The Best Work for Hire Agreement Template

Standardized Legal Documents The Best Work for Hire Agreement Template

A Work for Hire Agreement Template—Who Owns What?

Working as a freelancer can be advantageous. No one dictates your working hours or your pace. The problems start when you must deal with annoying details like taxes and payment methods, or more serious ones, such as intellectual property ownership. 

A work for hire agreement clarifies the matters and makes the relationship between a freelancer and a client transparent. If you are not familiar with this legal document, or if drafting any contract bores you, DoNotPay can help you create it in a few clicks. Stick around and get familiar with everything there is to know about a work for hire agreement.

What Is a Work for Hire Agreement?

A work for hire agreement is a contract between a worker and a client by which a worker gives up the rights to the service he/she is providing. 

Work for hire agreements are protected under U.S. copyright laws and are legally binding. Section 101 of the Copyright Act describes work for hire as:

  1. A work prepared by an employee within the scope of his/her employment
  2. A work ordered or commissioned for various purposes

Such purposes include:

  1. Contribution to a collective work
  2. Translation
  3. Supplementary work
  4. Compilation
  5. Motion picture or other audiovisual work
  6. Instructional texts
  7. Tests
  8. Answer material for a test

What Should a Work for Hire Agreement Include?

You should strive to make your work for hire agreement as detailed as possible. It can save you from potential disputes or misunderstandings. Any work for hire agreement must include:

  1. Due date of the project 
  2. Scope of the project (what should be done)
  3. Payment methods
  4. Rights to be sold
  5. Non-disclosure agreement
  6. Arbitration terms
  7. Severability (getting out of the agreement)

Putting everything in writing and making a legal agreement is the only way to protect your rights and avoid getting cheated. Beware of unreliable templates because they often don’t have all the necessary sections and clauses. The only thing worse than having no contract is having a vague one.

Who Owns the Work Created Under Work for Hire Agreement?

Hiring a temporary contractor may leave you puzzled regarding the ownership of the work. A person who contributes to the project can sell the same material to another party without the hiring party’s permission unless there is a special written agreement.

The situation is especially problematic with written works since the copyright law states the authors have ownership of any works they create. A work for hire agreement ensures the hiring party has the rights over the work it commissioned. 

The Difference Between an Employee and a Freelancer

Employees’ work automatically belongs to their employer, and many companies tend to treat freelancers as employees to get ownership of their work. 

The Supreme Court established a test to verify whether a person working for a company should be deemed an employee or a freelancer. A worker will not be considered an employee if most of the following are true:

  • The commissioned work required artistic skill
  • The worker performed the work at his/her studio and not at the client’s workplace
  • He/she supplied his/her tools
  • Apart from completion deadlines, the worker decided when or how long he/she worked
  • The work is not part of the client’s regular business
  • The worker was retained for a short period 
  • The commissioner did not have the right to assign additional projects to the worker
  • A flat fee was paid to the worker instead of an hourly wage
  • If the worker used assistants, the client had no role in hiring them
  • The client did not provide any employee benefits to the worker, such as health insurance
  • The worker was not treated as an employee for tax purposes, meaning the client did not pay social security taxes for the worker

DoNotPay Can Help With Legal Documents

Do you hate spending money on lawyers whenever you need a contract? DoNotPay can help you save it. You don’t have to use a template. Rely on DoNotPay.

DoNotPay can draw up various legal documents for you. All you need to do is:

  1. Open DoNotPay in a web browser
  2. Enter the name of the document you want to make
  3. Answer our chatbot’s questions

We’ll generate a personalized document using the information you provided. Sign the document or notarize it to make it official.

We give our best to make new templates available for you. At the moment, we can help you with the following documents:

Business Real EstateOther Usages

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