By Janet Dodrill
One of the most important way to assure getting paid for your freelance graphic design or web design work, is to have an agreement where everything is in writing up front.
Have the agreement include things like requiring a deposit (i.e., 50%) before you begin the project, determining payment terms for the balance (i.e., within 30 days or less, or upon release of the final files), and if there will be a penalty fee if payment is not received within the designated timeframe. Will you be providing the native/original source files with the project? This should be clear to both you and the client at the beginning, and if there will be additional fees for this. Who owns the copyrights to the work? Will you request the use of samples in your portfolio? The rules may be different if you are a freelancer, than if you work as an employee of a company. Avoid charging surprise costs to your customer. Be honest in your business, and act professional. The agreement will stand as a legal contract outlining your business arrangement, and have an attorney review your agreement before you begin using it.