fountain pen open and ready to sign contract with a kill fee clause

How Freelancers in New York Can Protect Themselves with a Kill Fee

In the freelance world, work can be as unpredictable as the subway schedule. You can have a client one day and lose them the next. That’s why protecting freelance income is a major concern, especially in an expensive city like New York. One powerful tool for legal protection for freelancers is implementing a “Freelancer Kill Fee.” But what is it, and how does it help you secure your freelance work security?

What is a Freelancer Kill Fee?

A kill fee is a contract termination fee that you and your client agree upon at the start of a project. This clause ensures that if a project is canceled mid-way, you still receive a portion of your fees. This concept is vital for freelance payment rights and should be a standard part of your client-freelancer agreement.

Why Is It Important?

Being a freelancer often means dealing with the unpredictability of client behavior. Projects can get cancelled for reasons that are beyond your control. The kill fee acts as a project cancellation fee, giving you a financial cushion and allowing you to cover at least some of your invested time and effort.

Setting Up the Kill Fee

When you’re drafting payment clauses in freelance contracts, it’s essential to specify the conditions under which the kill fee becomes applicable. State the percentage of the project cost that would serve as the kill fee. This percentage could vary based on how much work you’ve completed by the time the project is cancelled. Make sure you are clear on invoice terms for freelancers, as this will avoid any confusion later.

Non-Payment Solutions

Although a kill fee serves as a safety net, it’s not the only mechanism for protecting yourself. Always require a down payment before starting any work. A combination of down payment and kill fees can offer an extra layer of financial security.

Legal Considerations in New York

New York has specific laws that protect freelancers. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, for instance, provides legal recourse if clients don’t pay. However, it’s always better to prevent such situations through strong contract clauses and negotiation.

Negotiating Freelance Terms

While negotiating freelance terms with your client, keep the kill fee in mind. Be open about why you’re implementing it and how it serves as a safety net for both parties. Most professional clients will understand and respect your reasons for including it.

Cancelled project compensation is something many freelancers don’t think about until it’s too late. Setting up a kill fee helps you protect your interests and ensures you’re compensated for your time, effort, and even the opportunities you might have passed up for a project that didn’t pan out.

New York freelancers, it’s time to safeguard your work. So the next time you get a gig, don’t just celebrate—make sure you protect yourself by negotiating a kill fee.