A downloadable template

A commission contract template with place-holder text that is easy to use and terms that are easy to understand.

Multiple versions of the template are available for download — reference the one that suits your needs best.

How to use this template:

  • Keep an unedited copy of the template saved somewhere easily accessible, so you can either duplicate it or copy and paste its content each time you need to write a new contract
  • In the duplicated document or the new document where you pasted the template contents, use the command-f (macOS) or control-f (Windows) keyboard shortcut to find any instances of the “{{” or “}}” tags. These squiggly brackets are used to easily identify place-holder text.
  • Replace the squiggly brackets and the placeholder text with relevant information for the contract. Or in cases of multiple options, such as the commercial or personal use options int he Grant of Rights section, keep only one of the options and delete the other.
  • Don’t save or export the contract until you do another command-f or control-f for the squiggly brackets and there are zero results. This way you are less likely to accidentally send the Client a contract that still has placeholder text.
  • If you are using the rich-text formatted document, use your text editor to export the contract as a PDF.
  • If you are using the Markdown formatted document, use a markdown editor to export formatted text as a PDF.
  • The reason for using a PDF is to reduce the likelihood that the Client makes modifications to the contract after you’ve sent it to them.
  • Attach the PDF contract to your invoice to the client. The language at the end of the contract indicates that “The payment of the first invoice by the Client shall evidence acceptance of these terms by the Client.” This is a legally binding method of having them except the terms that is much more streamlined than needing to send signatures on the contract back and forth. As long as you have proof of their payment of the invoice — you have proof that they accepted the terms of the contract (make sure to export and save your proof of receipt of payment somewhere safe and backed up, such as a cloud document service like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).
  • The language of this contract is a mix of language recommended by the Graphic Artists Guild in their contract templates, and language that I’ve added, modified, or removed, based on my experience with clients.
  • If you have questions or suggestions for how to improve this template, please feel free to contact me via Twitter @jnbutlerart

This template is made available to everyone for free with no strings attached, however, if you feel compelled to support my work, you can purchase an art print, snag one of my other itch.io products, or donate to my ko-fi.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, and I also don't do business in every country, so I cannot speak to the enforceability of the terms of this contract in your locality. This contract has covered my needs, but you may need to adjust, remove, or add language to make it most relevant for your business and region.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
AuthorJ.N. Butler (they/them)
Tagsartists, commission, contract, Project template


Commission Contract Template v1.0.zip 12 kB
Commission Contract Template v3.0.zip 9 kB
Commission Contract Template v3.1.zip 10 kB

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