• Pricing
  1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Business
  4. What To Include in Your Contract To Get Paid on Time
220803 Get Paid on Time

What To Include in Your Contract To Get Paid on Time

by Olivia Baker

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Getting paid for your work is important. Getting paid on time? Even more so. Here are our tips on how to set up your contract for success.

Late payments can have a significant negative impact on the success of your business, regardless of its size, because you may not have enough money coming in to cover your monthly expenses on time—from office space to employees or even your home rent if you’re an individual freelancer.

To avoid any late payments, make sure your contract has you—and your payments—covered from the get go. Here, you’ll find our tips on what to include in your invoice to get paid on time.

Payment Policy


Make sure the payment policy is well defined in your contract. For example, what is the payment method? Will your invoice be paid via bank transfer, a check, cash, or other means? It’s also vital to agree on the payment schedule—outline when the payments will be made, so you know exactly when you can expect to be compensated.

Outlining the payment policy and process sets up an obligation for the client to pay by a defined date. If payment is refused, they’ll be in breach of the contract and could be liable to pay additional fees. The most common terms of payment are 30 and 60 net. For freelancers, 14 days are also a very common time frame to include in invoices as a payment policy.

Late Payment Fees


As mentioned above, if your client refuses to pay you for your work, they might owe you additional fees. Your contract should outline any charges for late payments so that it’s clear from the get-go that paying on time is not only in your best interest, but also theirs. If, for whatever reason, you still don’t receive your payment on time, you can add additional fees that they will have to pay.

Intellectual Property Rights


Intellectual property rights relate to who owns the work you produce—you or your employer. You can use this to your advantage by stating that ownership and copyright stay with you until you’ve been paid in full. Your employer will be more likely to pay you on time to claim ownership. After all, they can’t use of publish your work unless its ownership is transferred.

Conflict Resolution


Outlining conflict resolution procedures within your contract before any conflict or disagreement arises ensures that should you encounter such problems, there are clear processes in place and they don’t involve refusal of payment.

These disagreements could be over motivations and values or more specific ideas and plans. Resolution techniques are equally varied, so it’s important to outline what should happen if things don’t go as smoothly as expected, to ensure a respectful and professional resolution that maintains a strong and positive relationship between both parties.

Verified Signatures


Once you’ve outlined the information you need in your contract in order to ensure timely payments, both parties need to sign the document. These signatures act as an agreement to the terms and will help both parties avoid any disputes over the topics covered.

Electronic signatures are a great option if you want to speed up the process—having your contract signed quickly can help to avoid delayed processing of your first payment.

Try out the easy-to-use Smallpdf e-signature tool to get your contracts signed quickly and securely. All you need is an internet connection and a device—be it your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Electronic signatures are generally accepted just like the traditional wet signature in most scenarios and locations, but it’s always a good idea to double-check your local laws around electronic and digital signatures.

We hope you found this article useful and that you receive all of your future payments in full and on time! Be sure to check out the Smallpdf Blog and our suite of 20+ document tools—you might find something that makes your work life easier!

Olivia Baker
Olivia Baker
Content Writer