rather have 0% than 5%)

Hi Jonathan, 

As Sophie noted, generally Any Hire is for talent the client found on their own, outside of Upwork.
You can learn more about the proper use for Any Hire in this help article. 

~ Valeria

Ok thank you,


Then I guess the only move is to leave platform altogether and just use Upwork for new low value clients!


Its a real shame, as the overall system has been very useful for tracking time/messaging/billing and I am happy to pay the 5% fee that was agreed when my client contracts were set, but to double the fees like that on existing contracts is ridiculous, i'm beginning to think Upwork has merged with a certain $5 platform that only look at small jobs!


$1000 if you want to do it before 2 years reached.

If you read the sentence until the end, It says that no conversion fee less than $1,000...   unless Client and Freelancer have had an Upwork Relationship for at least two (2) years.

Community Member

I've just seen something suggesting the client may be able to pay a $1 fee to move off platform. If this is the case then I will happily pay for them and move my work off platform. 

However I would like some clarification from Upwork about this, and any other options that may be available.

Community Member

IMO this whole thing is a completely unreasonable business move. Why would Upwork want to give up some of the most valuable contracts?


I'll soon reach the two-year threshold with my best client ever. I never thought I would even think of leaving the platform - maybe because I'm lazy, and I got used to paying that 5% (from a psychological PoV, that's not much, but really, it's an unnecessary expense), but now that you decided to take twice that amount, you made me rethink my options.


I hope the decision-makers will be sensible enough to only apply the new scale to new contracts that start at 10%. That would be the only reasonable solution for this situation.

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