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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Another Designer's Avatar
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    Do you work WITHOUT a contract?

    I'm curious as to how many people work on design projects without a contract?

  2. #2
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
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    No I don't.
    Why do you want to know? Do YOU work without a contract? And why?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Another Designer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guido2004 View Post
    No I don't.
    Why do you want to know? Do YOU work without a contract? And why?
    I have always worked with a contract. I know of one designer who claims she never worked with a contact and always got paid.
    However, I am currently doing work for my wife's employer and am not using a contract. I find most contracts so complicated, at least the ones I find online. I think I will just draft up my own one. An easy one should be just as good as a complicated one in court as long as I have all the bases covered.

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    Are you referring to a contract for work done or service performed, such as when a website designer does work for a client?

    If so, be aware that, in most jurisdications, a contract will be deemed to exist, even if it's not expressly stated in writing. So, if you say to your client: "I can do your website for X", and he replies: "Fine, go ahead", then that's your contract.

    It's really no different from going into a shop and saying "I want to buy a can of beans" and the guy behind the counter saying "Here you are". A contract will automically exist for the purchase of the beans.

    Of course, in these cases, you are not setting out any specific terms for contract, other than perhaps the price and the general scope of the work. So, if it came to a dispute, you would have to rely on what a reasonable person would expect the terms to be for a contract of that type. If, for example, it's normal in your country for the client to be given all intellectual property rights for a website they commission, then they will have that right, unless you specifically agree otherwise.

    I'm not saying yo can get by without a written contract. I'm just saying that you can't argue that no contract exists, just because it's not in writing.

    Mike

  5. #5
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    its a easy way to do your work without any contract because you can jump from your job anytime without any boundations.

  6. #6
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangobit4 View Post
    its a easy way to do your work without any contract because you can jump from your job anytime without any boundations.
    Really? No duties? No rights either then I guess? What do you do if the client doesn't pay you?

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    SitePoint Zealot Sogo7's Avatar
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    Clients screwing over newbie designers is common tale of woe across many forums largely because the legal side of things is simply not mentioned at all in many training courses or tutorials.

    It is important to remember that were no physical contract exists and all you have is the verbal agreement over the phone or email then the Distance Selling Regulations come into play in the UK, other Countries will have their own Laws. In short the client has a cooling off period and can pull the plug without warning up to seven days after they told you to go ahead.

    To negate this period of uncertainty I use a contract that asks for a third of the quoted price as a non-refundable payment before any work starts. This weeds out the time-wasters plus I can afford to eat and pay the bills while building the site.



    Of course even with a contract in place getting paid in full upon completion is often no simple matter but that is something for another thread.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by guido2004 View Post
    Really? No duties? No rights either then I guess? What do you do if the client doesn't pay you?

    exactly. I prefer having contacts so I protect myself and the other person. The good thing about not having a contract is that you can easily get out of the project and not be committed to something if in the end you don't like it. However, it's just a safe procedure to take should anything go wrong.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    I usually work without a contract on Elance (which handles my payments and client work, so I don't have the 'chance' to get scammed. The private clients I have pay before each stage in our web design process (mockup design, theme coding, theme release), so I don't have any problems.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sogo7 View Post
    It is important to remember that were no physical contract exists and all you have is the verbal agreement over the phone or email then the Distance Selling Regulations come into play in the UK, other Countries will have their own Laws. In short the client has a cooling off period and can pull the plug without warning up to seven days after they told you to go ahead.
    That's not quite right.

    The Distance Selling Regulations only apply where the customer is a consumer. It has no effect on sales to businesses. So, unless you are selling your services to a private individual, the cooling-off period does not apply.

    Also, there's a clause that says that the right to cancel does not apply to "customised products". It could be argued that a bespoke website (for example) is a customised product.

    By the way, the regulations are based on an EU directive, and so are EU-wide.

    Mike



  11. #11
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    It depends on the relationship with the client, these days with services like echosign a digitally signed contract is pretty easy and quick

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by guido2004 View Post
    Really? No duties? No rights either then I guess? What do you do if the client doesn't pay you?
    I agree, although you can work without a contract with some clients contract serves as your security and legal basis of work. It also makes you and your client's work experience strong as it is bond by the contract (rules and etc).

    <snip />
    Last edited by SpacePhoenix; Sep 1, 2012 at 17:19. Reason: removed fake signature

  13. #13
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    if you say to your client: "I can do your website for X", and he replies: "Fine, go ahead", then that's your contract.
    Which part of this is being left out by those who are working without a contract? I can't imagine that anyone would start work without the "Fine, go ahead" part of the verbal contract and you are not going to get that part of the contract without the "I can do your website for X" part.
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  14. #14
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    Found it interesting that most everyones first thought was payment, my first thought was copyright liability. The main part of my contract is that if one of my clients provides me or adds any copyrighted item I am not held responsible. The number of times I have caught clients not reading fine print, not free for commercial use, makes me really happy that paragraph is in my contract.

  15. #15
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    i think is more easy to work without a contract

  16. #16
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
    guido2004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddi Weed View Post
    i think is more easy to work without a contract
    Why?

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
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    I would only demand written contract in case i work for a new client which is less then 5% of my total projects these days.
    Dont feel like going to court with the contract anyway, its easier to just let the money go and do something else if the project wasnt huge. If it was huge however its likely that client payed on weekly basis so its not a huge loss regardless.

    I mean, if he doesnt pay he wont get to use the design and if he doesnt want the design that badly i think i can handle not getting the money. It happened once or twice in the past 5 years i think and i could tell its going that way from the very first time i spoke to client so it wasnt a surprise even.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
    Dont feel like going to court with the contract anyway, its easier to just let the money go and do something else if the project wasnt huge. If it was huge however its likely that client payed on weekly basis so its not a huge loss regardless.
    I take your point, but it's not just a question of going to court. Often, you can use the contract to clarify the way you work with the client, perhaps in a friendly discussion. For example, if there is an issue with copyright, you can point out to them that the contract says ... whatever it says. This doesn't have to be a dispute. In fact, one of the main aims of a clearly-written contract is to help avoid disputes.

    Mike





  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
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    You are probably right, i guess i can say that i use project brief as a contract. Everything that is relevant is usually stated there at least.

  20. #20
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    no i always work with a contract.

  21. #21
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    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by fredthomas View Post
    no i always work with a contract.
    Yes. I have no contract.

  22. #22
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    Hi!I'm working as a freelance SEO and we normally don't have any contract.Its a matter of trust in your employer.

  23. #23
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
    guido2004's Avatar
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    Replies stating only yes/no, without motivation, will be considered fluff from now on.
    The General Discussions forum is called that way because we want discussions, not useless lists of yes/no's.

  24. #24
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    What I would like to know from those who work without a contract is why they are doing any work without the person they are doing the work for having agreed to them doing the work? What is wrong with getting them to at least agree that you are to do the work for them (which would create a verbal contract) rahter than just doing work for people you haven't even spoken to in the hope that they might consider paying you something for it once it is done.
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  25. #25
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    I use to work with contract to avoid scam,it is really hard to work without contract because there is a possibility that they will not pay you.


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