At Upwork, we work to create a safe, reliable place for clients and freelancers to get more done. Our network stretches across over 180 countries, with services offered on our marketplace ranging 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 easily, with a one-time payment of the Upwork Conversion Fee.
The Conversion Fee Formula
The Upwork Conversion Fee is 12% of estimated earnings over a twelve (12) month period based on the freelancer’s hourly rate.
Conversion Fee = 12% of hourly rate x 2,080 hours (52 wks x 40 hrs)
After evaluation, the freelancer’s hourly rate will be determined as the highest of the following:
- Freelancer earned hourly rate on any hourly project on Upwork,
- Freelancer proposed hourly rate for any hourly contract on Upwork, or
- Freelancer profile hourly rate
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 Fee. By 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 12% of estimated earnings over a 12-month period. It is calculated by taking the freelancer’s highest hourly rate and multiplying it by 2,080 (40 hours/week X 52 weeks). To learn more about the Conversion Fee, click here.
We’ve changed the name of the “Opt-Out Fee” to “Conversion Fee” and also changed how we calculate it. The Conversion Fee is 12% of estimated earnings over a 12-month period. It is calculated by taking the freelancer’s highest hourly rate and multiplying it by 2,080 (40 hours/week X 52 weeks). If you agree to pay the Conversion Fee, you can move your relationship, and 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 use Upwork for future projects.
You can contact us through a dedicated email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (for clients) choose to start the process by clicking the Move Outside Upwork button in your contract room.
If the freelancer has no record of an earned hourly rate or a proposed hourly rate on Upwork, then the profile hourly rate will be used to calculate the Conversion Fee.
2,080 equals 52 weeks in a year, times the standard 40-hour work week.
Yes, the fee must be paid in full, with one billing method.
When you pay the Conversion Fee and move your relationship outside of Upwork, we will no longer be able to offer any support, including customer service, payment protection, dispute resolution services, etc. Any issues that arise with payments, quality of work, deadlines, etc., must be resolved without our assistance.
Taking a freelancer/client relationship and making payments off of Upwork (we technically call it “circumvention”) is against our Terms of Service, which all customers agree to follow when they join Upwork. Taking a relationship outside of Upwork without paying the fee puts both the client and freelancer at risk for having their Upwork account permanently suspended, meaning they can no longer use Upwork at all. By paying the Conversion Fee, you can take the relationship and payments outside of Upwork and still stay in good standing on Upwork.
Effective April 3, 2020, new updates to our Terms of Service were made to provide more clarity and ease if users want to take their relationship outside of Upwork. These changes renamed what was formerly the Opt Out Fee to the Upwork Conversion Fee and simplified the calculation to 12% of estimated 12 month earnings.