Convert your contract to move outside of Upwork

While we work hard to give you control and freedom in your work, we understand that some clients and freelancers wish to work together outside of the platform. We provide the option to do this easily, with a one-time payment of the Upwork Conversion Fee. We call this process "contract conversion."

Taking a relationship outside of Upwork without first paying the Conversion Fee is a serious violation of our Terms of Service.

What does it mean to convert a contract?

Freelancers and clients can move their relationship, and all payments, outside of Upwork by paying a one-time Upwork Conversion Fee. Users can then define their relationship however they think best, including:

  • Making and receiving payments through other means
  • Direct W2 employment
  • Independent contract work

Once you convert a contract, the way you work with each other also will change:

  • You will work with each other using your own systems and services, instead of using our Work Diary, Time Tracker, etc.
  • You will lose payment protection and dispute services
  • You will be responsible for paying talent using your own payment services


We find that the most successful clients and freelancers emphasize clear communication. Our users recommend that those who plan to convert carefully discuss how it will impact work, why it makes more sense, how they plan to process payments and transfer work, and how they will communicate going forward.

Are there exceptions to the Conversion Fee?

The Conversion Fee impacts any Upwork users who have met through Upwork’s platform and want to work together outside of the platform. To take a relationship and all payments outside of Upwork, users must pay the Upwork Conversion Fee.

There is one exception to the policy:

  • Relationships that started outside the platform, come onto Upwork, and are then taken back outside the platform are excluded. It does not violate the Upwork Terms of Service or require the Upwork Conversion Fee to move a relationship outside of Upwork if it was established before moving to Upwork.

Taking a relationship outside of Upwork without first paying the Conversion Fee is a direct violation of the Upwork Terms of Service, which may result in having your Upwork account permanently suspended.

Business and Enterprise clients fall under different contract regulations. If you are a Business or Enterprise user interested in conversion, please reach out directly to your account manager for help. If you’re working with a Business or Enterprise client, please reach out to your client if you’d like to discuss conversion.

How do I convert my contract?

Clients can initiate this process. To do so:

  1. Go to Jobs > All Contracts
  2. Choose a specific contract under All contracts and select the (…) menu
  3. Select Hire talent full time to start the conversion process. Even if you’re keeping an independent contractor or other type of work classification, you’ll still choose this option to convert your contract off Upwork
  4. Follow the steps outlined and send the conversion request. The other party will be notified and must accept the request. We’ll then process the payment and notify you when the conversion process is complete

Contact support if you need more help.


The Conversion Fee must be paid before making any payments outside of Upwork. The fee is paid once per each specific freelancer/client relationship. Taking a relationship outside of Upwork without first paying the Conversion Fee is a direct violation of the Upwork Terms of Service.

After converting your contract

You’ll be notified when the conversion is complete. 

The contract will remain on both the client and freelancer’s Upwork history and profiles.

  • The funds will contribute toward client spend and freelancer earnings
  • The contract will remain in the client and freelancer’s work history
  • Converting a contract does not impact JSS
  • Clients and freelancers have an opportunity to leave feedback


Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays the Upwork Conversion Fee?

Either the client or freelancer can pay the fee. Although, only one user can pay the fee to Upwork. The client and freelancer must agree who is to pay the Conversion Fee to Upwork. If they would like to share in the cost, they can arrange that between themselves.

Why don’t I see an option to hire talent full time?

Contact support for more help.

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