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I went to see a friend of mine at her job and I ended up in this impromptu meeting with her boss. Cut the story a bit shorter and there's the chance they might take me on as a part time entry-level freelancer because they're in a bit of a squeeze, but don't know how long it'll last. Could start as early as next Monday if the new Mac they ordered arrives (did I mention the squeeze?).
I've never freelanced a damn thing in my life.
What do I need to know? She mentioned invoicing them -- what do I definitely put on an invoice and what do I definitely not?
Help a freelance virgin out!
invoices come later. write a contract first to cover your ass and your work.
Yes, contract first. No one likes getting screwed in the end.
Yes - make sure you have a contract stipulating terms of the work: how long for, how often paid (or how often you invoice them) and importantly - how long after invoicing you will get paid. Also ask them to include a job description so they don't ask you do do stuff that you can't do or wasn't agreed apon.
You should ask them about tax also - if they pay you over a certain amount, they will have to submit a tax form saying they paid you x dollars and you will have to take your own tax out of your earnings. Best to speak to a tax agent.
All sorts of documents you can get into... and they all vary per country or even state...
example of some Australian versions... http://www.min.com.au/min/res_le…
I should be meeting with said friend again tomorrow for lunch so I'll try to find more out too...
This is with the design dept of a much larger company (banking, finances, a line of groceries and beer) rather than a separate design firm, does that change anything?
They are their own client and as entry-level I'll just be tweaking things others have already assembled, and then passing them on to the proofer.
so are most of you writing your own contracts or simply modifying these pre-written documents to suit your needs?
also, have any of you consulted a lawyer in doing either of these? i would think it would be necessary for the contract to be legal binding.
bump, the sequel
a lawyer does not have create the document in order for it to be legally binding (i have watched enbought judge judy to know that)
as long as it is clearly stated what happen when and how and both parties sign it, it is all ok. if you want to go one step farter, get it notorized
Haven't heard from them. so I'm hoping that just means they don't have the new computer yet.
If her boss nixed me they'd probably say so...
If you're in the US, do yourself a favor and remember this word:
T A X E S
If it's a proper freelance job and you're getting cash in hand, be very careful how you spend it. Come next April 15th, Uncle Sam will come calling and you might have to fork over mega $$$ all at once because nothing was taken out from the start. (I learned this the hard way)
BUT - on the plus side, if you DO take the job, save every receipt from the second you sign on, no matter how insignificant. Gas, toll booth, bus tickets, food, software, fonts, new shoelaces - it doesn't matter. Save it all. It's all business related expenses and you can claim it all back.
:-) $$$ ka-ching!
Freelancing is cool but it requires a lot of discipline the longer you do it.
Good luck and kick ass!
My friend (the one I might be getting this job through) learned that lesson firsthand. Her last job didn't deduct taxes for her, and last week she found she owes Revenue Canada a fair amount.
I've saved every receipt for the last five years, but for a sculpture project I want to do someday -- at least it got me in the habit!
Don't I know. I just discovered this when I was doing my taxes here in the US last month.
Imagine the look on my face when my tax accountant said "oh yeah - you should have kept your receipts - we could have deducted everything" - including god knows how many font sets, a mac g4 powerbook and tons of other stuff. I ended up paying over US$800. :-(
as you can imagine, i now have a shoebox full of receipts!
read the GAG or AIGA handbooks. Or go to their sites to find prewritten contracts. I saw somebody link the aiga one earlier in this thread. I modfied mines to shorten it. There is more info on there (aiga info) then you need to show on there. Good luck!
another word of advice. don't take business advice from someone who keeps their payment records in a shoebox.
Update: Got a criminal background check permission waiver form-thing in e-mail yesserday, and a P.S. that they're still waiting on the computer.
Hooray! I exist.
It looks like I start at the end of this week.