Freelancer Copywriter Agreement (Licence of Work)

Freelancer Copywriter Agreement (Licence of Work)

BS.FL.01B

This Freelancer Copywriter Agreement (Licence of Work) has been designed for use by an individual freelance copywriter contracting personally to provide his services to a business client.

This document is compliant with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The Data Protection clause in the document reflects GDPR requirements. It refers to a Privacy Notice available on request or attached as a Schedule, and you might wish to use our standard Privacy Notice for this purpose: you can find it by clicking here.

The accompanying Consultancy (Company) Copywriter Agreement (Licence of Work) template is to be used instead by the copywriter when he contracts through his personal service company (or other intermediary company) rather than directly. (The information page with that template includes guidance about tax, employment status, IR35 and agency workers, where an intermediary company is used).

This agreement aims to reduce the risk that the freelancer might be deemed to be a de-facto employee of his/her client rather than a sole trader who is a self-employed contractor. However, whether he is treated by HMRC, a tribunal, or any other body, as self-employed will depend not only on what is contained in his contract but also on all other circumstances: those circumstances will include the way in which the contract is implemented and the conduct of the client, the freelancer and anyone the freelancer engages to do any of the work for the freelancer, and all related arrangements between them.

HMRC provides some guidance on its website about self-employment. Its decisions as to whether someone is a self-employed sole trader are often based on a “balancing exercise” in which it gives weightings to various factors. However, neither the HMRC guidance nor case law are sufficiently precise to enable anyone to predict how in any particular case the “balancing exercise” would be carried out or what HMRC’s conclusion would be about that particular case. For that reason we recommend that you take professional employment law, tax, and NIC advice in relation to your particular circumstances before you decide to use or adapt this template.

Nevertheless, a carefully worded contract ensuring the independence of the freelancer is a key starting point. As a self-employed freelancer (rather than as an employee of the client), the copywriter is, for example, free to engage a suitably qualified person to do some or all of the work in his place, is free to determine when, where and how work is completed (subject of course to the client’s requirements), is free to take on other clients, and most importantly may be subject to penalties if the work is not completed on time.

Payment under this agreement may take the form of a flat fee or an hourly rate.

The agreement provides for all copyright and other IP rights in the work produced by the copywriter to be owned exclusively by him so that he may use and exploit the work as he wishes. The document also includes, by means of a licence granted by the copywriter under his IP rights, the right for the client to use the work for a specific purpose (as set out in schedule 1) but not any other purpose. There is also wording in this licence allowing you to state how long the client may use the work, either indefinitely or for a fixed period stated in the document. The flat fee or hourly payment payable by the client serves as consideration for the licence granted to it.

An alternative version of this document is also included in this subfolder which conversely provides for all IP rights in the work produced by the copywriter to be assigned to the client. This means that the client exclusively owns all of the copyright and other IP rights in the work, so that it is then free to use and exploit the work as it wishes. It does not give the copywriter any licence or other rights to make any use of it at all, and so the copywriter may wish to take into account the fact that he is not permitted to use any of the work when he negotiates the amount of his fees for his work.

Each party provides warranties and indemnities to the other with regard to non-infringement of third party intellectual property rights.

Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.

This Freelancer Copywriter Agreement (Licence of Work) contains the following sections:

1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Engagement of the Copywriter
3. Nature of Engagement
4. Self-Employment Status of the Copywriter
5. Fee
6. The Work and Intellectual Property
7. Warranties and Indemnity
8. Liability
9. Confidentiality
10. Termination
11. Personal Information (Data Protection)
12. Nature of the Agreement
13. Severance
14. Notices
15. Alternative Dispute Resolution
16. Law and Jurisdiction

and the following schedule:

Schedule 1. The Work Name of any Consultant engaged by Copywriter
Schedule 2. Privacy Notice

This document is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.

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