I have made an indeed silly decision to not send the agreement upfront to my new client, before starting his Web development project... I actually didnt send it because he is a very close person and kind of my role model. So I did not want to appear too formal with him. I know, I shouldn't mix business with personal relationships...
The project itself is going really smooth, no problems with the client and payment and deadlines are also being met on time.
But just so that I can hand over certain rights and responsibilities once the project finishes, and also be clear about the future liabilities, can I send an agreement for approval midway in the project?
He has already paid me two milestones. Basically we completed the website and it is just pending migration to his server and making the website LIVE.
Your answer will be greatly appreciated.
you should get this in writing especially if you are going to continue with maintenance in the future. It's always a good idea to set expectations.
If you are already in the middle of the project, you need to decide if it's worthwhile bringing up a "formal" agreement then, or at the end.
The agreement does not need to necessarily contain all the details you would present in an initial agreement (i.e. milestones). It can be as simple as "I, Nil, hereby grant all rights to work performed by September 30th, 2019, to John Doe", or it can be complex.
If you are close with the person, I would talk to them, in person. This way, you can gauge their reaction and feelings, and determine how to move forward that way. Hopefully, you both agree that a formal agreement will keep things professional, and not ruin any personal feelings or interactions in the future.
You can ask them to sign a contract now, and while you are waiting, and perhaps inform them you have to stop all work until the contract is signed. But then you might also lose the whole job.
You can also ask them to pay at different milestones of the project. Make the milestones, and the amount they owe, crystal clear. Then if they miss a payment, you will know they are not serious about paying you.
A professional should have thought about this at the very beginning, but live and learn. These things happen and there is a cost to them. Let's be honest, your oversight is not their problem.
© 2012 - Nathan Osman - [About]