We know that finding the right freelancer or agency for your project can be time-consuming, That’s why we’ve made hiring them so simple.

Important to know:

Keep in mind that you are entering into a contract with your freelancer or agency, so it’s important to check that the project description and rate (or total amount and milestones) are up-to-date and complete.

To hire a freelancer or agency


  1. Go to the My Jobs page.
  2. Open the posting you wish to hire on.
  3. Locate the freelancer or agency you’d like to hire.
  4. Choose the Hire Freelancer or Hire Agency button.
  5. Send an offer.

Once you’ve clicked Hire Freelancer or Hire Agency, you’ll have the opportunity to update the offer to include the project title, description, and payment terms.

For agencies, your offer is sent to a single member of the agency. All contracts with an agency member will be paid to the agency, not the freelancer named on your contract — the agency’s payments to their team are handled privately outside of Upwork.

Enterprise clients will have additional custom fields they can adjust, such as choosing a Talent Cloud, adding a P.O. number, or setting an end date on the contract.

After the offer is sent to the freelancer or agency, they can take one of three actions.

  • They could accept the offer, and you will have a contract.
  • They could decline your offer and withdraw their proposal.
  • They could message you to discuss alternative terms.

Each time you submit an offer, the freelancer or agency has 7 days to accept. If they take no action, the offer will be revoked. If you're an Enterprise customer, the freelancer or agency has 30 days to accept before the offer is revoked.

You can confirm that your new contract is active by going to the My Jobs page and checking 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


We understand that sometimes things change. If you change your mind after making an offer, you can withdraw or change it — if the freelancer or agency hasn’t already accepted it. This includes changing from hourly to fixed-price, or fixed-price to hourly. If your offer has already been accepted, you will need to end the contract under the My Jobs page.

To change or withdraw your pending job offer

  1. Go to the My Jobs page.
  2. Scroll down to My Pending Contracts.
  3. Choose View Offer.

Note:

You can also collaborate with freelancers through Project Catalog. To find out how to find and purchase a project, go here.

 

What’s the difference between fixed-price and hourly contracts?

Hourly contracts are billed weekly based on time that your freelancer logs in their Work Diary. In most cases they are covered by Upwork Hourly Protection.

Fixed-price contracts are billed by milestone and are based on deliverables. You make a payment in advance — we hold it in escrow and release it to your freelancer as they complete milestones. They’re covered by Upwork Fixed-Price Protection.

To learn more about the differences, go here.

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

So that you can assure freelancers and agencies you have the ability to pay. It’s also an essential component of Upwork Payment Protection, and to our commitment to providing the safest, smoothest experience to all our users.

Will I be charged now?

Hourly contracts are billed weekly based on time your freelancer logs in their Work Diary or any recurring weekly payment you have set up. To learn more about the weekly billing cycle, go here.

Fixed-price contracts are billed by milestone. At minimum, you must fund the first milestone before a project begins. We won’t release funds to your freelancer until they submit the deliverable and you’ve had a chance to review. To learn more about the milestone system, go 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 HTTP strict transport security.

To learn more about privacy and security, go here.

Can I change my mind?

You and your freelancer or agency can agree to new terms, or to cancel at any point in time. In the case of canceling, each party is only responsible for the hours or deliverables completed up to that point. This is another component of Upwork Payment Protection.

When will the freelancer or agency be paid?

Hourly contracts are billed on Monday (UTC) and you have until Thursday night at 11:59 pm (UTC) to review your freelancer’s work. Assuming there are no issues, we’ll make funds available to your freelancer or agency the following Wednesday.

Fixed-price contracts are billed by milestone. Funds will be available to your freelancer or agency five days after you approve a milestone, or after 7 days if you take no action.

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

What is manual time?

Manual time allows freelancers to log activity, including activity that isn’t recorded by the time tracking application (e.g. phone calls, pencil sketching, responding to messages from mobile, etc.). It is not covered by Upwork Hourly Protection.

To learn more about manual time, go here.

What are milestones?

Milestones are a way to break up a project by deliverable. They can be used to divide a larger contract into more manageable chunks of work.

To learn more about the milestone system, go here.

What fees should I be aware of?

In general, we charge 5% on all client payments. We offer a discounted rate of 3% for clients who pay with a U.S. checking or savings bank account via ACH.

To learn more about fees, go here.

What happens if the freelancer or agency doesn’t deliver?

You and your freelancer or agency 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.

Upwork offers mediation services to help all parties reach an agreement in cases where a contract cannot be ended by mutual agreement. Learn more about hourly disputes and fixed-price escrow refund requests.

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