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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 dire effect on successfully running your business, regardless of its size, as you might 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 covers your back—and your payments—from the get go, with our tips on what to include.

Payment Policy


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

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.

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 offset that it’s in their own interest to pay on time. If, for any reason, you still don’t receive your payment on time, you can rest easy knowing you’ll be covered with the additional fees.

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 the 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, along with the possibility of using or publishing your work.

Conflict Resolution


Outlining conflict resolution procedures within your contract before any conflict or disagreement has occurred ensures that any conflict that occurs won’t result in refusal to pay.

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 you come to heads, to ensure a respectful and professional resolution that maintains a strong and positive relationship between both parties.

Verified Signatures


Now that 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—getting 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.

Both wet and electronic signatures are generally accepted 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