Do you need an agreement to work as a freelancer?

Giselle Ayala Mateus, Esq.
In the bustling city of New York, freelancing has become a popular choice for many. It offers flexibility and the opportunity to work on diverse projects. But one question that often arises is: do you need an agreement to work as a freelancer in New York?
 
Yes, having a written agreement is not only a prudent business practice but also a legal requirement under the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) in New York City. FIFA was enacted to safeguard the rights of independent professionals who often encounter challenges in receiving payment or having their rights acknowledged.
FIFA provides strong safeguards for freelance workers, ensuring that they have certain fundamental rights:
 
  1. Written Contract: Freelancers are entitled to a written contract, which helps establish clear expectations and protects their interests.
  2. Timely and Full Payment: Freelancers have the right to receive their payment promptly and in full for the work they have completed. This ensures that they are not left waiting or shortchanged.
  3. Protection from Retaliation: The law also shields freelancers from any form of retaliation for asserting their rights. This ensures that they can speak up without fear of negative consequences.
To enforce these rights, the law imposes penalties on those who violate them. These penalties include:
 
  • Statutory Damages: Violators may be required to pay a specified amount of damages as determined by the law.
  • Double Damages: In cases where violations are particularly severe, the law allows for double the amount of damages to be awarded.
  • Injunctive Relief: Freelancers can seek court orders to stop ongoing violations and prevent further harm.
  • Attorney’s Fees: If freelancers need to take legal action to protect their rights, the law allows them to recover their attorney’s fees, ensuring access to justice.
 
Individual claims will be resolved in state court, providing a fair and impartial forum for freelancers to seek redress. Furthermore, if there is evidence of a repeated pattern of violations, the Corporation Counsel has the authority to initiate a civil action to recover a civil penalty of up to $25,000. This provision serves as a deterrent against persistent violations and reinforces the importance of compliance with the law.

Why is an Agreement Necessary?

An agreement or contract outlines the terms and conditions of the work to be done. It provides clarity on what is expected from both parties – the freelancer and the client. This includes details about the scope of work, deadlines, payment terms, and more.
 
Under FIFA freelancers are entitled to receive a written contract if the service agreement with the hiring party is worth $800 or more. This applies to both individual agreements and all services provided within the last 120 days.
 
Here, it is worth noting that having an agreement in place can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes down the line. It ensures that they are protected and have legal recourse if things don’t go as planned.

What Should Be Included in the Agreement?

According to FIFA, the contract must include at least the following:
  • The name and address of both the freelancer and the hiring party.
  • An itemized list of services to be provided by the freelancer.
  • The value of the services to be provided and the rate and method of compensation.
  • The date of payment or the mechanism by which such date will be determined.
If the hiring party fails to provide a written contract, they could face penalties.

What does FIFA says about payment the due date?

FIFA mandates that the hiring party must pay the freelancer on or before the designated payment date. If the contract does not specify a payment date, the hiring party is obligated to make payment within 30 days after the completion of the freelancer’s work. Furthermore, once the freelancer has commenced the contracted work, the hiring party cannot demand a lower payment than what was agreed upon.

Need Help?

 
If you’re considering embarking on a freelancing journey in the bustling city of New York, it is crucial to prioritize the establishment of a written agreement. This not only demonstrates astute business acumen but also fulfills a legal obligation. It is imperative to bear in mind that taking precautionary measures is always preferable to facing potential regrets later on. So, ensure that you have a well-documented agreement in place before commencing any freelance work in New York.
 
Don’t hesitate to reach out! If you’re seeking legal counsel on issues related to the Freelance isn’t Free Act, G.A.M. LAW OFFICE P.C. is here for you. Their team of experienced professionals is ready to guide you through every step of the process. They understand the complexities of this law and are committed to providing you with the best possible advice and representation. Contact them today to discuss your situation and learn how they can assist you.
 
 

New York City Business Lawyers – NYC

Dedicated to our clients and their success

When you have a business problem that requires legal attention, you need a New York City business lawyer who understands business. You need a business attorney who realizes that a legal disagreement can be handled and that a wrong decision has the potential to destroy a company.

Call (347) 329-3952 today to schedule your free consultation with an NYC business lawyer.

Our law firm based in New York provides legal services to a variety of businesses, small business owners, and business entities. We help our clients with business law, business contracts, intellectual property, operating agreements, business transactions, real estate, business formation, and more within NYC, New York. We are small business lawyers that are dedicated to helping business owners protect their businesses.

Business Formation

Planning for and minimizing risk is essential to every business, especially when it comes to small businesses. By retaining our office, you will access a team of forward-thinking professionals who can design a cost-effective strategy that protects your business from start-up to exit planning. G.A.M. Law Office in NYC organizes and forms new companies for prospective business owners, which includes choosing an appropriate legal structure, drafting internal governing documents, and providing legal counsel in matters related to corporate governance.

Business Dissolution

A business dissolution attorney represents companies and the individuals who own and operate them in the negotiation of business termination transactions, the sale of businesses, litigation, actions seeking to legally separate the owners of these business entities, and derivative and direct actions, among others. If you or your company wants to bring or needs a law firm to defend it in business dissolution litigation or other corporate litigation, contact the New York business lawyers of G.A.M. Law Office.

Commercial Agreements

Commercial Agreements may come in all different types of forms, depending on the purpose of the parties. At G.A.M. Law Office, we are relentless in our efforts to understand your business so that we can provide support and advice which is both practical and reflects the commercial reality. You can trust our team of business attorneys, we will give you clear and accessible advice on everything from one-off, specific queries arising from your own business negotiations; to picking up and delivering on complicated, time-critical negotiations.

Corporate Compliance

Corporate compliance affects a wide spectrum of business issues, including those related to management, shareholders, suppliers, and third parties. To ensure success and stability, a corporate compliance program can make a difference. Whether you have a program or need representation for a lawsuit, consult with a corporate compliance lawyer first.

Non-for-profit Law

Non-profit organizations handle many of the same issues that affect businesses. An attorney can help your non-profit if you’re just starting up and need guidance on the paperwork that needs to be filed, when you file taxes, or when you need counsel to deal with litigation.

Call (347) 329-3952 today to schedule your free consultation with one of our business lawyers in New York.

You may also like…

La Visa O – Para Profesional Extraordinarios

La Visa O – Para Profesional Extraordinarios

Cuál es la visa O? La visa O es una categoría de visa no inmigrante temporal para individuos que poseen habilidades extraordinarias en las ciencias, artes, educación, negocios o atletismo, o que han demostrado un récord de logros extraordinarios en la industria del...

EN
CALL NOW GAM LAW OFFICE