After you’ve found the right freelancer or agency for your project, hiring them is simple.

Tip: 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. Click the Hire Freelancer or Hire Agency button
  5. Send an offer to the freelancer or agency

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, you send an offer to a member of the agency. All contracts with an agency member will be paid to the agency, not the freelancer named on your contract, and 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 PO number, or setting an end date on the contract.

After the offer is sent to the freelancer or agency, they can take 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 and 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 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 an offer, you can withdraw or change your offer so long as the freelancer or agency hasn’t already accepted it. This includes changing from hourly to fixed-price, or fixed-price to hourly. If the freelancer or agency has accepted your offer, you and the freelancer or agency 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. Click View Offer
What’s the difference between Fixed-price and Hourly contracts?

Hourly contracts are billed weekly based on time your freelancer logs in their work diary. They may be covered by Upwork Hourly Protection.

Fixed-price contracts are billed by milestone and are based on deliverables. You make a payment in advance that we hold in escrow, then release payment when your freelancer completes a milestone. They’re 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 you can assure freelancers and agencies you have the ability to pay. It’s also an essential component of Upwork Payment Protection.

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, click here.

Fixed-price contracts are billed by milestone and you must fund the first milestone before a project begins. 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?

You and your freelancer or agency can agree to new terms at any point or 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.

When will the freelancer or agency be paid?

Hourly contracts are billed on Monday and you have until Friday to review your freelancer’s work. Assuming there are no issues, funds will be available to your freelancer or agency the following Wednesday.

Fixed-price contracts are billed by milestone, and funds will be available to your freelancer or agency five days after you approve a milestone.

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

What are milestones?

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

To learn more about the milestone system, click here.

What fees should I be aware of?

In general, clients are charged a 3% payment processing and administration fee on all payments.

To learn more about fees, click 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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