Direct Contracts now live for all freelancers

lenaellis
Moderator

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.

 

405 Comments
djondinium
Community Manager

Hi Aitzaz,

 

We'll have one of our agents reach to your client directly to assist them further with the contract.

 

Thank you.

aitzaz_nasir
Frequent Visitor

Hello Aleksandar D,

 

Thanks for your response. I want to ask something that how long will he take to reach my client. 

 

Best,

Aitzaz **Edited for Community Guidelines**

djondinium
Community Manager

Hi Aitzaz,

 

Our team already reached out to your client. If there's anything else you need help with, please let us know.

 

Thank you.

vonome
Frequent Visitor

Hi,

I have a client. And they have also an Upwork account, How can I add him as direct contact?
Note: I had introduced him from another platform.

andregutierrez22
Moderator

Hi Rashedul,

 

Please know that Direct Contracts cannot be used with clients who already have an account on Upwork. You can share your profile link with them so they can hire you directly.

 

be3aa5c0
Frequent Visitor

Hi, I'm trying to fund a direct contract for one of our freelancers, after introducing the code and accepting the contract (Yes, I understand and agree to the Upwork Terms of Service, including the Direct Contracts Terms and Privacy Policy) and making click in the continue button, a spinning circle appears and nothing happens after that.

 

luiggi_rosado
Moderator

Hi Jorge,

 

It sounds like you're asking about the Direct Contract feature. In general, I'd like to clarify that this feature is designed for talent to manage contracts in the Upwork platform with their clients who don’t have an Upwork account. It's not meant for managing contracts between talent and clients who both have full accounts on Upwork. We will have one of our agents reach out to you directly with more information and assistance.

machin86
Active Member

Hi,

 

Last year on the month of Sep. 2020 it was working since then till now I have requested more than 7-8 direct contract it's not working, they tried with paypal, credit/debit card but not working they said that there is an option to pay through net banking however they haven't tried that.. so most of them they pay me through paypal... but the direct contract is secure for both entity that they funded the money and release after completing the project...

Need to escelate this case to the higher authority...

 

Thank! 

machin86
Active Member

Hello,

 

I might be also be the one who raise concern since 2020 Sep but they informed me that one of your team will reach out but as according to my client they just received email how to make payment but not solving the issue which client face, for instance like most of the client aware how to make payment but the error is from upwork... they can pay through Paypal, Pioneer etc... but those payment method doesn't have services that can withdraw after completing the job so we refer the cleint to Upwork but sadly it was unsuccessful ....

marketingadvent
Active Member

Hello All,

I have contacted the client to work from the direct contract. Upwork mentioned that no fee will implement on client's end however when the client go for payment then Upwork added 3% of the total amount. Can you clear things if something happens to you?

 

Also after deducting the amount from client's end, they did not show the money in escrow.

This is ridiculous!

 

g_vasilevski
Moderator

Hi Sanjeev,

 

We will be asking clients who start new Direct Contracts to begin paying a small processing fee on the payments they make to their freelancer(s). We are currently building this option into our site, and testing it out with select Direct Contracts to start. In the future, a payment processing fee for clients will be added to all new Direct Contracts. When that occurs, we will be sure to update all communications, Help articles, etc., to share the fee amount that we decide upon. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback about all things Direct Contracts, so please feel free to share it!

 

Regarding the funds, your contract is still pending to be accepted and you can view this from your Direct contracts home page. Once it's accepted, the funds will be transferred in Escrow as well. Thank you.

marketingadvent
Active Member

This means you are adding 3% on the client-side as a processing fee. right?

 

If the client made the escrow then it should be automatically accepted as Upwork do not accept the contract without escrow.

 

Please confirm as our client is getting frustrated to use this. We tried to move them on Upwork but lot of issues occur after that.

g_vasilevski
Moderator

Hi Sanjeev,

 

One of our team members will reach out to you via ticket as soon as possible and will assist you further with your direct contract. Thank you.

marketingadvent
Active Member

please do as we are waiting since morning 

bstojadinovic
Moderator

Hi Sanjeev, 

 

A member of the team has reached out to you already. You should also be able to access the ticket directly here.

 

Thanks for your patience! 

bm_hamza
Frequent Visitor

Hi Folks,

 

I hope you all are doing great.

 

I created my profile a few days ago but still no order, I know it takes time so I planned to get my outside Upwork clients there using the Direct Contract option.

 

My Question is Can a client who comes by direct contract have the ability to give me a review?

