Direct Contracts now live for all freelancers


To help grow and support your freelance business on and off Upwork, we are releasing Direct Contracts to all Upwork freelancers today. With this new release, we have also expanded the functionality to now include multiple milestones. 


Direct Contracts allows you to enter into fixed-price contracts with non-Upwork clients, offering access to Upwork's safety and security features with greater flexibility for your business. Freelancers can access their Direct Contracts by clicking on the new paper airplane icon next to notifications or directly here.


Direct Contract Icon.png


Here’s how it works: 


On the Direct Contracts page, freelancers will see the option to start a new Direct Contract and a list of all existing Direct Contracts along with the status of that contract.


The steps to start a new Direct Contract are very simple:


1. Enter your client’s details

1. Create.png


2. Add either a single amount or create milestones with each amount

MM - Collapsed.png


3. Review and send the contract

3. Review.png


4. An email is sent to your client to begin

4. Confirmation.png



Your client will receive an email notifying them of your detailed proposal, along with some guidance on how the product works. 


Just like your other fixed-price contracts on Upwork, your client deposits project funds in escrow before the contract starts. You will see the status of the milestone listed below each one, so you will know when to begin working. When you’ve completed the contract or each milestone, you’ll request payment from your client. And with Direct Contracts, once they’ve accepted your request, the funds are released to you immediately, with no security period.


5. - Active - m1.png


As a freelancer, you’ll pay a processing fee of 3.4% of the total contract amount, but you won’t pay any freelancer service fees to Upwork. It’s easy for your clients because they won’t have to create an Upwork account.  And with payment protection and dispute assistance, you can work confidently with your clients who are not on Upwork. 


Let us know if you have any questions.


Community Guru

I was just about to ask what's the deal with the paper plane, lol

Community Guru

Just found something new here which is "Direct Contracts"


Can anyone please share a little bit more details about it? Thanks in advance.

Active Member

I found out a new feature called direct contract

so I am asking if the direct contract jobs will improve my profile.

Community Guru

Amr N wrote:

I found out a new feature called direct contreact

so I am asking if the direct contract jobs will enhance my profile.

No. Read here

Community Guru

Rafsun S wrote:

just found something new here which is "Direct Contract"


Can anyone please share a little bit more details about it? Thanks in advance.

Read here

Community Guru

Thank you! Will read this now! 

Community Guru

How will you handle chargebacks, since there is no client account to delete because of the chargeback.

Active Member

Hi Abinadab,


Thanks for your question!  We've put a process in place to allow for us to handle chargebacks in these specific instances.  No need to do anything new on your end!

Ace Contributor

Hi there! I have a question regarding the new direct contract feature. How does the feedback system work? Do you get rated and is there an option to leave and receive feedback that affects your JSS?

Community Leader

This is answered in the FAQs.