We know at times it’s best to break a project into pieces. That’s why we created fixed-price contracts with milestones.
Milestones give you and your freelancer a chance to agree on the steps, deliverables, or payments that will be part of your job. You can add or edit milestones as needed if the project expands or evolves.
Milestones help you:
- Break larger projects down into scalable steps.
- Allow you to create checkpoints along the way to make sure you and your freelancer are aligned.
- Manage your budget by spreading costs over the course of the project.
Milestones are sequential, meaning each milestone needs to be completed before work toward the next one begins.
Adding another milestone
The beauty of Upwork is that your success is also your talent’s success. Be sure that you and your freelancer are on the same page about upcoming milestones. When you are ready to add a new milestone, follow these steps:
- Go to Jobs › My Jobs and open the contract
- From Overview, choose Add new milestone
- Enter the milestone details and choose Save or Save and add another
Funding additional milestones
Please note that you can only fund one milestone at a time on a specific contract, and there is a $5.00 USD minimum payment per milestone.
Before you can activate and fund an additional milestone, you must release funds on the current milestone. However, you can release a partial milestone payment (including if you set the milestone at the $5.00 USD minimum) and any remaining funds can be used to fund the next milestone. You can also request an escrow refund for the remaining amount if you and your freelancer or agency are ending the contract.
When you approve the last milestone you’ll be asked if you want to end the contract or keep it open. You can then activate (or create) the next milestone.
You only pay a contract initiation fee at the beginning of a new contract. You will fund that fee in escrow for the first milestone, but you will not have to fund it again for additional milestones.
Edit or delete future milestones
You have the ability to delete or edit the title, due date, and amount of any future milestones that have not yet been activated and funded. Active milestones cannot be edited.
- Go to Jobs › My Jobs and select the contract
- From the Overview section, choose Manage Milestones
- The button will open a window where you can add, edit, delete, or reorder your milestones — choose the pencil icon to edit the milestone
- To rearrange the milestone list, grab the drag-and-drop toggles on the left of each milestone
- Check your progress with the Show Changes toggle in the window's upper right corner
- Select Save to save your changes
Respond to a milestone change request
Your freelancers and agencies can send requests to add, edit, and delete future milestones. If your talent submits a milestone change request, you will be notified by email and can accept or reject their request. You will need to respond to the request before you can make any additional changes.
- Select the link provided in the email or Review changes in the contract room
- Select Accept or Decline as needed
You may only fund one milestone at a time, with a $5.00 USD minimum per milestone. Funds must be released on the current milestone before the next one can be activated and funded. You can choose to release a partial payment (including if you set the milestone at the $5.00 USD minimum) any remaining funds can be used to fund the next milestone, or you can request an escrow refund for the remaining amount.
To change milestones on a fixed-price contract, choose the Manage Milestones button in the Overview tab of the contract workroom. You’ll then see a page where you can add, edit, reorder and delete milestones, and then submit the changes to the contract.
To rearrange milestones, use the drag-and-drop capability (the six dots) on the left side of each milestone. Select and hold while moving your mouse to change the order of milestones.
To keep everyone involved in the project accountable, you cannot change the order of active milestones. However, you can release a partial payment (including if you set the milestone at the $5 minimum payment) for a milestone and use any remaining funds towards the next milestone.
Don’t worry. We take care of notifying your freelancer or agency via email and through Upwork Messages when changes are made. All additions and changes made to existing contract milestones are detailed in these notifications.
It’s helpful to discuss any contract changes ahead of time so you and your talent can focus on making great things happen.
No, but talent can propose changes and additions to contract milestones and submit them to the client for review. This can be done by choosing the Add or Edit Milestones button in the Contract Room and entering requested changes.
The due date of an active milestone cannot be changed. However, you can communicate with your talent to agree upon new due dates without changing the formal date on the milestone. Upwork does not impose any negative consequences for missing a milestone due date, allowing you and your talent to have total control of the job.
- Milestones for Fixed-Price Jobs
- Review a Milestone
- End a Fixed-Price Contract
- Get an Escrow Refund
- Escrow for Fixed-Price Jobs