Let say employer has awarded you a project on Freelancer Website.

Employer has not created any milestone for this project and didn't have verified their payment etc.

If you will accept this project then you have to pay to Freelancer according to their rule.

Let's you have completed project and given to employer. What's the possibility the employer will pay? This will lead to loss of Freelancer.

So my question is "is it safe to start working on such projects?"

  • 2
    No, you're sure to get cheated.
    – user45623
    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:46
  • @user45623 That's happen.
    – sonus21
    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:58

4 Answers 4


In sweepingly broad, general terms, it is merely bad business to incur costs directly related to any project if you do not already have some form of reimbursement agreement in place.

Incurring costs up front, merely means you may be stuck paying those costs yourself without any recourse. Do this too often, and you can tank any business quickly.


You need a contract. I've been doing business since 1994 under what some folk refer to as a freelancer (I call it contracting consultant). Without agreed project deliveables, you will carry the risk of a customer who is never happy, constant changes being asked from you and your expectations of your costs being covered, and your customers interpretation of you correcting without cost what they perceive to mistakes.

In addition, depending on what country you are in, without a contract and without clear deliverables, you could be considered an employee. Europe (especially the UK) would see it this way. It leaves the employer open to taxes, paying you sick pay, pension, other benefits (if other employees get car, paid cell phone or health insurance, then you would also qualify).

When in business, the agreement is never between two people (buyer of services and provider of services). There is also laws, and tax laws. Regardless of you or your employers general understanding, the law of the land applies.

So even if you don't care about the taxman - think about your relationship with the customer. Break your project down to the most basic goal, agree on that, then once you deliver that, agree the next step... Do that and you two will have a long lasting happy relationship.

A previous Q&A that I did should interest you - even if you are from a different country, you should at least read and consider the points https://startups.stackexchange.com/questions/8576/how-to-build-a-startup-freelance-software-qa-in-the-us/8585#8585

Best of luck!


I'm not sure if your position is the freelancer or the employer's one but from both points of view, always better to have a word about the expectations, including payments, before starting a work. A contract is needed so everyone can check if what was expected at the beginning of the project is met.

  • The freelancer would be more motivated to do his/her best
  • The employer will feel save because he is protected by the contract

In addition, as mentioned in the previous answer, each country establishes laws and regulations that I would check to make sure nothing illegal is happening.

  • Assume position is freelancer.
    – sonus21
    Mar 24, 2016 at 8:34
  • then as I said, better to have a signed contract that can protect you and guarantee a payment. Be careful if the employer and you are in different countries and things are agreed online because the contract needs to be valid in both places... and you should know the contact details of the employer.
    – Wha2wear
    Mar 25, 2016 at 19:21

If that freelancer website is the one that handles payments, then it is not safe for you to start working on a project if that client has not paid yet.

Most freelance platforms require clients to pay first before contractors start the job.

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