Contract stipulation refers to a demand for something to be included in an agreement.

To stipulate is to demand that an item should be added to a contract. You can stipulate that specific conditions should be part of a deal or agreement. Whenever you draft a legal contract, you can stipulate a condition that the other party must satisfy to complete the agreement. In that sense, a stipulation may serve as a form of restriction on the contract.

What Is an Example Of A Stipulation?

For example, if you operate a restaurant and offer a coupon, you can stipulate that patrons must order a specific amount of home delivery to qualify for the coupon.

About the Contract

A contract does not need to be elaborate. A simple email agreement that shows the work you are doing, the delivery date, and the price will suffice; however, a contract must have three elements which include:

  • An offer.
  • Acceptance of the offer.
  • Consideration, i.e., exchange of value.

Contract Stipulations All Freelancers Should Know About

It's not advisable to sign every contract that comes your way. Rather, go through the details, negotiate if you need to, and try as much as possible to understand what you are getting yourself into. An unsigned contract is not binding on both parties. Don't start work until the other party signs the agreement.


Scope creep is a common problem among freelancers. For example, a client contracts you to write a 1000-word article with three posts, but suddenly increases the scope of the job by two more articles and three interviews. The important point is to ensure that your contract covers the scope of the new assignments. This might require renegotiating payment, shifting deadlines, or rejecting the new work. While this does not mean that you can't chip in some extra work for loyal clients, it sends the message that clients should not expect extra work.

Research and Transcripts

In some contracts, the freelancer needs to submit copies of research and interview transcripts along with the completed article or post. If you are unable to remove this clause, ensure that the client pays for the actual transcript and the extra work you will have to do, and the content you won't be able to use for other projects.

Confidentiality Clauses

Publishers and brands put confidentiality clauses in contracts to prevent you from sharing confidential information about your dealings with the client. Publishers want to maintain a degree of exclusivity when the post goes live. They want their audience to start talking about the post once it's live, but the novelty effect would be lost if some people already know about it.

Indemnification Clauses

An indemnification clause in a contract makes you legally responsible for any expenses, damages, and losses related to your work. Whenever you sign an indemnification clause, be careful about taking assignments that may involve engaging in illegal activities such as using copyright images without acknowledgment. The owner of such images may pursue you and the publisher for copyright infringement.

Exclusivity and Non-compete Clauses

Some publishers put an exclusivity clause in their contract to restrict the writer from covering specific topics for a certain amount of time. If the bulk of your work comes from this topic, it's advisable to leave the relationship. A non-compete clause may prevent you from working for the publisher's direct competitors. If that clause will prevent you from working with old clients, it's better to renegotiate the terms of the agreement.


This clause means that at no point will you own any of the work you created on behalf of the client. This condition must be in writing, and both parties must agree to it before the commencement of work.


There are three types of payment including:

  • Pay on submission: You are paid immediately after you submit the work.
  • Pay on acceptance: You receive payment after the client accepts the work.
  • Pay on publication: You get paid when the article goes live.

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