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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Well, after only being "open for business" for 17 days I was hired today for my first design job!!

    This client is half way across the US from me so we have to handle the contract via mail. What I am wondering is....do I sign the two contracts first, then send them to the client to sign, then they send one back with the required down payment (and keep one copy for themselves) OR... Do I send the contracts to them unsigned and have the client sign first, return both to me with required down payment, then I sign them and send one back to them?

    I just am not sure who should sign first!
    Ideas? Opinions?

    Thanks,
    dlee

  2. #2
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    I would think the first way would be better because then you wouldn't have to send stuff back and forth as much. Also, why not just try the digital signiture thing? There was something in the news about a month ago about it. Basically if someone enters their name and hits submit then it's the same as if they were signing it.

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    Justin Stayton
    WEB: http://www.j.cx
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  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by Justin S:
    I would think the first way would be better because then you wouldn't have to send stuff back and forth as much. Also, why not just try the digital signiture thing? There was something in the news about a month ago about it. Basically if someone enters their name and hits submit then it's the same as if they were signing it.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, that would be the best and quickest way, however I read if ever there is a dispute that involves the courts, that many do not regard digital signatures as "legal". That scared me away right there!

    Also I was thinking it would be quicker to send the contract to the client as an attachment in MSWord or MSworks, they could print it out, sign it and mail it to me. I could then sign it and mail it back.

    Just another thought I had
    dlee



    [This message has been edited by dlee (edited July 27, 2000).]

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Isaiah's Avatar
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    I believe that either way would work, but I recommend the first one the you mentioned.

    Also, I know of a "security" feature of sorts that could possibly save you or your client money in a dispute.

    Since you can't sign the contract in a face-to-face meeting, have a witness sign for each of you (if you haven't included that already). I would highly recommend that instead of a family member, friend or business associate (all of whom could be easily discredited in a court of law) have a notary public witness and notarize the signing on both ends.

    This may cost each of you a few dollars, but it could save either or both of you money in a dispute over the contract. Basically it is a win-win situation.

    BTW - if you already thought of this, forgive me for "guiding" you in something you already know, but perhaps someone else can benfit from this practice...

    HTH! (Hope this helps!)

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    Isaiah Walter - Founder and Owner
    Federation Fire - Internet Solutions
    Isaiahacs@aol.com

  5. #5
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    Isaiah,

    Thanks for the "witness signature" idea! Hadn't thought of that one

    Is it uncommon (or unsafe) to have clients that you can't deal with face to face? I am getting the impression not many do business with distant clients!

    dlee

  6. #6
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    I do a lot of work for clients out of state.

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    suzielopes@yahoo.com
    http://www.cosas-de-enrique.com
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot Isaiah's Avatar
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    I don't think that it is uncommon or unsafe to do business with distant clientele, it just depends on how you personally feel about it. I would, however, take extra steps to ensure that "distant" clients that you cannot meet are good, honest people who will compensate you for your hard work.

    A way of ensuring this is to have the document notarized (like I mentioned earlier) on each end so that he/she cannot come back at you in court and say "I didn't sign that!" (or vice-versa - again, it is a win-win solution). Although it doesn't prove anyone's good nature or honesty, it will ensure that you get paid (and that your client will get his/her web design).

    Personally, I have chosen to do the majority of my business locally. The reason for this is that the county seat (about 15 minutes from my country home) has a population of well over 30,000 people and hundreds of business. The nice thing is that a rather large majority of the businesses do not even having a web site, but are interested in getting on the web.

    Another reason is that the "other" local designers call themselves "professionals" yet use rainbow backgrounds on their business web sites that don't give an air of professionalism at all. See what I mean: http://www.vang.com/

    Anyway, I will stop my rambling now. Anyone else want to comment?

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    Isaiah Walter - Founder and Owner
    Federation Fire - Internet Solutions
    Isaiahacs@aol.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I think it makes things much easier to work for someone you can actually talk to face to face, or speak with on the phone (although I suppose in this case you still could; something I'd highly recommend)...if they company seems serious and you've talked to this person on the phone once or twice, then go for it...just make sure the contract isn't too binding for you I suppose!

    As for delivery; I cast my vote for whatever the client wants; leaving the decision up to him is probably the best thing to do.


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  9. #9
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    Most of my clients are at least 6 hours a way. Iíve traveled to meet with some. Well others itís strictly telecommuting. I usually sign my contract and FAX it to the client. Who then signs it and faxes it back to me. I always ask for the client to send me the original signed version with the deposit by mail/fedex.


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