After you've reviewed your proposals and found the right freelancer for the job, hiring them is simple. 

To Hire a Freelancer:

  1. Click the Jobs tab. Locate the job you want in your Open Jobs.
  2. Click the Hire Freelancer button.
    1. Fill out the offer form.
    2. Update the project description to what was decided between you and the freelancer
    3. Enterprise Only: Set an end date for the contract.
  3. Enterprise Only: You’ll also set Talent Cloud, PO, and any custom fields here.
  4. The freelancer will be notified of your offer and could take three actions:
    1. They could accept the offer, and the hire is complete.
    2. They could decline your offer and withdraw their proposal.
    3. They could message you to discuss alternative terms.

Keep in mind that contracts are legally binding, so it’s important to check that the project description and rate (or total amount and milestones) are up-to-date and complete. When engaging an independent contractor, you’ll want to specify the project to be completed and ensure all contract terms are clear and complete.

Each time you submit an offer, the freelancer has 7 days to accept. If you're an Enterprise customer, the freelancer has 30 days to accept.

You can confirm that your new contract is active by going to the My Jobs tab and check the list of Contracts. If it is an hourly job, your freelancer can’t log time until the start date.

Change or Withdraw an Offer

If you changed your mind after making a freelancer an offer, you can withdraw or change your offer so long as the freelancer hasn’t already accepted it. This includes changing from hourly to fixed-price, or fixed-price to hourly. If the freelancer has accepted your offer, you'll need to end the contract under the My Jobs tab. 

To change or withdraw your pending job offer

  1. Click the Jobs tab. Locate the job you want in your Pending Offers and click View Offer.
  2. Click Modify Offer or Withdraw Offer.

Frequently Asked Questions


What’s the difference between Fixed-price and Hourly contracts?

Hourly: Agree on a rate per hour. Billed weekly based on your freelancer’s weekly invoices. Covered by Upwork Hourly Protection.

Fixed-price: Agree on an amount per deliverable. Submit a deposit in advance, but don’t release the money to freelancer until a piece of work is received. Covered by Upwork Fixed-Price Protection.

To learn more about the differences, click here.

Why do I need to add a billing method before the work starts?

So we can assure freelancers you have the ability to pay. It’s an essential component of Upwork Payment Protection.

Will I be charged now?

Hourly: No, you won’t be charged now. You’ll pay weekly. To learn more about the weekly billing cycle, click here.

Fixed-price: Yes, you will be charged now. You choose how much, and we’ll hold the funds while your freelancer gets to work. Funds won’t be released to your freelancer until they submit the deliverable and you’ve had a chance to review. To learn more about the milestone system, click here.

How is the payment information stored?

All your data is encrypted and secured with industry-standard transport layer security technology (TLS) and secure socket layer technology (SSL), as well as using HTTP strict transport security.

To learn more about privacy and security, click here.

Can I change my mind?

Yes, you and your freelancer can agree to new terms later (changing rates, hours, duration, scope, etc.).

You and your freelancer can cancel a contract at any time and only be responsible for the hours or deliverables completed up to that point. This is another component of Upwork Payment Protection.

How do you decide if this freelancer is the right fit for you? Click here to read more best practices.

When will the freelancer be paid?

Hourly: You’ll be billed on Mondays. If there are issues, you have until Friday to file a dispute. Assuming there are no disputes, the funds will be available for your freelancer to withdraw the following Wednesday.

Fixed-price: Funds will be available for your freelancer to withdraw five days after you approve a milestone or pay a bonus.

To learn more about billing cycles and security periods, click here.

What is manual time?

Manual time is how freelancers bill for time that wasn’t recorded by the Upwork desktop app, and therefore doesn’t include activity data or screen captures. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of legitimate types of activity can’t be recorded by the application (for example, phone calls, paper sketching, responding to your messages using a  mobile device, etc.).

You and your freelancer can choose whether to allow this at all and if there’s a dispute, you’ll be covered by Upwork Hourly Protection.

To learn more about allowing or restricting manual time, click here.

What are milestones?

Milestones are a way to divide your fixed-price job into a series of deadlines based on your needs. They let you and the freelancer break a larger contract into more manageable chunks of time, budget, and/or deliverables.

To learn more about the milestone system, click here.

What fees should I be aware of?

Clients are charged a 2.75% processing fee on all payments unless they choose to pay a monthly flat rate fee instead.

To learn more about fees, click here.

What happens if the freelancer doesn’t deliver?

You and the freelancer can cancel a contract at any time and only be responsible for the hours or deliverables completed up to that point. This is another component of Upwork Payment Protection.

Dispute resolution services are available to help resolve any differences. Because of the protections built into our marketplace, only~1% of ended contracts go through the dispute resolution process. Upwork offers mediation services to help clients and freelancers reach an agreement. Learn more about hourly disputes and fixed-price escrow refund requests.

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