On fixed-price projects I've generally worked for 50% up-front, which I believe is more or less standard for software development-related freelancing. I'll sometimes ask for less than 50% if the budget is high.

Is up-front payment still a standard when escrow is available, or does escrow entirely replace the up-front system? Please note I am not asking whether up-front payment is standard in general or what percentage to charge, just whether it's still a standard when escrow is used for the payments.


Yes, it's OK. I ask from 20% to 50% depending on the budget. If the project has large budget, you will have hard time convincing client to pay 50% upfront.

In large project, I also request milestone payments. We plan the project, set milestones from 2 weeks to 1 month, and when it's finished, they pay for it. This way, I don't wait for money a lot, and they pay smaller chunks.

  • How large is a "large budget"?
    – Pacerier
    Oct 10 '15 at 2:06
  • Any sum that is large in your opinion. For someone it's $500, someone $5000, and someone $50k. It also depends what a client thinks it's large. So you just have to rely on your hunch but also talk it thru with the client.
    – Peter MV
    Oct 10 '15 at 9:15
  • Is this answer specifically related to when escrow is involved?
    – user45623
    Oct 13 '15 at 1:47
  • Why not? Escrow is just a guarantee that the client has money to pay you for your work. So at the start of a milestones, a client can put the money into escrow and release it once you have completed the milestone.
    – Peter MV
    Oct 13 '15 at 20:04

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