Who is to initiate an agreement contract, the client or the interpreter?
Thread poster: Adriana Johnston

Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 9, 2009

I am a freelance interpreter and mostly work with interpretation agencies, and after we come up with an agreement on the rates, the agency sends me an indenpendent contractor agreement.
Well, I was recently contacted my this end client- a law firm, that wants me to take some interpretation assignments occassionally.

What I want to know is do I need to come up with the agreement I mean put my own terms and conditions and all, or does my client- the attorney need to take the initiative and provide me with an agreement for me to sign?
Is there like a "contract" format or sample I can go by being I am not a company but a freelancer?
Also if I Come up with my own wording for the agreement is it really going to be legal

I know it sound a little silly but I'm just not used to working directly with clients, and I want every thing to be clear before starting to take on projects.


nordiste  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:58
English to French
+ ...
Terms & conditions - from the translator's side Feb 10, 2009

As a professional you should have your own Terms & Conditions that you provide to every client - stating description of services, general liability, terms of paiement, cancelation policy, etc.

You should also prepare a quote/an agreement for each assignment and ask your client to sign it before you start the work- or a PO.

It is always better to have the client signing your own T&C , designed from your point of view.

If you are not well aware of legal jargon it is better to take advice from a legal advisor ; if you are a member of a translators association they usually offer legal advice on these matters. They might also have some example of Terms & condition for you to taylor to your own needs.

[Edited at 2009-02-10 08:59 GMT]


Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:58
German to English
+ ...
This may be applicable... Feb 10, 2009

A few years ago I wrote a short article about entering into contracts; it doesn't go into much detail, and it primarily targets translators, but it may interest you nonetheless:




KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:58
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Excellent Feb 10, 2009

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:
A few years ago I wrote a short article about entering into contracts....

Thank you for that link, Derek. I hadn't seen it before. That's a superb article.


Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 19:58
English to Russian
+ ...
My own experience with direct clients Feb 11, 2009

I have a few direct clients, some of them attorneys. I never asked for a contract, and so far, I received all my payments on time.

Is it risky not to have a contract? Maybe, but I'm more concerned of a risk of turning a potential client off by requesting a contract.

Feel free to disagree...


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Who is to initiate an agreement contract, the client or the interpreter?

Advanced search

SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search