Do you need to breathe?
I don't care if it's a client, a friend, a family member or if you are giving or receiving a free service, you need a contract!
At the end of the day, you don't know what someone will do if they are unhappy with your services for whatever reason. If a client objects to a contract, that is a HUGE red flag and in the case of friends or family members it lays expectations and agreed upon deliverables in black and white so no one is confused or expecting something that did not end up being delivered.
I have provided free services for one reason or another and still require a contract and I have yet to have anyone express issue with it. If you are operating as a Sole-Proprietor, you more than anyone need a contract. As a Sole-Proprietor there is no legal distinction between you and your business, so if you are sued the client can legally be entitled to attack your personal assets (home, land, car, bank accounts, retirement accounts in some situations, stocks, and more). You will hear that if you don't have assets it's really doesn't matter, well that is terrible advice. The courts can still allow a lien to be placed on you and/or garnish your wages.
Side note: This is not common knowledge, but if you are an LLC there are things you could do inadvertently that will open up your personal assets in a legal situation. Following all legal requirements for LLCs is imperative.
Unless you can prove you can't support your everyday basic needs with the garnishment is the only way to 'get out of it' for lack of a better term, but that is when the lien will come into play and follow ups to see if you are able to afford it at a later date.
There should be no reason that you willingly risk your business and potentially your livelihood.
Check out our post here to see what your contract should include and best practices.
Don't have a contract? You can grab one from "The Shop" along with policies, templates, reference guides, printables and MORE!
>> This post is informational and educational only and is not legal advice, nor does it create a consultant-client relationship. Please consult your legal counsel for further guidance on this topic. <<
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