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 the our Terms of Service.
What does it mean to convert?
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 are two exceptions 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.
- Relationships that have been maintained for at least two years on the platform may be converted for a fee of $1 plus any applicable taxes. These relationships don’t need to be continuously active, and they are not limited by a certain quantity of projects. You can initiate this request from within Upwork’s platform by following the steps outlined below.
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:
- Go to Jobs > All Contracts
- Choose a specific contract under All contracts and select the (…) menu
- Select the Request Contract Conversion button to start the conversion process
- 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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
When you use Upwork to find a freelancer, we require you to use the Upwork platform to pay that freelancer for any work they complete for you during the following two years. However, since we know at times our customers prefer to take their relationships off Upwork, we have a conversion process. By completing this process and paying the Conversion Fee you can move your payments outside of Upwork without violating our Terms of Service (TOS). This way, you don’t have to worry about having your Upwork account permanently suspended and can continue to use it for other existing projects and future ones. The Conversion Fee is 13.5% of estimated earnings over a 12-month period in each specific client-freelancer relationship. Learn more here.
To help you convert your contract, we will apply a discount on the Conversion Fee. This discount is calculated as a percentage of the total Marketplace Fees that client has paid to Upwork in the previous twelve months on marketplace contracts between the client and the freelancer. The discount won’t make the final Conversion Fee price drop below $1,000
We’ve recently made new updates to our Terms of Service that impacts users who may want to convert their contracts. The Conversion Fee is now 13.5% of estimated 12-month earnings and calculated differently for hourly and fixed-price projects. The Conversion Fee was formerly called the “Opt-Out Fee.”