Contracts can be scary. The legal jargon, the sheer amount of words, the dense paragraphs – no one wants to read a contract. That said, contracts are absolutely essential to the function and ultimate success of any business or creative endeavor. Without a contract, you are vulnerable to exploitation, a loss of rights and even money loss. Don’t let this happen to you – always ask for a contract and be sure to understand it!
In her blog post for the Chicago Artist Resource, Lindsay Obermeyer outlines a few examples of situations that require a contract. A verbal agreement just isn’t enough – you need the specifications and expectations written down. Obermeyer states that although many artists and crafters look at contracts as a “bad omen,” they are simply a necessary piece of the puzzle. She says, “a contract simply spells out the terms of business. It is there to protect the interests of both parties and guarantee that disagreements are kept to a minimum.”
One worst case scenario that she lays out is delayed (or complete lack of) payment. When you have a contract set forth, negotiated and signed, you can ensure that you receive compensation in a timely manner. You put in so much hard work and energy into your designs and business, so why leave yourself vulnerable?
Learn more about the importance of contracts by checking out “When Does An Artist Need a Contract?“