How do I write contracts for design services?

Controversial opinion about contracts for design services

Contracts are a complete waste of your time unless you’re doing projects over £10k.

I used to spend hours trying to get clients to sign a contract before we kicked off work.
Most of the times the only thing a contract did was prevent me making a sale.

Here’s why contracts are a waste of time:

Contracts are not enforceable anyway without paying for a lawyer.
If your fee is less than £10,000…
you are unlikely to recover enough money to make the stress and costs of a legal battle worth it.

Been there, done that , had the heart attack haha 🤯⚖️
The legal system (in the UK) is geared towards protecting the guilty.
the process is so onerous that it makes it a waste of time to try.
Even if you had a contract, and you went to court because someone owed you money,
you still have to pay fees to get the money.
Even then you would probably would struggle to get money off them.

Here’s what to do instead:

✅ Always communicate how your service and payment system works.
✅ Send a “contract” or proposal in writing to cover your arse, and say by your engagement means agreeing with your terms.
✅ Break your fees into phases
✅ Make sure your work doesn’t outpace the payments

Better to avoid getting into this situation in the first place by managing clients properly.
which is a whoooole other post

To summarize:
Signed contracts are a waste of time unless your project value is over £10,000 and will torpedo your ability to sell.

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Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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