Up until now Iíve always done my support work on trust, usually with full payment when a job is complete, as support jobs vary in time its difficult to charge up front.
Recently I worked on a clientís server for a substantial period of time, solved all the problems and sent him an invoice, which has not been paid and all my requests for payment have been ignored. It's my own fault and Iím not complaining about it, but I want to try and cover myself in the future.
Itís easy enough to draw up a contract for say a web design, you know how much it will cost, and you can get some payment up front and put the rest in a contract to be paid on completion. But with support work, as I said, itís difficult to say how long each job will take or how much it will all come to until it is completed. Has anyone got any thoughts on how I can cover myself so when I work hard on solving a customers problem I can ensure I get paid or have some legal backup should they fail to pay. Can I just get a contract drawn up that says ďyou agree to pay whatever it costs to fix your serverĒ?
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Straight from one of my Independent Contractor Agreements where I bill by the hour...
Services to Be Performed
[Your_Name] agrees to perform general computer programming, application design and general IT services for and on behalf of Client.
In consideration for the services to be performed by [Your_Name], Client Agrees to pay [Your_Name] at the rate of $[Your_Price] per hour.
For more info I suggest you consider getting "Working for Yourself" by NOLO or consult an attorney.