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Signing a freelance contract in pdf: how to use the electronic signature

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Nam Chau

Nam Chau

Marketing manager Italy

Illustration: Léa Coiffey

The freelance contract is the basis for all collaboration with professionals, whether they are consultants, graphic designers, freelancers, photographers or even employees who, for one reason or another, accept small assignments on the side. Favoured also by the emergence of the pandemic and new ways of working, mobile and remote consultancy has recently seen a sharp rise in various professional sectors.

It goes without saying that the aspects related to the agreements with the client, from the drafting of a freelance contract to the signing of it, are the ones that raise the most doubts among freelancers. Indeed, we often ask ourselves the following questions: "how do I sign a contract from a distance?", "how do I sign a contract in pdf?", "how do I choose the right contract model? Faced with all these questions, people who have to draw up, define or sign a freelance contract find the electronic signature a valuable ally.

Let's take a look at how to draw up a perfect freelance contract and the advantages of electronic signatures.

The first step: preparing a freelance contract before registering it in pdf

For a freelancer, the first step in a new collaboration is undoubtedly the drafting of the contract. Once the quotation has been accepted by the client, it is essential to know exactly which clauses should be included in the contract, without leaving out any element. Once the identity of the parties, the contents and the delivery times have been indicated, it is important to specify what is not included in the contract.

For example, it is possible to detail which integrations and modifications requested after delivery of the service will be accounted for separately.. 

Simplicity and conciseness are essential: excessive use of technical terms could be detrimental to both the writing and the client's reception.

The most important aspects of a freelance contract

Let's look at the essential elements of a freelance contract.

Let's start with the information of the freelancer and the client, which is essential for the identification of both parties. Let's continue with the details of the project and the timeframe for implementation.

It is then useful to specify the terms of payment: indicate the gross amount, the net amount, but also the method (bank transfer, cheque or cash) and the payment deadlines. This will make it easier to manage the service contract and the deadlines.

Do not forget to include details of any rights to the material and intellectual property and the conditions for terminating the contract. Although the aim of both parties is to agree on and complete the service, unforeseen circumstances can always arise, so it is best to protect yourself by specifying the conditions for terminating the contract.

It is also advisable to consider the possibility of a dispute with the customer: in this case, it is advisable to indicate in the contract the competent court in case of a dispute.

The electronic signature, a freelancer's ally

Once all the details and contents are defined, all that remains is to send the contract and prepare the pdf for signature.

Even if up to now the electronic signature has been used mainly by companies, it can also be of great help to the self-employed. Any dematerialisation process inevitably involves the use of electronic signatures. And this also applies to freelancers: the electronic signature is an indispensable element of the proper management of their service contracts.

For self-employed persons subject to VAT, the use of electronic signatures can be really advantageous: both in terms of time saving (note that 75% of signature requests are created and sent in less than 5 minutes thanks to Yousign) and in terms of convenience and productivity, as the time saved for signing can be spent on other professional activities.

The certified electronic signature is also the only one that has a guaranteed legal value and really protects our freelance contract signed in pdf. Indeed, the signature that we usually affix to pdf contracts, for example a scanned handwritten signature, has in reality no legal value.

How Yousign supports freelancers

Yousign's ONE plan is designed entirely for the self-employed and small businesses.

For €9 per month per user (7,20 until December, 31st), it offers everything you need to get started with electronic signatures:

  • 10 electronic signatures per month,
  • 1 turnkey signature interface,
  • online help,
  • time-stamped proof file and archiving for 10 years,
  • creation of workflows,
  • automatic reminders,
  • dynamic text fields,
  • mentions
  • and many new functionalities announced for 2021,

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In short, whether you are a freelancer or a small business that regularly works with freelancers, electronic signatures can be a great ally in getting better deals done faster.

It's time to try Yousign for free for 14 days