Hey readers from A List Apart. The canonical, original version of Contract Killer 3 is here: http://stuffandnonsense.co.uk/projects/contract...
Between you, [customer name] and I, [your name] at [company name]
I’ll always do my best to fulfill your needs and meet your expectations, but it’s important to have things written down so that we both know what’s what, who should do what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong. In this contract you won’t find any complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. I have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. What I do want is what’s best for both parties, now and in the future.
So in short;
You ([customer name]), located at [customer address] are hiring me, ([company name]) located at [company address] to [design and develop a web site] for the estimated total price of [total] as outlined in our previous correspondence. Of course it’s a little more complicated, but we’ll get to that.
What do both parties agree to do?
You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company or your organization. You’ll give us everything we need to complete the project as and when and in the format I need it. You’ll review mywork, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways, so you’ll also be bound by the dates we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
Me: I have the experience and ability to do everything we’ve agreed with you and I’ll do it all in a professional and timely manner. I'll attempt to meet every deadline that’s set and on top of that I'll maintain the confidentiality of everything you give me.
Getting down to the nitty gritty
I'll create look-and-feel designs. I may indicate a look-and-feel direction (colour, texture and typography.) in the beginning, or just go straight for the design. This contract allows for 2 to 4 initial ideas, which will then be developed to one main design, plus the opportunity for you to make up to 5 rounds of revisions on that final design, for each graphic element listed in the estimate. If, at any stage, you’re not happy with the direction the work is taking, you’ll pay me in full for everything I’ve produced until that point and cancel this contract.
You’ll have two or more weekly opportunities to review my work and provide feedback. If, at any stage, you’re not happy with the direction my work is taking, you’ll pay us in full for everything we’ve produced until that point and cancel this contract.
I'm not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy. That being said, I did minor in copywriting, so if you’d like me to write new content or input text for you, I can add that to your estimate, once we talk more about it.
You should supply graphic files in an editable, vector digital format. You should supply photographs in a high resolution digital format. If you choose to buy stock photographs, I can suggest stock libraries. If you’d like me to search for photographs for you, I can add that into your estimate as well, just let me know.
Changes and revisions
I know from experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your earliest ideas. I don’t want to limit your ability to change your mind. The price at the beginning of this contract is based on the length of time I estimate we’ll need to accomplish everything you’ve told me you want to achieve, but I'm happy to be flexible. If you want to change your mind or add anything new, that won’t be a problem as I’ll provide a separate estimate for that.
Although I strive for perfection, I can’t absolutely 100% guarantee that my work will be error-free and so I can’t be liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if you’ve advised me of them. Finally, if any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
First, you guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by your good selves, or that you’ve permission to use them.
Then, when your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:
You’ll own the visual elements that we create for this project. I’ll give you source files and finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as I'm not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them.
I’ll own the unique combination of these elements that constitutes a complete design and I’ll license that to you, exclusively and in perpetuity for this project only, unless we agree otherwise. I can provide a separate estimate for that.
I love to show off my work and share what I’ve learned with other people, so I reserve the right, with your permission, to display and link to your project as part of my portfolio and to write about it wherever I see fit, whether that's print or online.
I'm sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that I send you promptly. As I'm also sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.
We will talk about what you want, I will write everything down and get a feel for how much time that will take me. I will then write up an estimate. I will send you the estimate, and then if you approve, I will ask you for your first payment. I ask for 20% of the estimate up front, and then the rest upon completion of the project.
You can pay me by cash (in person) or by check (in person, or in the mail)
My mailing address is:
You can also pay me by Paypal, to the email address of:
Note that if you pay me by check, you will not receive your final designs until your check has cleared at my bank, nothing against you, just a precaution.
But where’s all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document.
The dotted line
Signed by [your name] and on behalf of [company name] Signed by and on behalf of [customer name] Date [date]
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their records.