I need contracts for my business. Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by djsound, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. djsound macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2006
    I need contracts for my clients for my graphic/web design business. Can anyone recommend a good site for this or something? thanks much.
  2. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    I have a really old book, "The Complete Legal Guide for Your Small Business" by Paul Adams. It is definately out of date. Dunno if there is a newer edition.

    What I like about it is that it takes a "template" approach, presenting bits to include in your contract, and discussing each bit.

    I'm sure there are many similar books.

    I HIGHLY recommend going over any contract with an attorney - at least the first time. You can save yourself time/money by doing your best, then presenting that to your lawyer.

    My attorney took the same approach as the book. He went over each paragraph, explained why it was there and why I might or might not want that clause.

    At this point, I just re-used old contracts and cut-and-paste. It helps having worked in the industry for years, and having plenty of contracts that others wrote.
  3. rickiac macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2007
  4. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
  5. North Bronson macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2007
    San José
    Consultant & Independent Contractor Agreements

    Something like this can be a pretty good resource. Instead of going to an attorney and building a contract from scratch, you can make a contract with a book like this and then use your attorney to double-check anything you might have missed.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Pay attention to the nationality of the advice. Different countries will have slightly different contract terms, that may make a big difference.
  7. blue22 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2010
  8. Steve-F macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    Are these really worth it or necessary for your business?

    A lawyer friend once said to me that contracts are a waste of time and money - if you have a bad client then they'll probably break or find a way out of a contract. Contracts cost lots of money (especially if your work is varied and you need specific contracts for different projects) and can also scare some customers off. The only time I've ever done one was for a 6 figure project.
    Work hard on being good at your design work and being nice to clients. Good relationships can count far more than pieces of paper.
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I kind of agree with you. But only up to a point. I'm a photographer, not a designer, but I think our professions are close enough in this case.

    Small jobs, with people you know.... I don't think contracts are necessary, though of course some people are actually more comfortable having the contract, due to their own past experiences. A good working relationship with your clients will let you know which clients prefer contracts vs those that don't. And which clients you can trust to work for, without a contract.

    However, I almost always lay out a detailed plan of the work I am going to provide, and the resources and payments the client is going to provide (in an email or series of emails) prior to the work commencing, or at least early on in the project. And I make sure I get a "sure, that's fine" from them before committing a lot of time. Also by email - even if we have been having face to face meetings.

    I know that this isn't a "contract" in a legal sense (though it may be useful as evidence if we ever did meet in front of a judge) but my experience (luckily gained usually by watching my friends and colleagues getting into or avoiding problems with their clients) is that most people are honest, but just have bad memories.

    In those cases when there is a disagreement over what was promised or agreed to, the parties can refer to the emails. And in most cases they can resolve the issue within a few minutes, because the email has spelled it out. In those few cases where a potential issue was not addressed, I've noticed that both sides will generally acknowledge that this was an unforeseen situation, and decide to split the costs. Nobody feels that they "lost".

    I've been lucky enough to avoid problems like these, so this is simply my observations based on watching my friends and colleagues.

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