Freelance: How to Be Paid on Time

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 The advantage of working freelance is that you are your own boss and can do a job you love. Unfortunately, however, clients do not always pay on time, and some don’t pay at all. We have listed 5 good practices for you to get paid on time.

Indeed, a Bonsai study has found that nearly 29% of invoices are late to be paid, and it is marketing and technological development specialists who are most affected by late payments or complete lack of payment.


Here are the 5 best practices for getting paid on time as a freelancer:


1. Choose your clients carefully

It’s crucial to choose your clients carefully by looking for some information about them. Feel free to go into depth by checking that the company really exists, what its financial health is like, its latest investments and its presence on social media.

If the company has an online presence, it will be easier for you to communicate with them in case of problems or even to use social media to inform others about its bad practices.

Tip: Feel free to ask other freelancers about a company’s reputation. If other freelancers have had problems with them, it is probably best not to work with them.


2. Make a contract

When you are about to work with a company, it’s vital to make a contract that details the work you will do for them, as well as your payment terms. For more security, request a deposit or split payments into installments because the larger the invoice, the more likely it is that the payment will take longer. If you ever have unpaid invoices, at least you can go to court.

3. Set out your payment guidelines

Feel free to take inspiration from the many standard contracts for freelancers on the net, which are already very complete and adapted.

What are the essential elements of your freelance contract?

  • Specify your payment terms in the signed contract
  • Ask for a down payment if the project is long
  • Detail practical and immediate payment methods (Paypal, WESTERN UNION)
  • Specify the modalities of execution
  • Articulate the terms of termination of the contract possible sanctions

4. Send your invoice on time

If you want to be paid quickly, you must send your invoice to your client without delay. Make sure your invoice is complete before sending it.

Key information to include for your freelance invoice to be valid:

  • Identity of the freelancer (address of head office, SIREN number, RCS situation)
  • Identity of the client (identity or company name, address)
  • Invoice issue date and invoice number
  • Description of the product or service
  • Price to pay (excluding VAT)
  • VAT information
  • Discounts and discount conditions
  • Delivery date
  • Payment deadline and late payment penalties


5. Opt for help from an agency

It can be a good idea to work with a specialised and reputable recruitment agency. This can offer certain benefits such as income security.

There are many agencies that help freelancers to develop their career. By collaborating with recruiters who work daily to select and assess candidates, you can obtain the best independent assignments. These agencies allow you to find assignments that suit you, while simplifying contracts and ensuring you get paid.

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What about if you still haven’t been paid?

If, despite all this, your client still has not paid you, you will need to set up a recovery plan and confront your client. Always favour communication before taking more radical measures.

You can always ask for help from a collection company or opt for legal assistance.


In conclusion:

Nobody enjoys waiting to be paid for a job well done. If you follow these precautions, they will help you protect yourself from any unpaid debts and avoid putting your business and projects at risk. Once you’ve done this, the time you spend chasing your payors will decrease significantly and you can focus on completing your mission.



Maja Fiołek

Written by Maja Fiołek

Maja is a Communication Ambassador at MyNextCompany and a passionate advocate of translating the inbound tools into the world of recruitment. Outside of work, you will find her training for the next triathlon or nose-deep in house renovation.