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Freelancer partnerships

resultsassoc
Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
1 of 12

On another board, where I am also both a provider and a client, I was awarded a project yesterday for myself and my default graphic designer. I'm editing, adding to, and doing a light rewrite on a short business book; she's finding the appropriate graphics, and formatting it for print publication. We'll split the net 50-50, because neither of us could have done the full job without the other

 

I do this regularly with my providers. UW has a private message facility among freelancers. Does anybody else on UW do this? The job then has a single neck for the client to reach out and strangle, and UW gets the same tax for the same work. If this would violate ToS on UW, because I'm not hiring another freelancer as a subcontractor, then UW might examine whether being able to tax the same work twice (client to me, me to the freelancer) is worth the cost in potential client satisfaction.

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 12

Hi Bill,

 

It sounds like you're transitioning part of the contract you're were awarded to a different freelancer. Note that in order to be in line with Upwork ToS, the client must be aware and give permission to transition their contract to a different party.

 

If they aren't notified, this is a serious violation of Upwork ToS. Please follow up with your client/s asap to get their permission, in order to avoid unnecessary action being taken on your account as per our ToS. Feel free to follow up with additional information or questions.

Untitled
resultsassoc
Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
3 of 12

You must have missed the part about the contract not being a UW contract. It is on another board. The response identified both of us, both profiles were made available to the client, and the exploratory call included both of us plus the client.

 

When I have used people other than myself for a project, I have always followed professional standards, which include identifying all delivery and support people, and giving the client veto over who has access to client information and works on her project. Those are the standards in my industry, at least.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 12


 Upwork has no "message other freelancers" facility (other than in the forum)

 

What you describe is how an Upwork agency would operate and there would not be any "double fee" as the client pays the agency and the agency owner pays the team (outside Upwork).

 

Subcontracting is only allowed on fixed price contracts, never (even with the client's permission) on hourly ones.

 

 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
5 of 12

You may be able to subcontract some of your work under a fixed price contract (with or without notifying the client). However, the official interpretation of the TOS is that notification must be given. So, even if the wording of the TOS permits you to distribute the work as you see fit, you may run into trouble. While the decision may be legally sound, it would not prevent you from being banned from the platform should someone decide to question your practices. 

 

It sounds like you are communicating your intent with the client though. So you would bid a fixed price for the work, notify the client that you and your designer will work together and that would be the end of it. (Unless I am missing something.) Only if each freelancer was to be paid separately (or by the hour) would you need to establish an agency. 

 

But again, when it comes to what you can and cannot do, perception is sometimes more important than reality.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 12

@Tonya P wrote:

You may be able to subcontract some of your work under a fixed price contract (with or without notifying the client).


 You can not subcontract even a fixed rate contract without a client's knowledge and consent. Well, you can but it would be a violation of the terms of service.

 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
7 of 12

@Petra R wrote:

@Tonya P wrote:

You may be able to subcontract some of your work under a fixed price contract (with or without notifying the client).


 You can not subcontract even a fixed rate contract without a client's knowledge and consent. Well, you can but it would be a violation of the terms of service.

 


 I don't believe this statement accurately reflect the language of the TOS.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 12

 


@Tonya P wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

@Tonya P wrote:

You may be able to subcontract some of your work under a fixed price contract (with or without notifying the client).


 You can not subcontract even a fixed rate contract without a client's knowledge and consent. Well, you can but it would be a violation of the terms of service.

 


 I don't believe this statement accurately reflect the language of the TOS.


 It certainly used to but I see what you mean...

 

I just did a quick search and the above stance was confirmed by moderators many times.

It's not that long ago that all subcontracting was forbidden...

 

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
9 of 12

@Tonya P wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

@Tonya P wrote:

You may be able to subcontract some of your work under a fixed price contract (with or without notifying the client).


 You can not subcontract even a fixed rate contract without a client's knowledge and consent. Well, you can but it would be a violation of the terms of service.

 


 I don't believe this statement accurately reflect the language of the TOS.


Tonya is correct. Section 8.2 (RESPONSIBILITY FOR EMPLOYEES AND SUBCONTRACTORS, INCLUDING AGENCY MEMBERS) of the ToS says nothing about client consent to subcontracting on fixed-price contracts.

 

For hourly contracts, it says, "To ensure accurate billing, work billed for Hourly Contracts under a Freelancer’s Account must be performed by the Freelancer that has the Account."

 

Subcontracting is not addressed otherwise in the ToS except in defining how agencies work.

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
10 of 12

@Bill H wrote:

On another board, where I am also both a provider and a client, I was awarded a project yesterday for myself and my default graphic designer. I'm editing, adding to, and doing a light rewrite on a short business book; she's finding the appropriate graphics, and formatting it for print publication. We'll split the net 50-50, because neither of us could have done the full job without the other

 

I do this regularly with my providers. UW has a private message facility among freelancers. Does anybody else on UW do this? The job then has a single neck for the client to reach out and strangle, and UW gets the same tax for the same work. If this would violate ToS on UW, because I'm not hiring another freelancer as a subcontractor, then UW might examine whether being able to tax the same work twice (client to me, me to the freelancer) is worth the cost in potential client satisfaction.


... ummm, Upwork isn't a government. Fees aren't taxes.

 

Also, seriously, dude. Please actually read the Terms of Service.

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