Top Three Reasons to Use a Creative Services Agreement

valeriedenisephotos-62Starting your own business is often exciting, empowering, and sometimes terrifying. However, what if we told you it doesn’t have to be  _ as _  terrifying? One way to manage your risk is to use a Creative Services Agreement (CSA). CSA’s are standard template contracts, which business owners and freelancers use as a basis for each client transaction. They are easy to implement by simply swapping out the specifics for each transaction.

We get it…adding additional paperwork sounds like one more thing to worry about, but trust us, it’s worth it in the long run. Below are the top three reasons why you should implement your very own CSA.

The Three P’s

1) Professional

Not only will a CSA help establish trust between you and your client, having your client agree to your services in writing helps your client understand that your business is organized and professional. On your end, it will help you maintain consistency in your business practices by creating guidelines for each transaction. Additionally, having a CSA at hand will save you from that awkward moment when one of your clients expects you to have a contract for them to sign, and you unfortunately do not.

2) Protection

Business is risky. You work hard to perfect your craft and the last thing you want is to be taken advantage of. And you’re not the only one. The client also understands they might be at risk by paying someone to handle a project on their behalf. By signing a CSA, both parties can rest assured their interests are well protected. A CSA can provide a clear understanding of what is expected of both parties, and can be a reference point for evaluating whether your services conform to those expectations. Also, setting expectations early and often with the help of a CSA increases the chances that your client will cooperate with…

3) Payment

Any way you slice it, payment and pricing is essential to the sustainability of your business. Having clear rates up front and in writing will ensure you’re adequately paid for all of your hard work. Using a CSA will give you control as to how payment may be made. Whether it’s in installments, on a retainer basis, or requires an initial deposit; it will totally be up to you. You can also choose to include “rules” regarding late fees, expenses, and rush fees to better protect your time and resources.valeriedenisephotos-64

What’s Included in a CSA?

Below are a few provisions we may include in a CSA designed just for you:

  • Payment Terms and Penalties
  • Project Scope
  • Revisions and Change Orders
  • Expenses
  • Liability Protection
  • Intellectual Property Protection
  • Point of Contact
  • Confidentiality
  • Termination and Kill Fees
  • Indemnification
  • Representations and Warranties
  • Promotion and Portfolio Use
  • And more!

valeriedenisephotos-63We would love to work with you to draft a template CSA that’s unique to your business and satisfies your specific needs. Feel free to   reach out   to schedule a free-of-charge consultation.

Disclaimer : Although this article may be considered advertising under applicable law and ethical rules, the information in this article is presented for informational purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice and this content does not form an attorney-client relationship. If you would like further information,  Wilkinson Mazzeo would love to hear from you, so please feel free to  reach out with any questions!

Photos by Valerie Denise featuring Wildflower Roots


Emily Wilkinson & Sam Mazzeo

Founders at wilkmazz

Wilkmazz simplifies law. Or at least makes it human. They are especially good at interpreting fine print and building community. Their clients are creative, driven, and contagiously enthusiastic.