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Recommended Terms and Conditions

What copywriters and clients need to know

When you’re working with a copywriter, it’s perfectly normal to be given a Terms and Conditions document.

This will outline how they work, set expectations, and clearly outline what will happen if you encounter any problems with the project.

Why Terms and Conditions matter

There are a few big reasons why you need them:

  • Professionalism: Just like having a proper rate card and proposal, having decent Terms and Conditions boosts your image as a professional business person.
  • Boundaries: By outlining what is and isn’t included in your project, you’ll save having to have difficult conversations when the 75th round of revisions come back.
  • Bottom covering: Obviously we hope things don’t go wrong, but if they do you need to have your legal bottom covered.

Website Terms and Conditions

Website Terms and Conditions, the ones you usually see in the footer of a website next to Privacy, relate to how data from the site is handled and how the site is used. They do not relate to projects.

Project Terms and Conditions

Project Terms and Conditions are generally linked to invoices and are included in full in any proposal documents.

They are super important to help both client and copywriter ensure they’re on the same page and understand how the process works.

They’re also a safeguard for both parties in case anything goes wrong.

I’ve outlined some example terms below to help both copywriters and clients understand how the process works.

Want to buy our standard Terms and Conditions document?

Grab our template

A simple copywriter Project Terms and Conditions document that makes the terms of your employment with a client super simple.

General inclusion points

Don’t forget to cover off:

  • Your business name and ABN
  • What your quote includes and doesn’t include, and how long it’s valid for
  • What deposit is required, how you accept payment, and when payment is due
  • What happens with late payments
  • How you charge for urgent work
  • How you handle face-to-face meetings, including cancellation and charges
  • How you deal with changes in scope, additional amends and late amends
  • Lines of communication
  • Timeframes around approvals and revisions
  • What is and isn’t included in the job
  • Rules of confidentiality and copyright
  • How and when both you and the client can cancel the project, and what this means financially
  • Your liabilities in case of a legal claim (eep) *Psst these are all included in our template.

 

Extra inclusion points

  • Information about guarantees on results (tread carefully here)
  • Whether you use sub contractors (are you going to be honest?)

Payment

    1. A 50% upfront payment. This is normally non-refundable.
    2. A 50% final payment when the first draft of the copy is complete, though if the project is very large, milestone payments are possible.
    3. Payment terms are generally 7 days (although copywriters will make exceptions for larger corporations and brands).
    4. Minimum project fees: Most copywriters set a minimum project fee (for example $500) to cover the admin and discussion time it takes to do even a small job.
    5. Costs for additional out of scope work – usually charged at an hourly rate.
    6. Points relating to fees if using credit cards, PayPal or Stripe.  Accepted methods of payment and currencies.
    7. Late payment fees or Skonto payments – offering 3-5% off if they pay it all up front. I’ve found this very motivating for corporations, not so much for entrepreneurs.
    8. The expiration date of the quote (generally 30 days).

Project limitations

  1. Limits on the amount of discussion time.
  2. Specifications on additional travel costs for face to face meetings.
  3. The number of revisions included in your quote (usually 2 free rounds of amends).
  4. Whether proof reading is included in your quote (it generally is).
  5. Time limitations during which amends can be briefed (usually 14 days).
  6. How to get the project started.

Legals

  1. Information on who owns the copyright and at what time this is transferred.
  2. How changes in scope will be handled and charged for.
  3. What happens if either of you need to cancel the project at any stage.
  4. What your copywriter is and isn’t liable for.
  5. What jurisdiction any court proceedings will be held in.
  6. How refunds will be handled.
  7. Some copywriters also include pause clauses and project restart fees  – this means automatically considering the project closed and any amount due owing if they don’t hear from the client in a certain number of  days.

Other important templates

To ensure you’re legally covered, we also recommend checking out our Retainer Agreement (for ongoing relationships with clients) and our Sub Contracting agreement.

 

Useful templates

 

Referral Agreement

A professional Referral Agreement template that helps you to refer on work that you either don’t want to – or can’t – do to other copywriters.

Sub contracting agreement

A professional Subcontractor Agreement template that helps you to set smart terms and conditions around taking on a junior copywriter or subcontracting work out to other writers.

Retainer agreement

A professional Retainer Agreement template that helps you to set smart terms and conditions around a new retainer relationship with a client.

Terms and Conditions

A simple copywriter Project Terms and Conditions document that makes the terms of your employment with a client super simple.

Legal Bundle

Get all the templates mentioned on this page in one little juicy affordable bundle! Just $99+GST

Feedback on these recommendations

These recommendations are meant as a guide. They are based on our understanding of the current Australian copywriting market.
If you have any feedback, please  contact us.

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