When you hire on Upwork, you'll pay a 5% Client Marketplace Fee on all payments that you make to freelancers for fixed-price and hourly jobs, Project Catalog projects, bonuses, and BYO contracts.
You'll also pay a one-time contract initiation fee of up to $4.95 USD for each new Marketplace and Project Catalog contract. We charge this fee when you make the first payment to a freelancer.
* We do offer a discounted Client Marketplace fee of 3% for eligible clients in the U.S. who pay with a checking account. In that case, for example, you’ll pay an additional $3.00 USD on a $100.00 USD payment. Check to see if you’re eligible here.
Benefits of Upwork
These features are available to all clients — no subscription required:
- Access to premium talent, including Rising Talent, Top Rated, and Top Rated Plus.
- Being able to invite up to 30 freelancers to your job
- Increased report options — Weekly Summary, transactions, Work Diary, budgets, timesheet, time by freelancer, time by activity, and custom export
- Coworker teams and advanced member permissions settings
- Activity codes for organizing work on hourly contracts
- Advanced freelancer search
- Only pay a fee when you make payments (as opposed to a monthly subscription cost regardless of whether you have an active Upwork project)
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are subject to the marketplace fee:
- Traditional hourly and fixed-price contracts payments, including bonuses, BYO, expense payouts, and payroll on marketplace contracts.
- Project Catalog contracts
The contract initiation fee is a charge of up to $4.95 USD for clients on new contracts on Upwork’s Marketplace and Project Catalog. We will charge this fee once per contract, when you make the first payment to a freelancer.
Contract initiation fees may vary, up to $4.95 USD, as we collect data and feedback. Once complete, we will update Help and Community and directly notify all impacted customers in advance of any pricing updates
No, we realize that not all contracts have work started on them, or funds paid out. For hourly contracts, we charge the fee when you make the first payment to a freelancer, including hourly payments, bonuses, or any other payments to your freelancer. For fixed-price contracts, you will pay this fee when you fund the contract or first milestone.
Yes, you will pay the once-per-contract initiation fee at the same time that you fund the first escrow deposit for fixed-price contracts. However, if the contract is canceled and no payment is released to the freelancer, we will return the contract initiation fee.
No, if you are continuing to work on an existing contract and just adding milestones, you will not have to pay the contract initiation fee again.
Yes, you will pay the fee when you purchase a project or consultation.. However, if the project or consultation is canceled with no payment released to the freelancer, we will return the contract initiation fee to you as well as your escrow deposit.
No, the contract initiation fee is a flat fee of up to $4.95 USD. You’ll be able to see the exact amount for your contract when you check out. The contract initiation fee will show as a separate line item.
No, the once-per-contract initiation fee will not be refunded after you have made a payment to a freelancer, even if the freelancer issues you a refund.
No, the once-per-contract initiation fee isn’t eligible for a refund after you have made a payment to a freelancer, even if the contract payment to the freelancer is refunded due to a dispute.
You will have a separate invoice for the contract initiation fee, which includes the fee and any applicable taxes on the fee. You’ll also see the fee and any applicable taxes as line items on your Transaction History Report. It will not display on your Weekly Billing Summary, which reflects payments to freelancers.
Yes, you will pay the contract initiation fee for the start of a new contract with an agency.
Yes, each new contract with a different freelancer will have a once-per-contract initiation fee, even if all the freelancers work for the same agency. If you hire 3 freelancers to work on a job, you’ll pay the fee 3 times.
Yes, the fee is per contract. If you start a new contract, you will pay the contract initiation fee even if you have worked with the freelancer before.
No, those services have their own fee structures designed specifically for the features they offer. We are only charging this contract initiation fee on Upwork Marketplace and Project Catalog contracts.
No, we will not apply an additional marketplace fee to the contract initiation fee. The client marketplace fee only applies to the contract value for the amount you pay the freelancer.