The client denies the agreement: Is there legal protection for international freelance designers?

Hello there i’m freelance designer from Indonesia. Thanks for who have made this site. I wanna to talk about " client who have denies the agreement to pay the design ". I have very bad and very fool experience about this, it was happen today. My client, who i get him from instagram was asked me to created some sketches for his merchandise design ( he was a vocalist from Califonia ). But before i created these sketches i tell him about the agreement “if he you mus pay DP 50% from full payment after i finish these sketches and you have chose one of them then you must pay the rest of payment aftet i finish those sketch on digital process” and he said "ok, deal ". Then i finish the sketches and he chose one of them but he was not send the DP 50% to my paypal until today and suddenly gone without give some informatiohn. I tried to contacted him on DM but he wasn’t handle his instagram again, but his manager ( new manager ) who handle his instagram and said to me like this " Ok so yes I do know who you are now so I don’t know if he properly explained this to you before or not but what we are doing is we are launching a limited edition line of t shirts there will be 5 different designs the t shirts will not launch until February of 2019 which is still 4 months away what we are doing is have several artist submit there original drawings to us and on January 1st we will choose five different designs from five different artist and the t shirts will be printed from those five designs each artist will be paid in full for their chosen drawing / sketch but no decision will be made until January 1st " . I was really surprised with the manager explaination. Very different with our ( me and vocalist ) agreement at first time we talked. So in here i need your help to solve this problem, Because he doesn’t send DP 50% at all and it was very different with our agreement at the first time. I want to ask a question about the legal protection about international grapich designer and anyone who lives or works in California can help me?

thank you

Could there have been an honest misunderstanding due to language difficulties? Did you have a written contract spelling out what you’re stating is the case? If so, did your contract state the jurisdiction under which disputes would be resolved? Verbal agreements are very difficult to prove.

One of the big problems with designers working for clients in other countries is that enforcing contracts is usually far more trouble and expense than it’s worth. Even if your contract specified that it existed under the laws of Indonesia, and even if you got a judgment against this person from an Indonesian court (I know nothing about the Indonesian court system), there’s no practical way to enforce that judgment from Indonesia unless that person has assets in Indonesia that can be seized.

Even here in the United States enforcing the terms of contracts is difficult. When someone deliberately defaults on payment, even with a contract, it sometimes requires several trips to court to force payment or seize assets. Doing that from across the Pacific Ocean sounds almost impossible — even when the law is on your side.

When it comes right down to it, your best protection against dishonest people is to get a written contract AND require a percentage of payment in advance BEFORE you start on any work at all. Then require full cleared payment before the final product is delivered. From what you wrote, it sounds like you sent him initial sketches before he paid you instead of requiring a down payment before doing so.

I wish this weren’t the case, but if they don’t want to pay you, it might be best if you to regard this as an expensive but valuable lesson in protecting yourself against those people who are less honest and who have less integrity than yourself.

If you are going to take on clients outside of Indonesia, you should do it through a freelance site that has a dispute policy or arbitration. You can still find clients using Instagram, but send them through a freelancer site for the business part of the transaction.

Usually, the client would be required to put money into escrow through the site before you start work, then the site releases a percentage to you when the client agrees you have reached each milestone. If the client says you haven’t reached the milestone, you can file a dispute with the site and they will arbitrate.


Thanks Friend your words very help me to get some energy. Yeah my false i was too much believe with my client, because we are like a friend before. But it was really big experience for the future. Thanks for your support :pray::pray::pray:

Thanks Mojo for advice, but maybe can you tell me some webstie for freelancer? Becausu i think i need this on the future. Thank you

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook