We've created a guide to agencies to help you decide if an agency is right for you.
Every agency is a unique business, and there are many things that Upwork allows both you and your agency members to do. Talk to your agency members about how they want these processes to work.
- Create an agency
- Build your agency
- Agency profile
- Member settings, roles, and permissions
- Roster rates and visibility
- Proposals and offers
- Agency finances
- Close an agency
If you want to create an agency, you’ll first need to create a freelancer account for the agency owner. Once your account is activated:
- Go to your Accounts menu (∨) > Settings
- Select “Create a Company” — the last item in the column on the left following your User Settings
- Select "Create an Agency" and complete the setup forms
After you create your agency, the Accounts menu (∨) will be where you can switch between your personal and agency account views. A person can only “own” one agency Upwork. You won’t be able to make another one.
To add someone to your agency:
- Go to your Accounts menu (∨) > Settings > Members & Permissions.
- Select Invite a New User and fill in the form, including choosing roles and permissions.
- Select Invite User. The person will receive a notification to join your team and can accept or decline your invitation.
To remove someone from your agency or change their permissions:
- Close out all of the user's current contracts and proposals.
- Go to your Accounts menu (∨) > Settings > Members & Permissions.
- Select the Remove from Team checkbox for the correct user or adjust their permissions.
- Select the Update Permissions button.
Your agency profile is your opportunity to brand your agency and, by extension, your agency members on Upwork. Admins can edit your agency profile and contact information in your Accounts menu (∨) > Settings > Agency Profile. Read about best practices for creating a great agency profile if you need assistance.
Your agency freelancers' profiles will link to your agency profile (and vice versa). Your company name, tagline, description, and logo will be displayed on your agency members' profiles, proposals, and in search results. Additional agency data will be shown along with your profile. This includes your agency's total hours, hourly rate range, and Job Success Score.
- Agency profiles may not contain any direct contact information (including email addresses, phone numbers, and chat IDs).
- Agency profiles may not advertise products or services outside or beyond the scope of the Upwork marketplace.
- Owner – This person is ultimately responsible for the agency. Only the owner can create additional teams within an agency. The owner is always an Admin.
- Admin – Can add, remove, and update agency members permissions. Admins also have full financial access and can buy more Connects.
- Financial – Full access to the agency’s financial account, including payment methods, billing methods, and reports.
- Business Manager – Can manage proposals, rates, offers, and contracts for all agency freelancers. Can submit milestones on any agency contract. Can see agency time-based reports (not earnings).
- Agency Freelancer – Does work on behalf of the agency. Can submit proposals, but can't accept/decline offers. Can see reports about their own work, but can't see their rates on their reports or contracts. Can see their profile rates unless a manager hides them via the roster settings.
- Exclusive – All contracts belong to this agency.
- Non-Exclusive – Can do work both for the agency and independently. The agency can only access their agency proposals and contracts.
- Work Diary Access – Work Diaries are used to bill time on hourly contracts. Only the agency member hired can bill time to that contract through the Work Diary.
- Full – View access to the Work Diaries for all agency contracts. Time-logging and Work Diary editing for their own contracts. Can see agency reports.
- None – Can't see any agency Work Diaries or reports (unless their role gives additional reports access).
- Chat Access – Clients can always contact their hired agency freelancers via messages. You can choose whether your agency members can contact each other.
- Team Members – Can send messages (via the website, desktop app, or mobile app) to everyone in the agency.
- No One – Can't send messages (via the website, desktop app, or mobile app) to anyone in the agency unless they've received a message from that person first.
Business managers edit exclusive agency freelancers' profile rates and visibility in Find Work > Agency Roster.
- Member’s Profile Rate – Set the rate displayed on the profile of any exclusive agency freelancer.
- Visibility – Who can find your agency freelancer's profile in the marketplace.
- Hide Profile Rate – Prevents agency members from seeing rates and earnings on their own profiles or the agency's profile. Their profile visibility must also be changed from Public to Upwork Users Only or Hidden.
Business managers can submit a proposal on behalf of any agency member. They can edit or withdraw all agency proposals and accept or decline all offers. Agency members can also submit proposals themselves, which will be binding on the agency. All proposals will draw from the agency's collective Connects balance.
In order to do hourly contracts, you need to have a profile for each freelancer you assign to the project. For fixed-price contracts, you can submit your proposal with the Business Manager’s profile and then assign freelancers to work on the project. Some clients prefer for you to let them know your agency members will be doing the work and to give them some information on the freelancer(s) that will be doing the work.
Business managers can edit terms of or end all agency contracts. Both the hired agency freelancer and all business managers can submit milestones on fixed-price contracts. All contracts are paid into the agency's collective financial account balance.
All agency contracts are paid to the agency's account. Your agency’s balance will be sent to you on a schedule you set, or you can access your funds at any time in your Accounts menu (∨) > Settings > Get Paid. The options are all the same as for individual freelancers. How you manage your agency's earnings from there is up to you.
- The agency (not Upwork) is responsible for paying agency members. Payments from agencies to agency members are not protected or facilitated by Upwork.
- How much the agency members are to be paid is determined by the agency and the agency members.
- Agencies are responsible for maintaining proper tax records and worker classification. Agency members may be classified as either freelancers or employees of their agency. Please also see the Upwork User Agreement.
If you choose to close your agency, your agency “company” will be closed and agency’s profile will be deleted, but your freelancer account will remain active. Your Job Success Score will update to reflect only your own personal contract history. This will include agency contracts where you were the one hired.
Only the agency owner can close the agency. To prepare the agency for closing, you must:
- Remove all team members from the agency in the Accounts menu (∨) > Settings > Members & Permissions
- Close all open contracts associated with the agency in My Jobs > Contracts
- Close all open proposals associated with the agency in Find Work > Proposals
- Ensure all payments have been received and withdrawn from Upwork
Then, you can close the agency:
- Go to your Agency account > Settings
- Click “Agency Profile” on the left side of the screen
- Scroll to the bottom of the page
- Click the “Close my Agency” link
- If you meet the requirements, click the button to confirm that you want to close your agency