As a freelancer, you’ll pay a 10% freelancer service fee on the earnings you make on Upwork. This fee is charged on all your contracts with a client — whether hourly, fixed-price, or a Project Catalog project.
For example, say you work on a project with a new client and get paid $500.00 USD. Your freelancer service fee will be 10%, meaning you pay $50. Your earnings after fees would be $450.
Agency Service Fees
Agencies working with non-Enterprise clients are subject to the same freelancer service fees as other freelancers. Agencies pay 10% freelancer service fees on contracts.
Rounding Estimated Earnings
The rate calculator estimates your net take-home pay after fees to assist you in bidding accordingly. We charge the client the exact billing rate you enter, but sometimes the resulting fee is a number with more than two decimal points that must be rounded to the nearest cent with each transaction.
Rounding results in earnings slightly less than estimated
Example: You want to take home $20 per hour after freelancer service fees, so you charge the client $22.22 per hour. 10% of that rounds to $2.22 per hour. Let’s say you bill 12 hours.
- Your client is charged $266.64 (12 hours x $22.22)
- The 10% fee is $26.664 or $26.66 when rounded down
- Your net earnings are $239.98 ($0.02 less than estimated, 12 x $20 = $240)
Rounding results in earnings slightly more than estimated
Example: You want to take home $25 per hour, so you charge the client $27.78 per hour. 10% of that rounds to $2.78 per hour. Let’s say you bill 12 hours.
- Your client is charged $333.36 (12 hours x $27.78).
- The 10% fee is $33.336 or $33.34 when rounded up.
- Your net earnings are $300.02 ($0.02 more than estimated, 12 x $25 = $300).
Legacy contracts that were at 5% on or before May 3, 2023 — through end of 2023
If you were already paying a reduced freelancer service fee of 5% on an eligible contract prior to the May 3 change to a 10% fee structure, you will continue to pay freelancer service fees at 5% of earnings on that contract through the end of 2023.
Freelancers participating in the Upwork Payroll service are paid through a third-party staffing firm and are therefore excluded from paying Upwork freelancer service fees.
If you work for a client on an Any Hire contract, you will not pay freelancer service fees. These contracts are negotiated with the individual client who is hiring freelancers they met off Upwork or who have paid the conversion fee to work with a freelancer they found on Upwork’s Marketplace.
If you have created a Direct Contract with a client who does not have an account on Upwork but who pays you through Upwork, you’ll pay the Direct Contracts’ processing fee of 3.4%, but you won’t have to pay any 10% freelancer service fees.
Bring Your Own (BYO)
If you have a BYO contract that has a 0% service fee rate, you’ll keep that 0% rate.
If you have a BYO contract that does include paying a freelancer service fee, you’ll pay 10% of your earnings.
If you’re working with an Enterprise client, then the standard freelancer service fee structure might not apply to you, but in general, Enterprise contracts have a 10% freelancer service fee. Enterprise clients are designated by a badge on their client profiles.
However, there is an exception. Through the end of 2023, if you switch a marketplace contract that is at 5% to an Enterprise contract, you can continue with the 5% freelancer service fee rate through the end of 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a freelancer, you pay the freelancer service fee on all earnings, including bonuses. The fee is included in the amounts clients see on your proposals, contracts, and profile. Most of your reports show only total charges, inclusive of fees—the same as what the client would see.
Fees are broken out in your Transaction History Report and your BIllings and Earnings Reports. The total billed to your clients is your income and the fees paid may be deductible business expenses.
Any new contracts with the client will have a 10% freelancer service fee, regardless of your history with a client.