Do you pay a freelance web designer?


The person you are most likely to pay on a freelance basis

Have you ever paid a freelance web designer?

Most of us need a freelance web designer at some point; particularly if we want them to be e-commerce sites.

We hear horror stories from people who use freelance website designers:   missed deadlines, non-functioning sites, disputes over payments.  Things obviously don’t always run smoothly with the freelance web designer.

The customer is not always happy – yet neither is the freelance web designer. We hear stories of customers who want thousands of pounds worth of extras free of charge, who don’t provide the copy but are stunned when things run late.

Dealing with freelance web designers?

Twenty years ago, websites were commissioned by advertising and marketing agencies, or media agencies. They stood between the client, who had their commercial requirements, and the web designer, who had the technical requirements. They acted as middlemen – managing the project and soothing the way.

Today business people often deal directly with their web designer. But who is managing the project? Often nobody is, and deadlines, costs and relationships can get out of hand.

According to our survey of web designers’ clients:

  • One third have no written agreement of any kind
  • One third pay an individual (not a company)
  • 80% didn’t correctly identify who was responsible for tax

This means that a lot of people are really working in the dark on how things really work.   It gets worse because the person most likely to pay a freelance web designer is another web designer!

  • Almost 50% of people don’t have a non-poaching agreement
  • Just under 40% have no agreement on confidentiality
  • More than one third have no agreement about who owns code
  • Almost a third have no agreement about copyright, intellectual property or even who gets paid when!

How does law applies to freelancers?

Most people don’t understand how the law applies to freelancers – and simply assume either there is none at all, or that it is exactly the same in terms of copyright and confidentiality as it is with employees.

As numbers of freelancers increase rapidly (see the statistics here), the number of clients, and consultancies who are standing on shaky ground is bound to increase.

It is all very well have a ‘cheap and cheerful’ business model, but if HMRC come to you for back tax because you got it wrong, you can’t go back to your client and say we want to charge you more for the work we did for you last year as we under costed the labour.   With HMRC cracking down on off-shoring and single person companies (see here for more information), it has never been more important to get it right.

Use freelancers from overseas?

While it can be great to use freelancers from outside the EU, you must be careful that your are not exporting personal data via your web site databases in breach of the Data Protection Act.  If you are storing data to show compliance with the last EUVAT regulations for B2C transactions, you must keep that data securely on an EU based server for 10 years.    It has never been more important to make sure you have a proper data security plan in place and contracts to match them.

Want more information on freelancers?

If you want more information about how to pay contract and manage your web designer check our events page and join our FREE webinar (join us or hear the recording).  Click here for more information.

Or check out our contract options for web designers.  Click here for more information.

This information came from our ongoing anonymous survey.  Please help us and let us know who you pay and how you contract with them.

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Annabel Kaye

The perfect business contract protects more than just your boundaries. The perfect business contract protects your clients in relation to things like Copyright, IP, GDPR, scope-creep and all the other things that eat away at your profitability. Book me to speak at your event or ask about becoming an affiliate. Check out our contract shop and GDPR support today and start earning what you should in your business.