As a freelance graphic designer and illustrator for the past twenty one years, I've never used an independent contractor agreement as such.
Instead I've modified my quote form to include the following:
* A full description of the job, detailing specific phases such as initial concept, preliminary drawings, final artwork, printing, etc.
I then add the following simple clause at the bottom of the form:
This quotation is valid for 14 days. Upon signed acceptance of this quotation the client agrees to pay the full amount as quoted. Payment shall be in full within 30 days of receiving the invoice for the completed work.
Quite often companies (especially the reputable ones) will issue a written order for the work, which serves the same purpose as a contractor agreement.
I've been most fortunate in having only one non-paying customer in all this time (touch wood). When I do not feel comfortable about a client's credibility, I submit separate quotes for each phase of the work and shorten the payment period to seven days.
This structure for progress payments offers some protection - at least you can very quickly see if the client will honor the agreement, before investing too much time doing the complete job.
PS. I've used some of the other free legal documents on your site - many thanks for a great service. The photograph submitted is of an airbrush illustration that I did for a client's brochure.
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