Starting your own business is exciting, empowering, and sometimes terrifying. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be as terrifying? How so? By using a Creative Services Agreement (CSA) to better manage your risk.
Business owners, freelancers, consultants, and other creative professionals often use a CSA for business transactions. A CSA is a template contract customized for your particular business or services, and among other things, it sets forth the parties’ duties, goals, and project scope. With a template CSA in hand, these agreements are easy to implement by simply swapping out the specifics for each transaction.
We get it… adding additional paperwork sounds like one more thing to worry about, but trust us, it’s worth it in the long run. Below are the top three reasons why you should implement your very own CSA.
The Three P’s:
Not only will a CSA help establish trust between you and your client, having your client agree to your services in writing helps your client understand that your business is organized and professional. On your end, it will help you maintain consistency in your business practices because it creates guidelines for each transaction. Additionally, having a CSA in hand will save you from that awkward moment when a client expects you to have a contract for them to sign, and unfortunately you do not.
Business is risky. You work hard to perfect your craft and the last thing you want is to be taken advantage of. And you’re not the only one. The client also understands they might be at risk when they pay someone to handle a project on their behalf. By signing a CSA, both parties can rest assured their interests are well protected. A CSA can provide a clear understanding of what both parties expect, and can be a reference point to evaluate whether your services conform to those expectations. Also, setting expectations early and often with the help of a CSA increases the chances that your client will cooperate with…
Any way you slice it, payment and pricing is essential to the sustainability of your business. Having clear rates up front and in writing will ensure you’re adequately paid for all of your hard work. Using a CSA will give you control as to how payment may be made. Whether it’s in installments, on a retainer basis, or requires an initial deposit; it will totally be up to you. You can also choose to include “rules” regarding late fees, expenses, and rush fees to better protect your time and resources.
What’s Included in a CSA?
Below are a few provisions we may include in a CSA designed just for you:
- Payment Terms and Penalties
- Project Scope
- Revisions and Change Orders
- Liability Protection
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Point of Contact
- Termination and Kill Fees
- Representations and Warranties
- Promotion and Portfolio Use
- And more!
We would love to work with you to draft a template CSA that’s unique to your business and satisfies your specific needs. Feel free to reach out to schedule a free-of-charge consultation.
By: Rayman Khan – revised 01/03/18
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Disclaimer: Although this article may be considered advertising under applicable law and ethical rules, the information in this article is presented for informational purposes only. Nothing should be taken as legal advice. Reading this article does not form an attorney-client relationship with us. An attorney-client relationship is formed through a signed engagement agreement. If you would like further information, wilkmazz pc would love to help you out! Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Photo Credit: Jackie Wonders