At Upwork, we seek to create a safe, reliable place for clients and freelancers to make connections, grow their businesses, and collaborate on projects. Our network stretches across over 180 countries, and our marketplace offers a wide range of services, from Accounting to Writing.

Sometimes, clients and freelancers who have met through Upwork wish to work together directly outside of Upwork. We provide the option to do this with a one-time payment of the Upwork Conversion Fee. We call this process “contract conversion.”

The Conversion Fee Formula


The Upwork Conversion Fee is 13.5% of a freelancer’s estimated annual earnings. The hourly rate we use differs, depending on what type of contract the client and freelancer have been working on. Choose an option below to learn more.

Conversion Fee = 13.5% of a freelancer’s hourly rate x 2,080 hours (52 wks x 40 hrs)

For hourly contracts

If you have been working together on hourly contracts, we’ll take the highest hourly rate between the specific freelancer and client who are looking to convert their contract. We don’t incorporate any hourly rates the freelancer has charged other clients they’ve worked with in the past. Once we determine the hourly rate to use, we plug it into the formula to determine the conversion fee.

Example:

John charges his client, Ashley, either $20 per hour or $30 per hour, depending on what type of work he’s doing. Ashley wants to hire John full time, and they wish to take their work outside Upwork. Upwork will calculate John’s annual earnings using $30 per hour, and then charge 13.5% of that number as a Conversion Fee.


$30 x 2080 = $62,400

13.5% of $62,400 = $8,424 Conversion Fee

For fixed-price contracts

If you have been using fixed-price contracts for your work together on Upwork, we’ll use the hourly rate listed on the freelancer’s profile. We use this hourly rate in the formula to determine the Conversion Fee.

Example:

Kelly typically charges $50 per hour. Even though sometimes her rate changes, the hourly rate listed on her profile is $50. Kelly and her client, who have been working on a fixed-price contract together, wish to use other payment means so they’ll need to take their work outside Upwork. Upwork will calculate Kelly’s annual earnings using $50 per hour and then charge 13.5% of that number as a Conversion Fee.


$50 x 2080 = $104,000

13.5% of $104,000 = $14,040 Conversion Fee

Conversion Fee Discount

We apply a discount to the Conversion Fee based on the total amount of Marketplace fees paid to Upwork by the client, and we consider the length of the relationship between the specific client and talent who are converting their contract. We’ll display the discount when you begin the contract conversion process.

How to convert your contract


Clients 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 is complete.

Contact support if you need more help.

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 work history
  • Converting a contract does not impact a freelancer’s Job Success Score (JSS)
  • Clients and freelancers have an opportunity to leave feedback

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Conversion Fee?

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 for the following two years. This enables us to be able to continue to provide this service to clients and freelancers. However, since we know at times our customers prefer to take their relationships off Upwork, we have offered the option of a conversion process.

By completing the 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 and future projects. Learn more about the Conversion Fee.

How do I pay the Conversion Fee to take my project off-platform?

Clients typically initiate this process. To pay the Conversion Fee and take your relationship outside Upwork:

  1. Go to Jobs > All Contracts
  2. Choose a specific contract under All contracts and select the (…) menu
  3. Select the Request Contract Conversion button to start the conversion process
  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 let you know when the contract is converted.
What’s the price of the Conversion Fee?

The Conversion Fee is 13.5% of estimated earnings over a 12-month period in each specific client-freelancer relationship. We apply a discount to the Conversion Fee based on the total amount of Marketplace fees (paid to Upwork by the client), and we consider the length of the relationship between the specific client and talent who are converting their contract. We’ll display the total amount of the fee when you begin the contract conversion process.

Why do you use 2,080 hours as the baseline for your calculations?

2,080 is the amount of hours most people work in a year. 52 weeks in a year multiplied by the standard 40-hour work week equals 2,080.

Do I have to pay the Conversion Fee all at once?

Yes, the fee must be paid in full, with one billing method.

What do I lose by taking my contract off Upwork?

When you convert your contract and pay the Conversion Fee, we will no longer be able to offer any support for that relationship, including customer service, payment protection, dispute resolution services, and other valuable tools. Any issues that arise with payments, communications, deadlines, and so on, must be resolved without our assistance.

Why shouldn’t I just take my freelancer/client off Upwork without paying the Conversion Fee?

Taking a freelancer or client relationship off Upwork without paying the conversion fee is a violation of our Terms of Service. Both clients and freelancers agree to these terms when joining Upwork. Violating this policy by sharing contact or payment information outside Upwork unless you pay the conversion fee will result in permanent account suspension, barring you from using the platform entirely. By adhering to this policy, you contribute to a fair and secure marketplace for all users.



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