(updated 23 June 2020)
Below are some template contracts we’ve collated for use by media freelancers. You may use them to understand the terms when a client provides you with a contract, and see if the terms are acceptable, or to draft/provide your own contract when the client does not initiate the assignment with one.
You may also wish to see our page on Understanding Contracts before you carry on further. Also check out our other guides in the Legal section.
Do note that not every assignment is the same. Some freelancers solely work with media production companies, whereas others solely work with direct clients in other sectors. Therefore, the nature of the services provided and expectations can vary widely (a production company may provide commercial general liability insurance, whereas a non media sector client may not). That is why it is important to define, in writing, the terms of work.
You can also look into digital signing services such as Adobe Sign to facilitate contract signing for projects that need to commence immediately.
Please note that these boilerplate contracts are provided as-is, and should not merely be duplicated without consideration of an individual’s particular situation. It is not intended to cover each and every situation, nor can it anticipate specific needs.
Basic Engagement Form Template for SEPs, developed by MOM
To shape better contracting norms and aid in the event of payment disputes, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has developed a key terms of engagement form template for SEPs.
The form template was developed in accordance with the Tripartite Standard on Contracting with SEPs (TS SEPs), and details the key terms of engagement that should be provided in a written contract.
SEPs can use the form template to request that service-buyers provide in writing the key terms of engagement. Service-buyers who wish to provide their SEPs with written agreements, but do not know how to do so, can use the form template as a guide. Users of the form template can further customise it to suit the needs of their engagements.
In addition to the above, service-buyers who use the form template and include all suggested terms in Section A – E are ready to adopt the Tripartite Standards on Contracting with Self Employed Persons (TS SEPs), and we encourage them to do so. MOM also encourages SEPs who use the form template to request their service-buyers to adopt the TS SEPs.
Legal Boilerplate Contract
The term ‘boilerplate clauses’ refers to relatively standard clauses which tend to be agreed upon between freelancer and client with little or no negotiation. Nonetheless, read these standard clauses carefully to ensure that you understand their implications, especially the clause on Liability.
Here are sample contract clauses developed by Mr Ng Joo Khin of Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, which may be helpful in working out your contract.
Some additional clauses to consider
Here is a non-exhaustive list of considerations you may wish to detail further in your contracts:
- what is included in the quoted cost, and what is not.
- breakdown of additional items
- overtime charges & terms
- overage charges & terms
- late payment charges & terms based on bank interest rates
- cancellation charges & terms
- expenses – amounts and types – to be borne by company or freelancer (transport, meals)
- Define milestones. E.g. 50% before a certain date, 50% after a certain milestone, by delivery schedule, by month
Scope of Work:
- Define clear scope of work and limitation of duties
- Any other specific terms, e.g. max hours in a day, stipulated meal breaks
- Changes in brief/scope of work subject to agreement between parties
- Minimum turnaround time for revisions/variations
- Maximum number of revisions
- Are you doing work for hire, i.e all IP belongs to client company? Or should the IP belong to you, the creator, and IP creator assigns limited rights to client?
- Duration/perpetuity of the rights
- Distinguishing rights on ideas, concepts, proposals, digital assets, project files, deliverables
- For talents/actors loading fees, usage terms, durations and regions.
Other Useful Links
The Law Society of Singapore Pro Bono Services
Legal Clinics for needy individuals requiring basic legal advice. The calendar of such services, including day, location and timing, can be found at http://probono.lawsociety.org.sg/Pages/Volunteer-Schemes-Legal-Clinics.aspx
Singapore Mediation Centre
Singapore International Arbitration Centre
The Law Society of Singapore Mediation & Arbitration Scheme
https://www.lawsociety.org.sg/our-community/alternative-dispute-resolution/ (scroll to the bottom)