Battle of the Forms – Having the Last Word

Many photographers use standard contracts and invoices to sell their services, but the terms and conditions often differ from those of clients. You also may negotiate deals, going back and forth via email, to reach a compromise. In this battle of the forms, which one wins? The one that stands last.

For example, you may send a client your invoice that states that payment must be paid within 30 days of delivery of the photo to the client. But your client’s form sent in response states that it will pay within 60 days after publication. If you take no action after receiving your client’s document but deliver the job, you will be subject to the client’s terms.

Likewise, if your form is silent on a condition such as electronic use, but the client’s form allows that use, you again will be stuck with the client’s provisions.

To address this situation, make sure that you have the last word. You may either reply with a letter that specifically rejects the client’s additional or contradictory terms or you can simply cross out each provision of concern on your client’s form. Place your initials and date in the margin next to each term that is struck and return the marked-up form to your client.

When dealing with clients, getting the last word in is important!

Take my advice; get professional help.

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