Any Freelance Contract do you use to prevent exploitation from your clients? Any good examples online that I can download?

I found this template, but it does not have any clauses that can prevent the exploitation:

Freelance Contract Template
Created by freelancermap.com

[Your Name/Business name] <> [Client Company]
Contractor Agreement
[Freelancer Name] (herein known as “Contractor”) will provide [Client/Brand Name] (herein known as “Client”) with [Insert an overview of work deliverables] as outlined in the specifications listed in the Terms and Conditions below.

Description of the Services
Freelancer will [insert services provided]

[Insert prices discussed – include rates for changes and revision work]

Payment Terms/Schedule
30% up front, the rest upon completion of the project. 
Payable by check, bank transfer or PayPal. 

Contract in effect beginning:  [Insert Start date]

Terms and Conditions

The following rates and terms apply:

Client will pay the sum of [$X,XXX – mention if it’s per hour, per month or for the entire contract] to Contractor via [Payment method agreed upon] as agreed to by both parties, no later than the [insert final payment date] of the agreed-upon payment schedule, for work delivered and accepted by the Client. 

Contractor will provide the following as per deliverable dates mutually agreed upon:

    • [Insert Deliverable 1 - specifications, and due date] 
    • [Insert Deliverable 2 - specifications, and due date] 
    • [Insert Deliverable 3 - specifications, and due date] 
    • [Insert Deliverable 4 - specifications, and due date] 

Scope of Project
Contractor agrees to perform services until the engagement has ended on the agreed-upon. 


Contractor declares that they cannot guarantee completed work will be completely error-free, as such they can’t be liable to the Client or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even with prior advisory. If any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason is unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.


Client will own the copyright for all material created under this agreement, and contractor can showcase sample works from this project as portfolio pieces only with consent and approval from client.

This agreement may be terminated with [XX days] written notice by either party. Initial deposit of 30% is non-refundable.

Could you please share if you know any good examples?

  • You will need to define "exploitation" as you see it. Otherwise, this question makes little sense.
    – Scott
    May 3, 2021 at 5:34

2 Answers 2


Contracts do not prevent exploitation. If a project relationship starts to argue over the words of the contract, that relationship is already soured and the best thing is to get out of it as fast as possible. The only thing contractually is to make sure that the contract has a simple "get out of this mess" process.

The way to prevent exploitation is to pick trustworthy clients - ones that value us and are willing to pay for honest work.


Realistically, the only clauses that are of any importance in the contract are...

  • Price/spec (e.g. what are you doing and what are you being paid for it)
  • Payment schedule (e.g. how and when are you getting paid)
  • Start/finish time and deadlines (e.g. when does the contract start and when are the deliverables)
  • Kill fee (e.g. how much they're going to pay you if they cancel the contract)
  • Escape hatch (e.g. how can you terminate the contract without penalty)

... and all of those can be written on the back of a napkin. Other than those, you can pick up pretty much any template contract and tailor it to the project you're offering to work on.

Exploitation occurs not because you've failed to write an adequate contract, but because you've allowed yourself to get involved with a company that is willing to exploit you and because you failed to pull the ejector-seat handle when you spotted that things were starting to go south.

Assuming you've put in place the adequate safeguards, extricating yourself from a crappy project should be as easy as sending a single email and dealing with a couple of grumpy phone calls.

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