Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby 6ix » November 18th, 2011, 11:15 am

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So one of my larger clients is being acquired. The purchasing company is very interested in having me not only do work for my existing client but also for them. Great for me. But, they want me to come out to their offices on the opposite side of the country to start discussing projects.

It's my assumption that they will cover my costs. If I'm just driving somewhere to meet a client, no biggie. But flying, hotels, taxi's and my time cost money. Do I even bill for my meeting time with them assuming I do work while visiting?

In the past, I've traveled out to industry tradeshows to assist and be present for design-related questions. All expenses were paid for by the company. Should it be expected in this case also?

Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby Cyberdemon » November 18th, 2011, 11:33 am

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You should set up a master agreement that lays all this out how you want it and then make sure they read it and sign it.

It should not be on you to cover the cost of travel - you should be able to lay out what your terms are for travel and expenses and factor that into your cost - just as long as it is agreed to up front.

Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby rkuchinsky » November 18th, 2011, 12:54 pm

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Cyberdemon wrote:You should set up a master agreement that lays all this out how you want it and then make sure they read it and sign it.

It should not be on you to cover the cost of travel - you should be able to lay out what your terms are for travel and expenses and factor that into your cost - just as long as it is agreed to up front.


Yup they pay. Daily rate + expenses.

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Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby yo » November 18th, 2011, 12:54 pm

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In my experience, all the pre project travel is paid by the firm (you) in the proposal and pitching process, then it depends how you negotiate your contract. You can have all travel reimbursed as expenses in the final invoice.

Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby Lmo » November 19th, 2011, 1:41 pm

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You can have all travel reimbursed as expenses in the final invoice.


To be clear ... including "all the pre project travel"

then it depends how you negotiate your contract.


The risk (to you) being that things might not work out and you are stuck with the travel expenses (which then become a business "loss" tax-wise).
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Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby rkuchinsky » November 19th, 2011, 8:54 pm

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^yes. I have all travel even for initial meetings paid upfront because of this.

Depending on the prospective client I might even consider billing meeting time even if local to get rid of the time wasters (haven't had to do this but you might depending in how much you vet new clients and how busy you are).


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Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby shoenista » November 20th, 2011, 12:31 pm

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rkuchinsky wrote:^yes. I have all travel even for initial meetings paid upfront because of this.


If it's not local and a tube fare away (i.e. in London) then I do too.

Depending on the prospective client I might even consider billing meeting time even if local to get rid of the time wasters (haven't had to do this but you might depending in how much you vet new clients and how busy you are).


If they're not a trade customer, then the first meeting is not free. I don't think that a first face-to-face meeting is necessary, anyway, you can evaluate via phonecall, this is what I prefer to do.

Re: Freelance Client - who pays for travel

Postby TaylorWelden » November 20th, 2011, 2:09 pm

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Always have the client pay for travel + expenses.

I find that if you cover expenses on your own in the beginning, the bar has already been set, you've already "worked for free".

I may be over-thinking it too much, but isn't that was design is?
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