So I have no idea how bulletproof (or bullet-ridden) this example contract is, but its yours if you want it. It comes from a friend of mine that is a freelance illustrator. He uses it regularly, but I don’t think it has ever been put to the test beyond a few nasty emails and the threat of its signed existence.
In Adobe Acrobat, you need to use Tools > Advanced Editing > Touch Up Text tool to edit it. “Your Name” appears a lot in it, so be sure to change all those to your actual name. Also look into the Digital Signature features in Acrobat (under Advanced > Sign & Certify). A friend of mine tells me that is more solid legally than getting hand signatures on paper. Of course you and the client should both digitally sign it.
And obviously online you can find example contracts for tons of different projects. What I like about this one is that it’s not a monstrous multi-page thing that could do more harm than good. If you’re just starting off freelancing, you’ll probably notice that many of your first clients are also new to hiring freelancers. You probably won’t be getting calls from Disney your first year, and if you did, you wouldn’t be the one to bring a contract to the table. So if you have something simple to give to a client that might be wishy-washy about hiring you, I think it helps minimize the fear-factor and sign it quick to get the project moving forward. Also if the agreed upon price for the project is relatively low, then chances are no one is going to court to fight on the dotted line with lawyers that would cost more than the contract’s worth.
My opinion though.
If you want to discuss further… Share your contract nightmares at this forum topic