In recent years, many entrepreneurs have chosen to offer their talents to others on a freelance basis as opposed to holding a traditional role with just one company. Consultants who do this should remember that by taking on work on a project basis, they're not anyone's employee. Protections extended to a company's workers don't cover them. This is why it's important that they have a consulting agreement in place with each client.
Early in the consulting agreement, you'll want to describe what your relationship with the person contracting you to perform the work, your client, is. In many cases, working as a consultant to a company means that no taxes will be withheld from your check. How your relationship is defined in this section of the agreement may affect whether you qualify to file self-employment taxes, for example.
Another detail that should be included in the consulting agreement is a clear description of the scope of work that you will perform as the contractor. It's important that this document contains a description of the tasks that you won't be handling as well. This can be consulted by both you and your client if there is a dispute that arises regarding performance.
The agreement should also address who will retain the intellectual property rights to the work that you produce. You and your client can negotiate an agreement that may allow you to sell, use, buy, reproduce or license the material that you prepare for them. Alternatively, your client may wish to retain exclusive rights to do whatever they want with their intellectual property.
Another important detail that should be included in your consulting agreement is a deadline for completing the work. It should also include what pay you've agreed to, how you wish to be paid and how soon it should happen after your client has been invoiced.
It doesn't matter how honest your Ohio clients seem or how well you get along with them. It's also irrelevant how small a project may be. It's always important to have a written consulting agreement in place anytime you perform work for someone else.
An attorney can help you draft or negotiate the terms of your consulting agreement with your clients. They can help you if any disputes arise.