Free Printable Freelance Contract Templates [MS Word]

basic freelance contract template

As a freelancer, you have your own freelance contract template in order to keep yourself and your work protected. Employment stuck many people creativity, movement, and the use of their time. Therefore, such people start working as freelancer because freelancing offers them freedom, flexibility, and a wonderful feeling of being their own boss.

What is a freelancer?

A freelancer is basically a self-employed worker and independent contractor. Different businesses get contracted with freelancer to complete project work. Unlike employees, they are free to work for various different businesses at once. You can bring skills into the team for short term work by employing a professional freelancer. Also, you don’t have to bear the costs of hiring a full time employee.

Furthermore, freelancers are also beneficial for the company as they won’t have to pay employment benefits such as vacation or sick pay. Freelance workers are most popular in web designers, journalists, photographers, tradesmen or even actors.

What is a freelance contract template?

A freelance contract template is a legal contract between a freelancer and his client. This contract contains the terms of certain projects or tasks. In future, if any disputes arise then you can use this document to defend yourself. The primary purpose of this contract is to have a legal contract that contains properly organized information. Moreover, this contract states the scope of the project you’re working on and the work you provide.

Types of freelance contract templates:

Before any freelance project begins, you should make a freelance contract in place. This is the best way to protect yourself, your time, and your interests. Below are the different freelance contracts that clients may request you to sign;

Letter of agreement:

A letter of agreement is an informal version of an agreement. It includes an outline of the terms of your agreement just like any other contract. This contract is usually made between yourself and anybody you personally trust such as your co-workers, friends, etc. A letter of agreement has the same format as a simple letter. Thus, it is beneficial for both parties as the language used is easy to understand and very specific. A disadvantage of this agreement is to have loopholes in the agreement that may lead to legal problems.

Nondisclosure agreement:

Your clients request you to sign a nondisclosure agreement in case of larger business agreements. Clients usually make this agreement for their protection. This ensures that you won’t share anything about how the client does business. Also, this agreement is more important if you are working for several clients involved with the same industry.

Clients also make this agreement in order to protect his confidential matters, the proprietary information or private processes. As a freelancer, you should know that your clients want to keep his information confidential. This way, you will treat this information with sensitivity.

Formal agreement:

This agreement is also given to you by a client when you are dealing with big business enterprises such as a major publisher or magazine. This is the most legally solid contract prepared by the client. You should carefully read the contract and in case the terms and language in the contract are not clear to you then consult with a lawyer. If you don’t do this, you may give away more than you want to or you may get compensated for any reason.

Non-compete agreement:

According to this agreement, during the duration of your agreement, you agree not to take part in any business or compete with your client. You have to be very careful in getting into such a contract as a freelancer. This is because it can hinder you from taking on new work.

Statement of work:

This type of freelance contract defines the main points of the work arrangement. In addition, it doesn’t have usual legalese that formal contracts have. It is free from any ambiguities which are very much appreciated by freelancers and clients. This contract is almost similar to a letter of agreement.

Components of a freelance contract template:

The following are the key components that a freelance contract should have;

Introductory statement:

The introductory statement introduces the parties involved in the agreement. It gives you a precise overview of the contract. To make things clear, this section also determines the “Client” and “Freelancer” designations. The most important purpose of this section is to ensure that you know the person you are working with. This also makes sure that both signatories understand the purpose of your relationship.

Terms and conditions:

This section contains the expectations that your client concerning the work you are expected to do or what you want to receive from them. Take a start by stating that what you want in return from your client. At the top of the section, you should clearly specify the amount of payment. This protects you from potential disagreements.

Scope of the project:

Within the contract, you should provide clear guidelines on your project’s scope. This proves that the client has changed the deliverables you have agreed upon. By defining the scope, you can analyze a set ending date of your freelance contract. When you have completed all the tasks defined in the project scope, you can automatically achieve your part of the freelance contract.

Changes and revisions:

It is closely related to what you have outlined in the previous section. You can deal with requested revisions, additions or changes to the original contract on the basis of your discretion. In inevitable revisions, the big ones will get subjected.


When anything unexpected happens then this section of the contract protects you from such situation.


You can work without any required agreements as a freelancer. You own the copyright to your work until you release that right to your client. This is a simple and precise process. For this, you just have to establish clear ownership transfer of the work made after receiving payment for it.


Your freelance contract has clear payment terms. It leaves room for your clients to delay their payments if there are no clear terms about payment. This also makes budgeting difficult. You can also include payment methods in this section.


If you include this clause in your agreement, it will allow you to end the freelance contract in the event that the relationship isn’t working out or for other reasons.


In the end, affix the signatures of the freelancer (you) and your client to make this contract valid.

What are the consequences of not using a freelance contract?

The freelancer’s expectations and their required services might not be clear without freelance contract. It is important for an independent contractor and their client to have a clear understanding of the project’s scope to avoid any conflict. In addition, this contract is used to inform the IRS that the worker is not an employee of the company. If the company doesn’t have this contract then they may have to cover the individual’s Medicare and social security taxes.

Consequences for the contractor

  • Loss of payment
  • Loss of time
  • Stolen work
  • For not disclosing accurate earnings details on the personal income tax return, freelance workers may incur a fine.

Consequences for the hiring company

  • Loss of money
  • Loss of time
  • Legal expenses including lawsuits
  • Breach of company information

When do you require a freelance contract?

Using freelance professionals can be a smart way for an employer to cover busy schedule as well as to bring skills in their regular team. You must prepare proper contracts for any freelance worker in order to avoid ambiguity in future. This contract specifies all the details of the work agreed such as the deadlines, key deliverables and the pay rate.


In conclusion, a freelance contract template is a helpful document that makes life easier for you, protect your business, and attract your target audience. You should make this contract before any freelance projects begin.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

As a freelancer can I write my own contracts?

Yes, you can write your own freelancer contract by using a freelance contract template or a builder. You just have to fill in the gaps in these tools and then download the contract. However, if your relationship with a client is particularly complicated then you must seek legal advice while writing a freelance contract.

Can I terminate a freelance contract?

Yes, you can terminate a freelance contract by following the conditions mentioned in the contract. A termination clause is included in the contract that specifies how and why the contract can be terminated. It also specifies any penalties for doing so before the project finishes.

What is a short-term freelance contract?

As it name implies, it is for short-term work typically for pieces of work or projects that will no more than 2 weeks.

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