Sample SOW Contract: The Statement of Work

A Contract Example for the Freelance Writer

Hand of Man Signing Contract
••• Don Klumpp/The Image Bank/Getty Images

A Statement of Work (sometimes called a Scope of Work and often referred to as an SOW) is a contract between you and your freelance clients and is often used in place of a more formal agreement. This is particularly true in the case of non-profit or education-based clients.

The sample offered here can be adapted for use by any company that 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. Because it spells out details clearly, there are no surprises for the client and clear boundaries for the contractor.

Example of a Statement of Work

You'll notice the sample below has many of the same details as other contract formats, including 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 Sept. 3, 2019.

Scope of Work: This is the area that summarizes the project. For example, English to Spanish translation of four fitness essays of no more than 1,500 words each.

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 Sept. 19, 2019
  • Note: Format must be 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% payment for the document will ensue.

Payment: Translation payment of X amount of US Dollars per original English word translated. Downpayment is not available for this project. An interim payment is also not available for this project. (If there were a downpayment 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 Nov. 20, 2019. The invoice should reach (company name/address) no later than Oct.

15, 2019. 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 (company name) before payment will be made.

Rights, Disclosures, Non-Compete: You hold no copyrights to materials created. You agree to public non-disclosure of (company name's) rates, processes, and client lists. You agree to refrain from competing with (company name) for the same client (if subcontracted) during the course of this contract ending Nov. 20, 2019.

Execution by Counterparts/Facsimile: This SOW may be executed and delivered in counterparts by facsimile or emailed PDF, each of which so executed and delivered constitutes an 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 or emailed PDF.

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 or Freelancers Union.