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* Specific contact information
When bidding on projects online most of the communication is done via email, so often times you only know the email address and person’s name! It is very important, and a means of building a positive client relationship, that you know, and list, their full contact information. This includes name, company name, address, phone, and email address.

* Job description
List the jobs to be performed and the final product to be delivered in detail. Don’t just state write an article. State the article topic, number of words, and if graphics, proofreading and revisions are included. How many revisions? How many and what type of graphics? Be as detailed as possible.  For example, you initially provide a quote to a client for research, graphics and writing, for a series of articles, but due to budget constraints the client chooses only to purchase research and writing services for one article. If you submit the article and the client says, where are the graphics, you can easily reference the contract and remind the client that while you quoted them more, they chose to purchase one article not including graphics as stated in the contract. If you have a full job description in the contract you can reference the customer to the exact section if questions arise.

* Ownership
If you sell an article to a client or publication are they buying the right to publish the article, or do they own it? If you provide pictures with an article does the publication own the graphics, or are they only allowed to use it once with the article. If a publication purchases an article, do they also have electronic rights? Normally a writer would retain rights to the artwork, allowing the client to borrow them. This should be made known in the quote, and stated in the contract. List exactly what the client is buying and has rights to. 

* Project schedule and deadline
When is the final project due? What events may push that date back? What are the targeted completion dates for each step in the process, for example when are drafts or proofs due?

* Ownership and late or no payment
When exactly does the client take ownership of goods? After you complete the job and submit it, or after they’ve paid the invoice?

* Agreed upon price
Prior to this contract you provided the client with a bid or a quote. State in the contract that the price was agreed upon followed by the same pricing information and breakdown you had in the proposal.

* Fees for additional work
Be clear about the price of additional work. If the agreement is for a 1.500 word article, but the client later needs a 2,000 word article, what is the extra charge?

* Payment terms
Let the client know the total price, payment due date (within 30 days from completion of project), retainer, discount for early payment if any and fee for late payment. You might also add the payment types you accept and what form you prefer.

* Miscellaneous
Many freelance writers not only receive a check for their work, but the publisher provides copies, at its expense, for the freelancer’s portfolio. Include this in the contract.

* Cancellation fee
If you perform your end of the contract by submitting the work, but the client cancels, don’t you still deserve to be paid for the work you performed under contract? Of course you should and you will by including a cancellation fee clause in the contract. Let the client know that should they cancel the contract, for whatever reason, they are responsible for paying your hourly fee for the amount of hours put into the project. Any retainer paid would go toward the cancellation fee.

* Cancellation and ownership rights
If a client cancels the project they also lose rights to the work you created.

* Confidentiality agreement

* Clauses to protect you from any liability
What happens if the final product is destroyed upon delivery? What state’s court of law governs the contract? Who is responsible for court fees should the matter be taken to court or sent to collections? Can goods be returned?