 

I have clients outside of Upwork so I want them to hire me by this contract so that my Upwork profile gets some rating as well.

 

 

petra_r
Community Guru

Hamza J wrote:

Can a client who comes by direct contract have the ability to give me a review?


No

 


Hamza J wrote:

I have clients outside of Upwork so I want them to hire me by this contract so that my Upwork profile gets some rating as well.


Then you need to use regular contracts.

petra_r
Community Guru

Will L wrote:

...but I don't see this proviso for all project contract types.


It doesn't exist for other contract types and never did.

 

Cancelled contracts (hourly or fixed rate) don't affect the JSS unless there is poor feedback.

 

Cancelled Direct Contracts don't affect the JSS either because Direct contracts, paid or not, don't affect the JSS for better or for worse.

 

Project catalogue orders have the 24 hour "cancel without effect" and the once a month "get out of jail free" cards.

 

Those are exclusive to project catalogue contracts.

 

 

 

doncarlosone
Active Member

Can someone please help me out here.  I'm looking at a new client in South Africa and would like to set up a Direct Contract with them via Upwork (much easier as it keeps all of my earningsin a single place).  Before suggesting this to my client, I want to know if they actually can.  The documentation does not specify if South Africa is an available country, and my client would only find this out by responding to the invitiation and attempting to accept the contract.  I do not want them to see that it's not available in South Africa after I've suggested this to them.

2a05aa63
Community Guru

Charles A wrote:

Can someone please help me out here.  I'm looking at a new client in South Africa and would like to set up a Direct Contract with them via Upwork (much easier as it keeps all of my earningsin a single place).  Before suggesting this to my client, I want to know if they actually can.  The documentation does not specify if South Africa is an available country, and my client would only find this out by responding to the invitiation and attempting to accept the contract.  I do not want them to see that it's not available in South Africa after I've suggested this to them.


If they have a credit card that works worldwide/paypal it should work.

image.png

djondinium
Community Manager

Hi Charles,

 

Direct Contracts are only available to freelancers and their clients in certain countries. If you attempt to sign up and you or your client are not eligible due to the country you live in, you'll see this message: "We're sorry to inform you that Direct Contracts are currently not available in your country.".

 

Thank you.

imedch
Active Member

Hello everyone,

 

It is the first time that i am using Direct Contract, I created one with a fixed amount (obviously I am in contact with my client, outside of Upwork) and sent it to my client.

 

While following the steps in order to pay, my client gets this message:

"

Elance Limited checked if the card is valid and can be used for future payments. No money was charged

"

No further follow up after that.

Is it a verification card ? If so, how much should we wait until it gets verified !?

 

Thanks

 

 

bstojadinovic
Moderator

Hi Imed,

 

We’ll have one of our agents reach out to you via a support ticket to look into your concern and address it accordingly. 

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. 

nova1211
Frequent Visitor

Hello there,

I have sent the contract to my client to accept it and he accepted the contract last friday. Today it's 5th day and yet my contract hasn't funded in 5 days.  I have contacted some agents in customer supp but they only refer to direct contract dept and nothing else. 

djondinium
Community Manager

Hi Taimoor,

 

Please allow more time for the team to review your case and follow up on your support ticket. Once they do that, you'll be notified about it!

 

Thank you.

nova1211
Frequent Visitor

I'm contacting customer support because the process time 3/5 business days are already over. that's why i'm contacting CS.

djondinium
Community Manager

Hi Taimoor,

 

The processing time is 3-5 business days, but only 3 have passed so far as weekends are excluded so only the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of August count.

 

Thank you.

nova1211
Frequent Visitor

Okay, I got it now. 

Thank you 

 

Smiley Happy

110a36c5
Active Member

Maybe I'm nuts, but I seem to recall Upwork offering escrow services for non-Upwork jobs. I can't find anything about that after searching the site for a while. Is there such a thing? TIA.

tinker_bell3
Moderator

Hi Jimmy,

 

Upwork allows freelancers to work with clients that do not have an Upwork account through the Direct Contract feature. You get to enjoy the benefits of escrow services, simple contract management, faster payments, and dispute assistance should a problem arise. To learn more about this, please check this help article

towermutasa
Ace Contributor

Hi everyone

 

Let's say I have a client on Upwork. The client refers me to someone else seeking similar services. I understand it is against Upwork's rules to work with my new client off the platform, because we were introduced by someone I met on Upwork.

