How do PCB designers "insure" that they get paid when working remotely?
miner_tom , 05-03-2021, 05:25 PM
I hope that this is the correct forum at Fedevel to post this. If not, then I apologize.
I am an older engineer that has been around since the old "tape up" days, and I have seen what company's do, how they do it, and have tried to make sure that they do not do it to me.
At present, I am not working but in the past I have always worked for company's as a full time employee where I went to an office and was reasonably sure of getting paid. Not that I always did, mind you, I have had a corp go out of business and owe me money, in the end, but it was not much.
There are plenty of "remote jobs" to be had in PCB layout but I have always wondered how people insure that they get paid for their work. I have read a number of stories about people that work for a couple of months, send the gerber file out as a deliverable and then never receive payment via paypal or any other way. I just seems to me that there are a number of ways to get "ripped off" with remote work.
Can someone suggest safer ways to insure payment? I don't believe that it is common for engineers to get a retainer such as a lawyer would.
robertferanec , 05-04-2021, 09:03 AM
I keep the source files until I get paid - and I do it in phases. For example, when I finish a schematic, I only provide PDF and wait for payment. Once I get payment, the customer will get the source file of schematic (e.g. Altium project). Then I work on layout - I send gerbers, to production but only after I receive payment I provide full Altium project, etc ...
There is still some risk, but if you are not sure about a specific customer, do not work more than 1 month without receiving a payment.
PS: in your agreement you can also keep a note, that you own the design until they do not pay in full.
miner_tom , 05-04-2021, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by robertferanec
Robert, as always, your advice is worth its weight in gold!
miner_tom , 05-06-2021, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by robertferanec
Robert, I did purchase your courses, just a reminder.
I wonder if I could ask you for a copy of a contract or agreement that you send to prospective customers? I would not want any specific information such as dollar amounts, etc. But I would like a skeleton upon which to develop my own consulting agreement.
robertferanec , 05-10-2021, 04:27 AM
It was a long time ago I was freelancing. Most of the time I was actually working only for people who didn't care about "on paper" agreement. On the other side, bigger companies would send me their own agreements - full of conditions which I often didn't like, but had to sign.
I would recommend you to ask a lawyer to write something simple for you. It may cost couple of hundreds, but, you will have someone who you can ask questions and who can adjust your agreement if you would need - and that is sometimes very useful.
My first agreements were adjusted agreements which I received from some of my clients or I downloaded some agreements somewhere from the internet, but I do not know where these agreements are now. You can also try to search for some on the Internet - and you may use the agreements from internet for smaller projects, but for a bigger project I would consider to consult a lawyer - in the important agreements, every word has to be crafted carefully (I do not think that the agreements what I downloaded from internet or adjust by myself would be the best agreements).
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