To create a place where both you and your freelancers feel financially safe as you collaborate, we use an escrow system. This protects your funds while also giving your freelancer the peace of mind to focus on your project.
As part of this process, we require you to deposit funds when you send an offer on a fixed-price job. You may deposit funds for either the whole contract or a lesser amount to cover the first milestone ($5 minimum per milestone). On a new contract, you’ll also pay the one-time contract initiation fee.
We’ll hold this deposit in escrow until you receive the work, are satisfied, and release funds to the freelancer or agency.
When a freelancer or agency submits work, you’ll have 14 days to review it and either approve payment or ask for edits. If you do not respond within 14 days, we consider that as approval and automatically release payment to the freelancer or agency from the deposit in escrow.
When you fund the contract or milestone, you also need to describe the work that you expect the freelancer to complete on this contract or milestone. Be as specific as you can. This is your chance to formalize the agreement between you and your freelancer or agency about what is to be delivered, when, and for how much money. If there’s a dispute later on, the description will be the basis for mediation.
How the offer deposit and work description look
|Transaction Type||+/-||Where is the money going?|
|Payment||Credit||Into your account from your billing method|
|Fixed Price||Debit||To escrow to fund the milestone (or full contract)|
|Client Transaction Fee||Debit||To escrow to fund the one-time contract initiation fee (new contracts only)|
|Marketplace Fee||Debit||To Upwork for site access and administrative and processing services related to this contract or deposit|
Frequently Asked Questions
We encourage you to discuss your concerns with your freelancer to try to resolve the issue. You may request changes to the work during the 14 day review period after the freelancer submits it. You may also request an escrow refund. If the freelancer disputes the refund, we will provide non-binding mediation to both parties. If that fails, the final step is arbitration.
No, you can only fund one milestone at a time. You may set up the details of other milestones, however.
No, once you have funded a milestone, the amount stays the same until it is released. However, you can release a partial payment and apply the rest of the money to the next milestone or request a refund for the remainder.
No. If you decide to pay the freelancer or agency a bonus, we’ll charge your regular billing method.