If you are a freelancer or independent consultant in Sacramento you will need at some point to have legal documents which not only protect you from clients who are less than scrupulous, but also to elevate your chances of getting a contract with someone who seeks a more professional approach to contracting. Many freelancers and 1099 consultants will fall back upon online (generic) contracts to provide the safeguards for contract work that both parties require. Using online software or templates for contracting may work for small business clients who understand startup costs and considerations, but the general loopholes and unwritten events that can assist you in potential legal disputes will be missing. For individuals who have significant dollar value contracts using an online form is probably not the best approach and working with an attorney ought to be considered. Drafting specific independent contractor agreements may be the best option to protecting your rights.
While it is perfectly acceptable to apply skepticism to any lawyer suggesting you use a lawyer for something you can find online, understand that a contract is a method of partitioning a consultant from an employee and for this reason will be very important to the business you are entering into an arrangement with. They are looking for consultants for a reason and will not wish to be involved in a future legal dispute should the consultant begin to meet criteria for “employee” but state of federal standards. In fact, many businesses will wish to provide the contract to avoid this and can limit your opportunities to secure additional tasks.
When you bring your own agreement to the table you are in control. You are formalizing a relationship between two parties and providing needed clarity to the agreement insofar as roles, responsibilities, work product, rates, expenditures, and fee schedules. You are also creating an avenue for adjudication and the means by which it can be negotiated. A formal contract enables both parties to feel secure and have an outlet for dispute.