First off, nice one! It’s great to come to this stage 😀 When I got my first contract I felt very profesh! You may be

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How to create a contract

First off, nice one! It’s great to come to this stage 😀

When I got my first contract I felt very profesh!

You may be thinking this will be a lot of work.. and it can be.

But it defs doesn’t have to be..

A contract is an agreement between two parties, that’s it.

It could be a few points scrawled on a napkin or it could be reams and reams of paper describing in eye watering detail what happens in every situation ever.

In some places a verbal agreement is legally binding, so be careful what you say in front of witnesses..

Depending on where you’re at and what you’re trying to agree, you likely need something in-between..

Remember though, you’re writing a contract hoping to never have to use it.. it’s there in case things go wrong and you need to get lawyers involved. I’d guess you like and trust the people you’re working for so you expect they’ll pay on time as long as you deliver on time..


Here’s a few things every contract should include..

So, between two parties eh?

That means the names of you and the person/company/whatever you’re making the agreement with. Include some contact details as well just to make it clear exactly which person/company/whatever you’re talking about.


What you say you’ll do and what they say they’ll do in return. In as much or as little detail as suits the project.

Everything else

Anything else you want to add.

I’m not messing, it’s that straightforward. You can hire a lawyer to create a contract, you can pull one off the internet or you can write it yourself. As long as you’re happy with what’s there there’s no going wrong.

The super simple approach

Taking the super simple approach, the contract could be an email..

Hi folks

I’m happy to take on this project. Following my branding process I will deliver:

  • Branding designs
  • Logo
  • Launch graphics for Instagram

All will be delivered before 25 December. The cost is 3.000€ with 50% payable up front.

If you’re happy to go ahead please reply to this email saying “All good, let’s go!”



The to/from has the parties and their contact deets, the email outlines the project, the deliverables, the deadline and the payment terms. If they respond with the All good, let’s go! then the agreement is agreed.

The less simple approach

If you feel you need a contract but don’t want to spend forever doing it, this is the way for you. It kinda builds on the email approach..

You can find contract templates specific to your field all over the internet. You can find something pretty standard and just use it mostly straight out of the box.

Make sure to:

  • Read it through once to check it makes sense
  • Do a spell check
  • Make sure it’s covered by the law in your country..

Once you’ve got something you’re happy with you can use this as your standard terms. Now you can write something like the email above with one extra line..

My standard terms of work are attached.

No need for signatures. No need to print anything. No faff no mess.

This method can work for most people. It’s simple and straightforward.

Few people will read the terms..

Most don’t care because they just want you to do the job and to pay you.

The least simple approach

If what you’ve read so far doesn’t feel like enough then I gotchu..

Here’s how I work my contracts..

It’s two parts..

The schedule

This is the bit that changes for every project. The schedule uses the same terminology as the terms so the two work together..

It covers:

  • Date of agreement
  • The parties involved i.e. Supplier (me) and Client (them)
  • Services to be performed
  • Deliverables
  • Payment
  • What happens with third party costs e.g. who pays for the premium font, them or you

and the terms

This is a standard document that outlines everything the client is agreeing to if they work with me..

It covers:

  • What’s expected of the client
    • Like replying on time
    • Providing the correct info to work with
    • Only provide me with stuff they have the legal right to use
    • And that I can ditch them without returning their money if they don’t comply with the rules
  • How I expect fees to be paid (no bags of cash)
  • Late fees
  • Who has what IP rights
  • That I can use the work to promote myself without additional permission
  • What happens in case of force majeure
  • Liability waver – they accept I don’t accept responsibility for nuthin’.. (this is pretty standard in contracts)
  • Definitions of everything that might be contentious e.g. what a working day is and what fees means (I told you the contract is for when things go bad.. people will try pretend they don’t know what basic words mean so sometimes it’s best to spell it out for them..)
  • What happens if either party terminates the contract
  • And more..

Now that might seem like a lot.. and for your situation it might be. It takes a bit of effort for every project but I tend to only use this method for the big stuff or for new clients. For regular clients I use the first method 😊

Like I said there’s no single right way to do this, and you’ll know from where you’re at what feels right.

💡Top tips

Keep it simple – there’s no need to overcomplicate your contract. Keep it simple and make it easy to agree so you can get paid and start your work.

Read it through – I can hear eyes being rolled at this one.. but I’ve read peoples contracts, I’ve seen the spelling errors, the half finished paragraphs and the U-less color. Don’t be lazy, read it!

Make it easy to agree – I do not own a printer. I do not like the online signature things. Don’t put barriers in the way of someone agreeing to your terms or they just won’t do it.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

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