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This Customizable Contract Aims to Make Working as a Freelancer Easier One of the hardest parts of freelancing is getting paid on time. This document should make things easier.

By Rose Leadem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Today, freelancers account for more than one-third of the U.S. workforce, and by 2020 half of the country's working population are expected to be independent contractors.

Of today's freelancers, nearly 70 percent say they have been stiffed by a client at least once. That's why it's important that these workers use contracts for their services, but when you're working independently, this can be tricky.

Related: The 7 Best Freelance Sites to Find Work

That's why freelancer startup AND CO and advocacy agency Freelancers Union partnered to create The Freelance Contract, a standard service agreement to protect independent workers. The contract is free and customizable -- users can tailor it to align with specific ownership rights, late fees and other areas of protection. The contract seeks to build trust between parties and ensure that freelancers are being treated fairly and paid in a timely fashion.

"By minimizing or even eliminating the back and forth on a contract, freelancers can start healthy and secure work relationships faster," said Leif Abraham, co-founder of AND CO, in a press release.

Related: The Freelancing Economy Has Seen Epic Growth

The new contract is built around New York City's upcoming "Freelance Isn't Free" law, which goes into effect on May 15 and requires anyone hiring a freelancer for work valued at more than $800 to use a formal contract.

The agreement is available online on AND CO's website or mobile app.

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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