Client Marketplace and Contract Initiation Fees

Note: The contract initiation fee is subject to change due to business and market conditions. Starting June 19, 2024, this fee can vary up to $14.95 USD. This fee amount will be displayed before you complete the transaction.

When you hire on Upwork, you 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 also pay a one-time contract initiation fee of up to $9.95 USD for each new Marketplace and Project Catalog contract. The contract initiation fee can vary, depending on factors such as account history and hiring activity. We charge this fee when you make the first payment to a freelancer. You can see details on the fee amount before you send the offer to the freelancer and on your transaction history.

*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
  • Ability to invite up to 30 freelancers to your job
  • Multiple 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

What Upwork products are subject to the Marketplace fee?

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
How do I know what billing methods I can use?

To see which billing method options are available to you, visit your profile setting here. Note: Based on your location, your options may vary. Learn more about billing methods here.

What is the contract initiation fee?

This fee is a charge of up to $9.95 USD for clients on new contracts on Upwork’s Marketplace and Project Catalog. We charge this fee once per contract, when you make the first payment to a freelancer.Learn more about the contract initiation fee.

Contract initiation fees may vary, up to $9.95 USD, as we collect data and feedback. Once complete, we’ll update Help and Community and directly notify all impacted customers in advance of any pricing updates.

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