As a freelancer you can enjoy the freedom that comes with being self-employed. You have the ability to choose what kind of contracts and employers you wish to work on a short term basis, and can negotiate a good rate of pay for each job you do or service you render.
This may seem like the ultimate deal, but in today’s cut-throat business environment being a freelancer comes with its downsides. You can get short-changed by clients, slapped with lawsuits against your business by disgruntled clients, not to mention the headache of having to balance your books by yourself to keep your business afloat.
How can you as a freelancer protect yourself from the various legal pitfalls in today’s business climate?
Draw up an air tight contract
It’s always a good idea to have a lawyer read up the terms of your contract to ensure there are no hidden clauses that would affect your payment. Always make sure your contract allows for unforeseen circumstances that may cause delays to your work so your client does not try to wriggle out of paying you.
Ensure the terms of the contract dictates that you are paid at certain intervals for delivering part of the job.This will protect you from not been paid at all In case your client decides to terminate your contract deal.
Incorporate your business
This means that you turn your business into an entity formally recognized by the government and separate from you as a person. This ensures that your personal finance is separate from your business finance and in the case of a lawsuit against your business,your personal finance is in no way affected.
Protect yourself and your business
It is vital for freelancers to have some form of professional indemnity insurance in place to ensure that they are both legally protected in the event of problems. You can’t control everything that will happen to you while you’re working, and everyone will make mistakes. It’s better to have the right protection in place so you won’t get bitten from a financial point of view.
Pay your taxes
Get help from an accountant to help keep your books balanced and you ensure you are on the right side of the law when it comes to payment of your taxes. Tax evasion is a serious offense which you don’t want to be guilty of committing. The consequences can be serious, so be sure to have
Always keep good records of correspondence
Holding on to emails between you and your clients is worth doing to ensure everyone keeps within the parameters of their contracts.In fact if your client sends you a request via phone text or call,it’s always a good idea to respond via mail and file such correspondence away in case you might need to refer to it later for legal reasons.
There are lots of risks in the market for freelancers. As long as you can keep yourself protected and legally up to code, you can enjoy the benefits of the freedom that comes with freelance work.