Is a "Finders Fee" ethical?

I have a client who i’ve done some label design for. She needs a website done as well. It could turn into a fairly lucrative project. I have a friend of 10+ years who is a designer and a front end web developer. I’d love to hand the project to him, but would hate to miss out on $$$. This would be the second project I’ve referred him.

Am I wrong to say hey buddy, here’s a project worth (not actual amounts here) 5k, will you give me $500 for the referral?

What you are describing is essentially an Agency’s business plan.

If you have the time/resources available on your end, how about working WITH your friend on the project instead of simply handing it over to them?

If it’s your client, treat it like this is another service you can offer them; treat it like you’ve done this before and show your friends work as proof…Even if you are out of your element and you end up only being the account lead just sitting in on meetings. I’m sure your skills could be of value and worthy of charging for your time.


That was kind of my thought too. I’ll still be doing graphics for the client and would still want to be included on calls ETC.

I don’t think that he would take it the wrong way either as I’ve sent him work in the past and asked for nothing.

Good way to position it.

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