What kind of a Contract do you recommend for a Graphic Designer

i work on a freelance mode on designing graphic projects for my clients. What kind or type of a legal contract do you recommend for me that can be signed by both ME and the client before providing services, and what should the contract contain?

Asked on July 7, 2016 under Business Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no set contract for this purpose: the contract can contain any terms or provisions you and your clients agree to. Some issues that you want to think about (so as to know what you'd like) and then include in a contract are:
1) Ownership of intellectual property (e.g. images, designs, logos) created by you for the client; and even if you don't own them, can you use them in a portfolio or for advertising/marketing your services.
2) Pay--not just how much, but how soon after invoicing must they pay you? Is there any penalty (e.g. late fees, interest) if they pay late?
3) Protection from intellecual property violations--if the client gives you directions, samples, etc. which cause you to infringe someone else's copyright, trademark, etc., do they have to pay any legal costs of yours or judgment against you?
4) If you have to take legal action to get paid by them, do they have to pay your legal fees?
5) Where can you sue if you need to--you can name the nearby courts.
6) How do you and the client communicate: must all communications be in writing (recommended: so there is a record) and, if so, how are they sent? E.g. can you send official notices by email, or must they be send some other way?
7) Does the client reimburse you for any costs you incur, over and above your pay or fee?
There may be other issues important to you, but that above are definitely good ones to consider and include in a contract.

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