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Project Agreement between Freelancers & Service buyers:-

We suggest that Freelancers and service buyers enter into a Project  Agreement to ensure smooth execution of the project. Both parties should clearly discuss & define scope of work, time schedule, payment terms etc. in the project agreement to avoid any disputes during execution.

 Tips for drafting project agreement:

An agreement should normally contain following sections:-

1)      Scope of work  

2)      Delivery schedule 

3)      Payment Terms 

4)      Non Disclosure Agreement(NDA) 

5)      Ownership of final product 

  1. Scope of Work: - Service buyer & Freelancer should clearly define the specifications of the final output. Service buyer should explain about his expectations & outlook. A detailed description of services to be performed and specifications of output should be written in this section. 
  1. Delivery schedule: - Both the parties should clearly define agreed dates of delivery. It should contain details about milestones of the project and their due dates. This will make it easy to monitor progress of the project as you move along. Service buyers can also specify a cap on number of revisions allowed, after which service buyer will be free to terminate the agreement. 
  1. Payment Terms: - Payment terms should define the following:

a)      Total amount of money to be paid for the entire project.

b)      Mode of payment (e.g. Cash /by cherub / wire transfer etc.)

c)      Schedule of payment:- It can be entire payment on completion of project or progress payment as the project proceeds( in this case clearly mention timeline /stage and amount to be paid at each point of time/stage ) 

  1. Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA):- Many a times service buyers need to provide proprietary or confidential information for execution of project. It is desirable to have a confidentiality or non disclosure clause or agreement signed by professional to protect sensitive trade secrets. NDA (Non Discloser Agreement) will prevent the professional from disclosing such information during and after the project. 
  1. Ownership of Final Product: Ordinarily the author or creator is the first owner of the creative work such as literary, artistic, photographic computer programming etc. when the work is created in the course of authors’ employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship the employer shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the owner of copyright.    

Similarly, where work is created for valuable consideration at the instance of another person, such person shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of copyright.

 However, you can seek assignment of copyright from the creator of the work to avoid any controversy.

Deed of assignment should normally cover the following aspects:-

a)      It should be in writing and signed by assigner or by his duly authorized representative.

b)      Identify and briefly describe the work.

c)      Specify the rights assigned.

d)      Specify the duration of assignment.

e)      Territorial   limits of assignment.

f)        Royalty payable if any.

g)      Any other necessary terms.

 We feel that project agreement drafted considering the above can greatly reduce the possibility of any conflict and ensure smooth progress in execution of the project.

Tanmay Agarwal

 

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