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  1. #1
    Regular Coder
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    Help with contract

    Hi,

    After recently getting stiffed, I decided it was high time I develop a contract so this doesn't happen again.

    Anyways, now I'd like to develop a contract to protect myself from scenario's like this - except I'm not sure where to start. I borrowed a book from my local library concerning e-Policies, but it was very business orientated and not for a private individual and I didn't find it very useful.

    Are there any tips, examples or sites you could point me to? I did a quick search but I didn't come up with much, only an extremely basic outline consisting of:

    Part I: Time
    Part II: Payment
    Part III: Anything extra

    Thanks
    Last edited by fl00d; 07-03-2008 at 06:47 AM.

  • #2
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    Look into code escrow services, the usually provide all the contractual safeguards you need.

  • #3
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    Always require a certain percentage (I do around 30% usually) of the estimated costs up front. That alone makes a huge difference. When clients haven't spent any money, its easier for them to shrug you off. Not to say it still doesn't happen but at least you aren't completely screwed over.

    Plus if they have to invest money up front, it helps ensure they are serious and are usually more interested.
    OracleGuy

  • #4
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    Yeah I just learned that lesson the hard way.

    From now on I'm going to require a contract to be signed (have to come up with one first though) and a deposit before I begin any work.

    Another question, how do you get a contract signed over the internet? Say I'm working with someone from Australia - I'm in Canada - it's not exactly plausible for me to meet this person, shake their hand and say 'sign this, please'. Or would I mail it or something? I can't actually think of a method of signing an e-contract without the use of a tablet. How does that work?

  • #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fl00d View Post
    Another question, how do you get a contract signed over the internet? Say I'm working with someone from Australia - I'm in Canada - it's not exactly plausible for me to meet this person, shake their hand and say 'sign this, please'. Or would I mail it or something? I can't actually think of a method of signing an e-contract without the use of a tablet. How does that work?
    Get them to print it out, sign it then either:

    • Scan it in then email it to you
    • Fax it to you
    • Send it to you via mail

  • #6
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    That's a good idea, but I think you'll find that doing contracts internationally is almost impossible to enforce.

    Usually what I do depends on the size of the contract. If it's a small project (under say 50 hours or so) I've got a simple 1 page agreement that says I agree to work for $x / hour and the client agrees to pay 10 - 20 hours up front. Then I add the line "Payment of a deposit shall be considered agreement to the terms of this document."

    It's probably not legal, but the reality is I have something to bring to court if I ever have a problem.

    Larger projects, 50 - 250 hours, I have a boilerplate contract (about 6 pages) I found on the web. Just search for "boilerplate web contract" and you'll find a few. I think I paid about $50 for it. Then you just add in your name, the clients name and create an "Addendum A" for the requirements and get a sig faxed or mailed back.

    Projects over 250 hours, hire a lawyer.

    Those are my guidelines, your mileage may vary

    Bottom line though, you need to have several contracts depending on the size of the project. If you hit a client with 5 hours of design work with a 30 page contract, they'll walk.

  • #7
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    I just bought this book "How to Start a Home-Based Web Design Business" by Jim Smith and in the back he gives a full contract that I'm using to help create mine. It was like $20 and I bought it at Borders. I hope this helps!

    Also, I was thinking too how could an e-client sign a contract. I have an ordering form on my site and I state that upon placing an order if when they accepts the terms and stuff. I suppose I would only inforce printing and mailing a signed contract for bigger projects.


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