I'm a development freelancer/subcontractor (if it's not the same within the described question) and I provide web frontend and backend development on a couple of popular open source CMS.

I run my own website and social media and I was wondering if it's ok (legal), to post information about me being involved in a project, as subcontractor, but without mentioning the middle man's name. So literally something like 'I was subcontracted to develop a new website for company X, check out the results - link to website'

I'm asking about sort of 'default' rules as contract had not mentioned anything specific regarding NDA, copyrights etc.

3 Answers 3


This is always tricky. You can see Metis experience. In cases like this my first point of contact is the person who contracted me. I inform him that I want to use the project in my portfolio and if he is OK with it. In half cases I get OK, in other half I do not get the green light.

The reason for this is that many agencies or individuals subcontract their work to you without informing their client. I find that the contract between me and the person who hired me is confidential and that I should not put this project in my portfolio if this will make problems to MY client (not the project owner).

Of course, you can play numb and put it in the portfolio, but chances are 99% that you will never be subcontracted by this person ever again. So just play fair and communicate before putting anything in your portfolio.


On virtually every project, I work as a freelancer/subcontractor through a third party.

In my LinkedIn profile, I never mention that third party; only the fact that I was freelancing and not employed is mentioned.

Having said that, a few times my contract with the third party has explicitly stated that I must present myself as an employee of the third party and not a freelancer. However, every time the client's employees have asked me whether I was a freelancer or not - to which I have preferred 'admitting' the truth rather than lying. So - technically, I have violated contracts, but it has never become an issue.

In addition, whenever I have signed a seemingly restrictive NDA with the client, I've always asked them to approve my project description before posting it to LinkedIn.

Generally - regardless of contracts and NDAs, I attempt to describe projects in non-controversial terms.

Finally - I'm not sure what the upside is of mentioning all the 'middle men'. It would demonstrate that I have been involved with many third parties - and at times more than one at a time. I am unsure of in which light this information will be perceived by clients and the third parties. So it seems more safe to just leave it out.


Traditionally it's fine to show work you've completed unless a contract specifically restricts you from doing so.

Be aware, you may be eventually contacted by the client. I've had that happen... got a cease and desist letter claiming I was showing work I didn't complete because the client had no clue it was actually me that did the work. It only took a couple emails to explain that I was subcontracted and actually did do the work and things were fine.

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