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I am new and I have questions for my work

Active Member
Maria Antonieta V Member Since: Sep 16, 2016
1 of 13

I am new in Upwork.

My name is Mary and I am a chemist formulator in Mexico.

In Upwork I understand budget is free when the work is finished and if the client like it.

The question is:

Can the client free the 100% of the budget BEFORE he can see the formula?

If the client see the formula then he will have all project and it is my idea.

I am a little confused how budget works and possibilities.

Thank you for your help.




Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 13

The "budget" is what the client says is the amount they have in mind for the work when they post the job.


You are free to bid higher or lower.


Once you are officially hired, (and ONLY then) and have an active contract in the "My Jobs" section you can see the amount agreed.


Payment depends on the contract type. If you have an hourly contract you track your time and are paid, as the name suggests, at your hourly rate for the hours you have worked.


If the contract is fixed rate you also see it in the "My Jobs" page.


You should make sure that it says "funded" to the full amount of the milestone. This means the client has already paid and the money is held in Escrow. Do NOT do any work unless you see the agreed amount fully funded on "My Jobs"


You can then submit your work and click on "submit work / request payment.


The client then reviews your work and either approves payment, or requests changes.


If the client does nothing you are automatically paid 14 days later.


If you go to the "My Jobs" page and there is nothing there, you were not hired, don't have a contract, should not do any work and certainly not send any work to the client.


The "My Jobs" page looks a bit like this when you have contracts:


my jobs.jpg

View solution in original post

Active Member
Maria Antonieta V Member Since: Sep 16, 2016
3 of 13

Dear Petra

Thank you for your information!!

Very useful to me!

Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
4 of 13

Maria A. V. wrote: Can the client free the 100% of the budget BEFORE he can see the formula?


Is this a tricky situation or what!


I don't really know what answer one can provide without being biased either towards the client or towards the contractor. Looks like an egg/chicken situation. However, this is what I'd do in your case:


  • Charge a decent fee (no concessions)
  • Ask for the contract amount to be put in escrow in total (as always)
  • Once I've completed the job, tell the client so and ask that he/she releases half of the money before having access to the chemical formular. Of course, this, with the promise to review any part of the work the client would like worked on. 
  • This means the client will be in possession of your work at 50% pay, and once he/she has certified the work fine, he/she can release the remaining half. 

I've just looked at a way to distribute the risk until you have worked long enough with the client to trust them, and to win their trust.


Active Member
Maria Antonieta V Member Since: Sep 16, 2016
5 of 13


I cant show a formula only for 50% of payment, and the rest only if the client "want to pay".

Formulas has secrets and original ideas, and people can take them.

Also about your comment if I am "tricky" I am only protecting my work and I am in my rights because in a formula I put all of my experiences (years), my mind, my passion, my soul, and my knowledges. They arent only "simple" formulas.

They arent kitchen recipes.

Anyway thank you for response my question.

Best regards from Mexico.





Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
6 of 13

Maria: Also about your comment if I am "tricky" I am only protecting my work... 


Just seen your response. You responded a month later but I've just seen it. I'd like to make a correction, if you don't mind. When I said the situation was tricky, I didn't mean you as a person are tricky. I wouldn't even dream of insinuating it. (English can also be tricky for us to whom it as a second language). Cat Happy


Community Guru
Khurram J Member Since: Nov 24, 2015
7 of 13

I understand your cencerns Most of us providing services to our clients where we deliver first and client has full opportunity to just run away with our work and most of the time we have no way to control it, However we can go through client history to check if he has good history working with freelancers if so then you can trust that client i.e he will pay you even after having your formula.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 13


Your situation is somewhat unusual, as most freelancers working through Upwork don't provide chemical formulations.


I'll tell you what I do. But this might be the opposite of the approach you're thinking of, and it might be something which won't work for the type of service you're providing or the type of client you're working with:


I provide complete access to all the work that I do from the very beginning of the project, even before the clients pay me anything. For example, if I'm working on a fixed-price project, then the client is able to view and download my work from the time the hire me until the time I officially "submit" it to them.


Theoretically they could walk away with the project at any time and try to not pay me. In practice, this never happens. The clients value my services and would never do anything to risk making me decide to not work with them any more.


Also, I never do any work unless the project I'm working on is fully funded via Upwork's fixed-price escrow. In practice, it is not so simple a matter for clients to refuse to pay, even if they wanted to.


It is possible for freelancers to request that clients make an "up-front" payment and release funds before any work has actually been done, or before the work has been delivered. Generally I advise clients to NOT do that. Maybe your situation is an exception.

Active Member
Maria Antonieta V Member Since: Sep 16, 2016
9 of 13


In Mexico I had hard experiencie with clients steal list ingredients and formulas and then they run to others contract manufactrurers to see who can make "more cheap" production.

In Mexico is a great market of copies and more. In this year 7 products of my laboratory was copied by other people.

I developed "green" formulas, and people is interesting, because you dont need many hard chemicals for this kind of formulations. 

Maybe I am a selfish, but I am tired of some kind of "smart" people takes work and ideas to help their bussiness without payment to me.

I agree with you and I think working with a chemist formulator is a different thing.

Thank you for your comments.












Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
10 of 13

> Can the client free the 100% of the budget BEFORE he can see the formula?


Yes, the money can be released at the start of the project, part way through (immediately before you submit the work, for example), or once work is completed and sent to the client. It's up to you to agree with the client what's acceptable.


I think it's less unusual than it might appear from reading the forums. Currently, I'm working on a project with numerous small milestones and each has been funded and released before I've delivered the work - the client preferred to work this way. Some clients have released funds early because they've been aware of the hold Upwork places on money and want to speed up how quickly it gets to me.