Sample SOW Contract: The Statement of Work

An Example Contract for the Freelance Writer

Hand of Man Signing Contract
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If you're wondering what a Statement of Work (often referred to as a SOW) contract is, and exactly what one looks like, you've come to the right place. 

You may know the importance of having a contract between you and your freelance clients, but have you considered what exactly the best kind looks like?

The SOW contract is often used in place of a more formal contract. This is particularly true in the case of non-profit or education-based clients. However, the sample below can easily be used by a private company who simply prefers a simpler format. In addition, when more concrete work and specific requirements are in place, these assignments are often best covered with the SOW, as it tends to spell out details clearly.

Example of a Statement of Work

You'll notice that the sample below has many of the same details as other contract formats, such as deliverables due dates and so on.

Statement of Work

This Statement of Work (SOW) is between (fill in name and address of both parties).

Effective Date: This SOW is effective as of April 8, 2018.

Scope of Work: This is the area that summarizes the project. For example, English to Spanish translation of twelve fitness essays.

Delivery Dates: You shall complete the services and/or work by or in accordance with the delivery schedule below.

  • Deliverable: Four translated essays by 6 p.m. on April 25, 2018
  • Note: Format must in Microsoft Word 2010 or higher 

Edits: Each translated document may be returned to you once for editing at the sole discretion of (fill in the name). Edits will be avoided at all costs and are not anticipated except in extreme circumstances. Edits will be performed by you within 72 hours of return, or forfeiture of 50 percent payment for the document will ensue.

Payment: Translation payment of X amount of USD per English (original) word translated. Down payment is not available for this project. An interim payment is also not available for this project. (Of course, if there were a down payment or incremental payments for incremental work, that would be included here. As a freelancer, you should always try to negotiate one or of both of these items.) Final payments to be paid out by June 20, 2018. The invoice should reach (name) no later than May 1, 2018.

Domestic payments may be paid via check or Paypal. International payments will be paid via Paypal. All domestic contractors must have a completed W-9 on file with (name) before payment will be made.

Rights, Disclosures, Non-Compete: You hold no copyrights to materials created. You agree to public non-disclosure of (name's) rates, processes, and client lists. You agree to refrain from competing with (fill in the name) for the same client (if subcontracted) during the course of this contract ending May 10, 2018.

Execution by Counterparts/Facsimile: This SOW may be executed and delivered in counterparts by facsimile, each of which so executed and delivered counterpart is original. Such counterparts, together, shall constitute the same instrument. Additionally, each of the parties hereto agrees to execute and deliver original copies of this agreement circulated subsequent to its initial execution and delivery by facsimile.

Although Statements of Work and Letters of Agreement are easy to understand and work well for a casual freelance relationship, protect yourself by consulting a union or professional group like the National Writers Union.