Details to define before starting a Contractor Agreement

Hiring a single professional is usually cheaper than an agency and it gives you better connection with the creatives, without having to deal with an advertising broker. The downside is that you need to carefully set some details in order to save your time, your money and your mental health.

Say after me: “The contract is my friend”

It’s gonna be your mantra the next time you need to make one.

Assumere un singolo professionista è solitamente più economico rispetto a un’agenzia e ti dà un controllo immediato su chi farà la creatività. Lo svantaggio è che devi fare la massima attenzione alle clausole e ai dettagli di contratto al fine di risparmiare tempo, denaro e salute mentale.

Ripeti dopo di me: “Il contratto è mio amico”

Fanne il tuo mantra, almeno la prossima volta che ne dovrai scrivere uno.

No matter if you are the client or the service provider. Good contracts are friend with both parties. The secret is looking at the agreement as a planning tool: a set of guidelines making clear who, what, how and when should things be performed. You know that this is a king rule as: every good planning will save your time..

When should I take care of the contract?

After having defined the whole brief documents (the result of your first meetings with the clients that let you understand what the project is about, the goals, the target, the budget…). For sure before starting the actual project.

What should I write on it?

The following are a bunch of suggestions. The following points don’t represent a comprehensive Service Agreement.

Copyright Who is the detainer of the intellectual property? Usually it belongs to the contractors/creative, but there are many cases in which the creator gives all the rights to the clients. Yes, the price should change in this case based on the extensions of those rights in time and usage.

Timing Mostly important for the clients. When do you want things done? And, by the way, it is also important for the contractor who usually is in charge with different open windows. You wanna reduce them in order to have them under control.

Taxes In US a contractor should take into consideration that he/she eventually pay Medicare + Social Security taxes (instead the employer usually pays half of the employee’s taxes, but again it has to be clear on the agreement). Out of US any self employed should always be aware of the due amount of taxes in the relevant jurisdiction. Being Italian we know enough how difficult can be dealing with taxation when you are a start up.

When the creative work is done and approved?

This is the number one saving time clausola in a contract. The contractor has no boss, so the approval of the products comes directly from the client. But the client is not a creative and doesn’t have time for multiple reviews. And since the client is paying he/she can take the review part forever, in an unpleasant infinite loop. That is very risky! After a long period of reviews everyone loose:

-the client is not happy

-the contractor looses the grip on the project and he/she ends up with the only willing to close that infinite sequela of emails

-the project is often a sub kind of Frankestein made out of pieces of the the creatives mind, horribly fused with the piece of the clients contraists.

The agreement should make clear how the drafts will be presented and how many review are accepted.

People involved and materials

Sometimes is useful to make clear what the creative need in order to work and how should be availble to provide those materials. Without the specific ingredients may be difficult to cook.

What else? For sure we forgot some important details that you found out of your experience. Share with us and add your comment!

About Elisa Vita

"Vita" in Italian means “life”. Elisa’s visual creations just express a strong vitality and no compromises. Elisa graduated from Art College. She determined the total amount of hours spent while graduating: 5,800 hours during which she was drawing, designing, modeling with a pencil in her hand. After college she enrolled at the Faculty of Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Follow Kamigami on Google+ for getting weekly visual inspiration! Join the page and share your visual inspiration on our wall!