Seeing as I have no intention of paying 1000+ to work with someone who might not have even heard of Upwork in their life, and I don't want to put them through the hustle of creating an account, I thought of doing the direct contract instead.

Since direct contracts are still through Upwork, would it still be against the rules?

 

Thanks for any guidance.

luiggi_rosado
Moderator

Hi Tawanda,

 

Thanks for your question. I'd like to reiterate that it’s correct that if you're being referred by a client you met on Upwork, you'll have to work with the new client also on Upwork or opt-out. As you mentioned, you can use Direct Contract feature to work with this new client in such case as the payment would be made on Upwork. 

towermutasa
Ace Contributor

 Thanks, ~ Luiggi

0ed5e729
Active Member
I'm also facing this problem. kindly help me out.
djondinium
Community Manager

Hi Arzoo,

 

Could you please send me a private message with more information about this along with the client's name or email address so that I can check and assist you further?

Thank you.

fiona-lo
Active Member

Hi, I have recently sent a contract to a client for review.
The client seemed to have accepted the contract and funded the first milestone (with bank proof of payment). However, the contract status is still showing as 'waiting to be accepted' from my end and the client has not received any email communication.

 

Does anyone know how long it takes for the status to be updated and what is the issue here?

tinker_bell3
Moderator

Hi Fiona,

 

I can see that you already have an open ticket regarding this issue. One of our agents has updated your ticket to assist you further. You can access the ticket here

dereksey
Active Member

I Just finished a direct project and was hoping it will reflect in my JSS and job counts. But it did not.

My question is, what is the essence of the direct project if it will not reflect in my job counts, feedback and JSS?

bstojadinovic
Moderator

Hi Derek,

 

Since your client and you will only be using Upwork for payments, any Direct Contracts will not impact your Upwork reputation metrics. These contracts also will not be included in your other Upwork profile stats. You can check this help article for more information. 

 

Thank you! 

dereksey
Active Member

Well is it not possible to include some sort of direct contract reputation gains...stemming from the fact that a lot of new freelancers are not getting mainstream contracts. Direct contract gains might help new freelancers to catch up with the old freelancers. I mean you can add all the necessary checkers and trackers to make those contracts genuine.

mohammedamal
Frequent Visitor
I have a client outside of Upwork in another site but there are payment issues. Is there a way in which he can pay me the fee in upwork instead of the other site?
tinker_bell3
Moderator

Hi Mohammed,

 

You might want to consider using a Direct Contract with your client. Direct Contracts allow you to manage contracts in the Upwork platform with your clients who don’t have an Upwork account. Enjoy the benefits of escrow services, simple contract management, faster payments, and dispute assistance should a problem arise. You can read more about this feature here

sgtdeathadder
Active Member

Direct Contracts started with zero fees for the client, did this changed? my client is telling me there's a 3% fee on their end.

 

Thank you.

andregutierrez22
Moderator

Hi Romano,

 

Thanks for your question. Yes, we are asking clients who start new Direct Contracts to begin paying a small processing fee on the payments they make to their freelancer(s).

 

sgtdeathadder
Active Member

My father is sending a direct contract but it's asking the client to send an ID document, why is that? I thought direct contracts were designed to be hassle-free for the client.

 

My father doesn't speak English that's why I'm writing for him.

luiggi_rosado
Moderator

Hi Romano,

 

We occasionally request identity verification for clients, even for Direct Contracts, as we're committed to keeping Upwork a trustworthy and safe place to work. Your father's client can reach out to our support team if they need assistance or have questions.

5568115e
Frequent Visitor

I am trying to set up a contract with a client. This client has another resource who uses Upwork, so when I add the client email to the contract set up, I get: "This email address is already associated with an Upwork account."

 

What is the workaround when a client has contracts with multiple Upwork accounts?

luiggi_rosado
Moderator

Hi Patricia,

 

Just to confirm, are you referring to setting up a Direct Contract with a client? If so, please note that it's only possible to start a Direct Contract with clients that don't have an Upwork account. If your client already has an account, then they can create a job post so they can invite you to apply.

352d9372
Frequent Visitor

Does the completed jobs show in the working history if I choose direct contract non-upwork customer?

g_vasilevski
Moderator

Hi Naim,

 

Since your client and you will only be using Upwork for payments, any Direct Contracts will not impact your Upwork reputation metrics (for example your Job Success Score or Top Rated status). These contracts also will not be included in your other Upwork profile stats, such as total earnings, number of jobs, etc. Thank you.