A freelancer can either be a service provider bound by terms of service, or work on location as a regular employee but on paper, still treated as a service provider by their client. If you provide a service to only one client, your client will likely want you to agree their terms of service; but if you’re a freelancer with several clients, you definitely have to be the one setting the standards of your business with your own terms of service. If you’re a service provider, you or the company that hires you to provide those services to a client, pays your taxes and expenses, save for those chargeable expenses stipulated in your agreement, or terms of service with your client. What you agree with your client on paper, pretty much goes, and you can put on paper anything a lawyer sees as common sense or lawful and approves.
As an employee, all expenses are paid by the employer, including your taxes. Some companies will pay for uniform, travel and subsistence and some will give you blinding discounts at the offices’ diner. You should know, prior to your interview with your employer, which benefits you’re entitled to. As an employee, you get paid when you are ill, when you go on holiday and when you have a baby. Why? Because the company that contracts you, your employer, is responsible for you, the employee, during the company’s working hours, and as they’re responsible for you, they’re responsible for your welfare too – tea breaks, lunch breaks, holiday rest, sickness allowances and baby arrival time. It is the employer’s duty, the company that hires you, to state in the contract and to inform you of all your entitlements and benefits prior to hiring you.
If you are a freelancer, it would be foolish not to have an agreement or terms of service prepared by a lawyer; not a template on Google search edited by you – you need a qualified lawyer for that. Whilst as an employee you are bound by a contract, when you’re a freelancer, you are a company serving another company, so you need to agree the terms of service you render to your client. A terms of service can be a two page document or as long a document as the day lasts. What is important is that you cover the necessary points and that your lawyer will prepare it for you. Your lawyer will advise you on which points to cover, which is why you will discuss your business and help the lawyer understand what you do and how you want your business to run.
Contracts, agreements and terms of service have one thing in common – they all need to be prepared and reviewed by a legal expert, thus avoiding headaches, injustices and court visits. If you’d like to have an informal free consultation on any of these issues, please give us a call. By Sandra Garcao
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