Whether you’re hiring someone to be a contract worker or freelancer for you or you are the freelancer, there are forms that may be involved. These forms are meant to protect both the worker and the business. As a worker, though, you need to make sure that you read contacts word for word before you sign your name on the dotted line.

There are two main contracts, when it comes to contract work, that you will see (and sign) a lot of. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelance writer, editor, or you work in data entry or answer phone and emails. The most common contracts you will see in the freelance world are the non-disclosure agreement and the actual work contract.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-disclosure agreements are very common in freelance work, and you might even have to sign one as an employee in a company, depending on what the company does. Companies that have a trick to doing what they do, like a great white-hat link building plan, want to protect that plan, so they have you sign something saying you won’t talk about it.

If you sign this agreement (or create one for someone you hire) it will have a certain amount of years on it post-employment that you (or your contract worker) needs to keep quiet the goings-on in said business. Yes, you won’t just have to keep things quiet while you’re employed by them, but also after.

Work Contract

A work contract is another very important thing in the work of the freelance and contract world. The contract will give you information on how long the contract is for (it could be until one of you, the worker or the business, decides to end the contract). Some contracts are for a stipulated amount of time. Your contract will also let you know how much notice you need to give before you can walk away.

Your contract will also explain the job you need to do. It will have due dates, when you need to invoice and how, and who you should reach out to with questions. Once you’ve signed a contract you need to ensure you keep a copy of it on hand so you can look back at it any time you need to.

You might also need to sign a page in a handbook, to agree that you have read it. Retail jobs aren’t the only place where handbooks are used. This will give you information on your daily work process, more diverse than what would fit in a work contract.

If you have any concerns about the paperwork you need to sign for a job you want to make sure that you ask before you sign anything. Your contractor will be fine with you taking a moment to sign papers if you’re waiting for clarification. And, it’s better to ask then get roped into something that might not be right for you.