Payment terms

What are everyone’s thoughts on the type of clients (as in, design agencies) who want to get payment of their clients before they pay their freelancers?

I have a line in my contract which states that I don’t expect a delay in my payments as a result of their client’s not having paid them.

Are these clients best just avoided full stop? or is there some way to work around it?

Who’s signing whose contract?

If they are signing yours, then what it says should be honored. Payment within set time parameter.

All of their other vendors expect to get paid. You are no different. In fact, if there are a bunch of materials to be ordered, my vendors insist on a partial payment up front. No reason you can’t do that too.

If you are signing their contract and your payment is contingent on client payment, decide how much you need the work and if the chance of delayed payment is going to affect you. I’m gonna point out that it isn’t against the law to amend, or even strike out, a clause in an offered contract before the other party signs it. Of course doing so may mean you don’t get the job, but at least the client knows where you stand.

I don’t do work where my payment depends on a third party paying someone else. That’s a recipe for not getting paid for months, if at all.

For that matter, I typically ask for an advance or for money to be placed in escrow before I’ll even begin work for a new client.

If somebody comes in off the street and asks for that kind of arrangement I’d give them a hard no. To me, them even asking is an indication they might have financial issues.

My general rules: 50% down payment has to be made by them before I begin any work. Balance due before it goes to print, before I deliver files, or when they cease responding to proofs. Clients who have a history with me… on time payments, annual contracts, and a lot of work… are preferred clients and get the down payment waived and 30 days. If a preferred client were to ask for 60 or 90 days I might do it, but I would be providing financial services to them and the fee is 1.5% per month for the amount they are financing.

I also tell clients I accepted all major credit cards. Then I get all my money when it’s due and if they need to spread out payments, that’s between them and the credit card company.

Thanks for the responses, this confirms my suspicions! :smile:

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