Creating a Solid and Enforceable Contract
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 3 min read

As a creative professional, it is essential to have a solid and enforceable contract in place for every project you undertake. A well-drafted contract can protect you from misunderstandings, scope creep, and non-payment. In this blog post, we will discuss the best practices for creating a contract that covers all the necessary elements and provides a clear understanding of the project's scope, timeline, and payment terms.

Creating a Contract for Creative Work

Creating a contract for creative work requires careful consideration of the specific needs of the project. Here are some essential elements to include in your contract:

Project Scope

The project scope outlines the work that will be done, including the deliverables and any limitations or exclusions. It should be as detailed as possible to avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements later on. For example, if you are a graphic designer creating a logo, the project scope should include the number of revisions, the file formats, and any usage restrictions.


The timeline outlines the project's start and end dates, as well as any milestones or deadlines. It should be realistic and achievable, taking into account any potential delays or unforeseen circumstances. Including a timeline in your contract ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of the project's timeline and can plan accordingly.

Payment Terms

Payment terms are perhaps the most crucial element of a contract. They should be clear, concise, and fair to both parties. It is essential to include the payment amount, due dates, and any late fees or interest charges. If you require a deposit, this should also be included in the payment terms. Be sure to outline what happens if payment is not made on time or if the project is terminated early.


Licensing is another critical element of a contract for creative work. It outlines how the work can be used and by whom. For example, if you are a photographer, you may grant the client a license to use the images for a specific purpose, such as a website or brochure. The licensing terms should be clear and specific to avoid any confusion or misuse of the work.

Important Elements to Include in a Contract

In addition to the elements discussed above, here are some other important elements to include in your contract:

Termination Fees

Termination fees are a crucial element of a contract, especially for long-term projects. They should outline what happens if the project is terminated early, including any fees or charges that may apply. Termination fees ensure that both parties are aware of the consequences of ending the project early and can help avoid misunderstandings or disputes.

Change Orders

Change orders are a common occurrence in creative projects. They occur when the client requests changes to the project scope or timeline. It is essential to include a process for change orders in your contract, including how they will be requested, approved, and billed. This ensures that any changes to the project are documented and agreed upon by both parties.

Job Codes

Job codes are a useful tool for tracking projects and ensuring that all parties are on the same page. They can be used to reference specific projects, tasks, or deliverables, making it easier to track progress and communicate about the project.

Best Practices for Drafting and Signing a Contract

Now that you know what elements to include in your contract, here are some best practices for drafting and signing it:

Use a Template

Using a template can save you time and ensure that you include all the necessary elements in your contract. There are many templates available online that you can customise to fit your specific needs.

Be Specific

Be specific when drafting your contract. Use clear, concise language, and avoid vague or ambiguous terms. The more specific you are, the less room there is for misunderstandings or disputes.

Use Digital Signature Tools

Digital signature tools, such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign, can make it easier to sign and manage contracts. They allow you to sign documents electronically, track the signing process, and store the signed documents securely.

Include Communication Terms

Including communication terms in your contract can help ensure that all parties are on the same page. For example, you may require that all communication be in writing or that all changes to the project be approved in writing. This ensures that there is a clear record of all communications and decisions related to the project.

Final Thoughts

Creating a solid and enforceable contract is essential for any creative professional. It protects you from misunderstandings, scope creep, and non-payment. By including the elements discussed above and following best practices for drafting and signing your contract, you can ensure that your project runs smoothly and that all parties are satisfied with the outcome.

If you would like to learn more about creating a contract for creative work, check out "A Contract For All Creatives" by Harry Vincent. This workshop provides a comprehensive guide to creating contracts that protect both parties and ensure a successful project outcome.