My name is Mara Friedland, and I am a metalsmith from Portland Oregon. I am growing into the position of creating more commision pieces and am realizing I would like to have a contract to make both parties more comfortable.
Do you have a commission contract recommendation so I "do not have to reinvent the wheel?" Thank you!"
If you have any insights they would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
First I will recommend a couple of resources for a commission contract, then add my professional recommendations.
Your Crafts Business , A Legal Guide by Nolo Press.
Most of these books include a CD-Rom so there is a digital version as well that is easy to modify. None of these contracts are comprehensive so I have included a few additional issues below.The primary purpose of a Commission Contract is not enforcement. The objective is to bring forward issues that should be discussed in advance by both the client and maker.
Additional issues to consider adding to your contract include:
- Payment Schedule
- Design Fee
- Deposit Before Fabrication
- Photography (of the completed work)
- Shipping Expenses
Confirm that the client is aware of taxes that will be added to the retail price. This might be a significant amount depending on the commission price.
Who is paying for shipping? (if necessary)
Does the maker want to include the option of borrowing the work for an exhibition? If so negotiate this in the contract? This should be at no cost to the collector, possibly once every 3-4 years if they will allow it (depends on the work, of course). Include that you will clean the work for the exhibition and that the shipping and insurance would be covered by the exhibition sponsor.
Add anything to the contract you think is relevant. The important point is to put your conversation with the client in writing to avoid misunderstanding.
Hope this helps.
Harriete Estel Berman
*The books are affiliate links provided for your convenience.