How to Hire an Independent Contractor
I adore designers!
They're some of the most talented people working today. But there are some confusing rules about who owns the work that you hire them to create.
If your company is hiring a designer to create a work for you, like a logo, website, copy, photography, mobile apps, product design, there’s something you need to know...
You don’t own the work they create!
I know you're reading that and thinking that I have no idea what I'm talking about. It sounds crazy, right? The work was your idea. You commissioned it. You paid for it.
But legally, unless they're an employee, the creator of the work is the owner. You’re only paying for the license to use it. That means they also own all of the intellectual property rights to the work.
Why is this a problem?
It means that your company can’t own the trademark, copyright, or patent in the work. At least not without their permission.
They can adjust the terms of the license anytime. They can restrict it’s use or require additional payment.
They can also register the trademark, copyright, or patent themselves...and that's a financial asset that your company needs to own.
How to own your work
You'll need a contract that spells out who owns the intellectual property rights to the work created. If you need a contract, you can try our Sample Consultant Agreement to ensure that you own the rights to your work.