Note:

We're gradually rolling out improvements to the onboarding process. You may see a different experience on our platform than what we describe here.

After you’ve found the perfect person, you can begin collaboration to build your business.

With Enterprise, you get the ability to integrate your onboarding needs and tracking directly to the Upwork platform. After submitting an offer to a freelancer, you might need to complete some onboarding tasks as a hiring manager. These tasks are required by your company.

Please note that work cannot begin until all required tasks are completed. Any work done before the contract has started cannot be billed through Upwork retroactively, so it's important that work does not start until contracting is 100% complete.

Possible tasks might include:

  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Independent contractor agreement
  • Intellectual property (IP) ownership agreement
  • Company code of conduct review

Upwork Compliance Services


Unless your company is subscribed to Upwork Compliance Services, your company is responsible for determining worker classification as well as all other necessary steps to get the freelancer ready to work through Upwork. These steps are facilitated through onboarding tasks.

For companies that enroll in Upwork Compliance Services, some or all tasks will be handled by Upwork. All companies must properly classify each worker as an independent contractor or an employee in order to comply with tax and other legal requirements. Worker classification may be determined from facts about the freelancer's business and the project.

When required, this process will need to be repeated for every new contract, even if you and the freelancer have worked together before. The worker classification assessment, in particular, must be freshly evaluated with every new contract. Other items might already be in place and can be quickly checked off as complete without additional effort.

To see if you’re enrolled in compliance services:

  1. Go to Settings > My Info > Company details
  2. If it says Enterprise Compliance, you’re enrolled in compliance services. If it says Enterprise Standard, you’re not

Contact support if you have questions or need to make changes to your company’s onboarding tasks.

View onboarding plans


  1. Go to Jobs > Onboarding. This displays all pending onboarding plans that are related to your pending offers
  2. Select the onboarding plan to view the specific tasks that need to be completed

onboarding-talent.png

Track and complete onboarding tasks


On the Onboarding Tasks page, you can view the task requirements by hovering over the ? icon next to the task name. You can identify who is responsible for completing the onboarding task in the Owner column (whether that is you, the freelancer, or the Upwork compliance team, if applicable). You can also see the progress of the task in the Status column.

The process times vary based on your responsiveness, the freelancer’s, and the tasks required, so this process can take five days or more. To mark a task complete, follow the steps below:

When you have completed the required task and are ready to show that it is completed:

  1. Select the Start task button
  2. If required, upload any necessary attachments. Otherwise, select the Complete button
  3. Completed tasks will be moved to the bottom section of the page

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know whose turn it is to complete the onboarding task?

Select any task to see whose responsibility it is, and a short description.

I’ve completed all my available tasks, but the freelancer is stalled. How do I contact them?

You can contact your freelancer through Upwork Messages. Never ask for personal information or try to contact freelancers off Upwork before your contract begins, as it’s against our circumvention rules.

How long does it take for the Compliance review process to be completed?

The process depends on how quickly each person completes their tasks. However, we typically see it finished in under five days.

Why is this onboarding process required?

These onboarding tasks are selected by your company, and/or are necessary for legal compliance.

Can my talent start work before the onboarding process is finished?

No, do not begin work before the onboarding process is completed.

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