A client who I’ve worked with before sent me a work contract. I signed it and returned it to them expecting them to return it signed immediately. However it’s been almost two weeks and they haven’t signed it yet.

Wondering if I have any recourse to cancel the agreement before I get their signed copy. I’m in Canada.

Maybe relevant: In the termination section of the contract it gives reasons that they can terminate but none for me are listed.

  • Haven't you asked them for a copy of it signed?
    – Scott
    Feb 12, 2018 at 2:36
  • Until both parties will sign a contract, none of the parties can reinforce that contract even if one of the parties signed. It is up to you to decide if you will wait for them or move on with your life and in case they will do sign, make sure you can either still provide the service (or goods) or that you let them know ahead of time (before them signing) that your agreement with them is voided given their delay. Feb 15, 2018 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


For future reference: you should not sign any contract if you are uncomfortable with the terms, no matter what relationship you've previously had with the client.

If your client provides a contract with no termination T&Cs protecting you, only those protecting them, add your own T&Cs to protect yourself, and initial that addition, send it unsigned back to them and in the accompanying communications clearly outline the change you made and why you made it. If they agree to that contract change, then you both sign and move on.

Contracts should be draughted to protect all parties: if it's a one-sided contract and your client refuses to amend it to address your concerns, walk away.

As your previous answer noted, without both parties having executed (signed) the contract, it is not currently in force, and is therefore unenforceable. You are not bound by it until both parties have a duly executed copy of said contract in their possession.

I am not a lawyer, this is not competent legal advice: I am a many-year freelancer and have trod these roads before.


Im not too sure what you're asking or what the problem is.

Perhaps you could write to them asking if you will receive a copy of their signature on the contract? They might be thinking that with them writing it, they only need yours to make it an agreement.

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