We want you to have the freedom and control to choose how you work on Upwork. One of the ways we facilitate that is by giving you options between working as an independent freelancer, as part of an agency, or as a combination of both.

Agency members who are exclusive work on Upwork only as part of the agency. This is the most common type of agency relationship. Your profile and proposals are branded with the agency to make the agency’s part in the work relationship clear to clients. We pay out all contract payments to the agency.

Agency members who are non-exclusive can work on Upwork independently or as part of an agency. When the contract is with the freelancer as an agency member, we pay out contract payments to the agency. However, for contracts independent of the agency, we pay the freelancer directly. When you are a non-exclusive agency member, you have the option to submit proposals as a freelancer or as an agency member.

Sending a Proposal


When you submit a proposal as a non-exclusive agency member, you have the option to either submit the proposal as an individual or as a member of the agency (shown below). Exclusive members' proposals are all submitted as members of the agency.

Submit a proposal as a non-exclusive agency member

When you submit a proposal as an agency member, your profile will appear and the agency you are associated with will be listed below. 

Responding to an Invitation to Apply


If you are an exclusive agency member, responding to an invitation to apply will place any subsequent proposal on behalf of the agency.

If you are a non-exclusive agency member, you will have the option to submit the proposal as an independent freelancer or as a member of the agency.

Accepting a Job Offer


When a client sends a direct offer (without a proposal being submitted) to an exclusive agency member or a non-exclusive agency member who has set the agency as their default team, the subsequent contract will be created with that agency member through the agency.

If a direct offer (without a preceding proposal) is sent to a non-exclusive agency member who does not have the agency set as their default team, the subsequent contract will be created solely under the agency member’s freelancer account and not through the agency.

For any offers that clients send in response to your submitted proposal, the contract will match the proposal context (i.e., if the proposal was sent as an agency project, it will be an agency offer and subsequent contract; if it was sent as a freelancer, the offer and contract will be with the freelancer).

Only the agency owner and business managers can accept agency offers.


FAQ

How do I set the agency I'm part of as my default team?
You can set the agency as your default team by going to your Settings › My Teams.

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