Terms of Business

I pride myself on being helpful and flexible, but it’s a good idea for us to have an agreement written so we both know what to expect. I believe agreements like this should be easy to understand, so I’ve made sure this one uses clear language. Having said that, if anything is unclear, ask me. I’ll be happy to clarify.

In order for me to start working on your project, I need you to confirm that you have read and agree to these terms.

 

What do we both agree to do?

As my client, you agree:

  • You have the power to enter into this contract on behalf of your organisation.
  • To provide me with everything I need to complete the project, when I need it.
  • To review my work, provide feedback and sign-off within agreed timescales.
  • To stick to the payment schedule described in the final agreement.

 

As the writer, I agree:

  • I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me.
  • I will carry this service out in a professional manner.
  • I will respect the confidentiality of any information you give me.

The service I provide to you

I will create text and/or articles for you as described in the assignment which will be forwarded to you after I receive the brief.

I will deliver the text as a Microsoft Word document.

If your project involves complex web pages, I will include annotated screenshots or use clear descriptions so you can see where the text should sit on the page.

 

Changes and revisions

Most clients require me to make some changes to the work I do for them. That’s fine. However, I work to a  fixed-price agreement, so I do have to limit the time I spend rewriting and editing. This agreement therefore includes:

  • Initial delivery of a complete copy document.
  • One subsequent round of changes, if required.

(This only applies up to the point where you sign off my work, publish it or begin using it on your live website.)

 

This bit’s important

The assignment details may not be changed once this agreement is in place and any edits or rework must take place within the scope of what’s described there.

The reason for this is that changing the assignment details can create lots of extra work for me, particularly if I have already spent time on the project. This is not budgeted for in the cost I give you.

The main circumstances in which this situation is likely to occur are if you:

  • Decide to redesign the structure of your website or the layout of the pages themselves. For instance, changing the site map or adding extra pages.
  • Substantially alter the positioning, features or selling points of the products or services the text describes.

It is best for both of us if I don’t start work until these items have been agreed.

 

Copyright

When I have received full and final payment as described in the agreement, copyright of the work I produce is automatically assigned to you. You can then use the work however you wish.

However, until final payment is received, copyright of the work remains with me.

I love to show off my work, so I reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of my online portfolio. (The link may help your Google ranking a bit, so there’s something in this for you too.)

 

Deadlines

I believe in hitting deadlines, but I can only do this with your help. So, I can’t be responsible for a missed deadline if you have been late with a down payment, slow to supply materials or not provided feedback to agreed timescales.

I also can’t be responsible for deadlines missed due to circumstances completely beyond my control, like family emergencies, floods, war, acts of god and so on.

Further changes will obviously take extra time. We can agree deadlines for those together, but I’ll do everything I can to meet your needs.

 

Cancelling this contract and the pause clause

If you wish to cancel this agreement, I will retain your down payment and you may be required to make an additional payment to cover the work I’ve done. This ‘kill fee’ (not as dangerous as it sounds) will be based on the percentage of the project completed.

If at any time during the project you fail to provide requested feedback on the progress of the work, after a 7-day silent period your project will be put on hold (paused) and be rescheduled dependant on my current availability.

 

My Pricing Terms

Once I receive your brief I will provide you with a quote which will include the full terms and conditions and a breakdown of the full cost of the work.

A 50% deposit is required before work commences followed by milestone payments that will be set out in the final project agreement.

New clients will be required to pay 100% of the cost upfront before any work commences.

 

 

Late Payment Terms

I understand my statutory right and will exercise my right to charge interest and compensation for debt recovery costs under the late payment legislation if I am not paid in accordance to our payment terms.

The Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act (1988) states that penalties for late payments are as follows:

  • debts up to £999.99 = £40
  • debts from £1,000 – £9,999.99 = £70
  • debts of £10,000 or more = £100

 

Interest is payable at 8 per cent over the statutory rate which is set by the Bank of England

 

Legal stuff

While I make every attempt to make sure that my work complies with the law, it is your responsibility to submit all copy for legal review.

I will do my best to ensure all facts and statements in my work are true and that it doesn’t infringe upon any copyright or other right of a third party.

However, I can’t be liable to you, or any third party, for damages, including lost profits, lost savings, complaints, claims, litigation or other incidental, consequential or special damages which arise regarding this assignment.

If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

You cannot transfer this contract to anyone else without my permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed.

The copywriting I send to you: You agree to indemnify me against any claim by any other business or organisation for compensation or damages brought about as a direct or indirect consequence of the use, or inability or unwillingness to use, the material which I write for you.

Passing over of your own copywriting ideas: As part of the brief for your project, you may ask me to view a copy draft or a list of product/brand names which you have written yourself, or which has been written for you by somebody else. If you send me such draft copy or a list of product/brand names, you affirm that you are the copyright holder, or that you are authorised by the copyright holder to permit all or part of this material to form a part of the new copyright work which I will create for you. In such a case you indemnify me against any claim arising from subsequent suggestion that the new work in any way breaches any existing copyright.

Referencing other people’s content: If you send me research or sample copy taken from someone else’s printed collateral or site as an indication of what you want, I will make every effort to ensure that the draft that I prepare for you in no way breaches the copyright of the content owner. However, you indemnify me against any action arising, directly or indirectly, as a result of use of this content as reference material.

Your right to use the copy I write for you: When you commission me to write copy for you, you are purchasing the copyright in the work I write for you, and this is assigned to you on receipt by me of full and final payment of all fees due.

Jurisdiction
In the settlement of any and all disputes arising out of these Terms and Conditions or arising in any other way from any contract formed between us, you acknowledge that UK Jurisdiction will prevail and agree to subject yourself to and comply with settlement ordered under UK Jurisdiction.

Security
If you pass data, information or materials of any kind to me as part of a project which you wish me to undertake for you, or for a company who are your client, I will be happy to sign any NDA you wish to present in good faith, but you indemnify me against any action whatsoever by you or your client, associated with the accidental disclosure or loss of this information.

Errors and literals
I make every effort to ensure that copy is free of spelling mistakes and other literals. Early drafts may sometimes contain such errors, and my practice is to ensure that these are removed before a final draft is submitted to you. However, the responsibility for checking for spelling mistakes and literals is yours, and you absolve me of responsibility for any costs incurred as a result of the appearance of such errors in the final published form of any collateral in which you use the copy concerned, whether or not these errors appeared in any draft of the copy supplied by me.

Brand Names/Product names

As a copywriter, I take responsibility only for offering the names – nothing more. It is up to the client to have the names checked out for trade marks and copyright and to see if they are already in use. They can do this by going to a Patent Agent. These firms will check the availability of trade names and will register new names for your client.

Legalities
While I make every attempt to make sure that my work complies with the law, it is your responsibility to submit all copy for legal review.

Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of English courts.