Ask DN: Do you require a deposit prior to starting a project?

7 years ago from , UX Designer

My team is conducting some early research learning how freelancers use deposits to bill their clients before starting a project. I would love to hear thoughts and learn how this help you kickoff new projects.

Your honest feedback will help us greatly to build better tools for freelancers like you. Interested? Jump right in: http://goo.gl/forms/ZlwD8Q4Uuh


  • Tristam GochTristam Goch, 7 years ago

    Done. BTW, once you've filled it out you can see the answers, which is cool, but you can also see a list of every respondents email address which is not so cool!

    8 points
  • Gavin JonesGavin Jones, 7 years ago

    Running a small web-application development house

    I don't work with a deposits. Instead, the projects are broken into milestones, each one representing completion of a significant feature/task and a marker to run a feedback loop with the client/adjust the direction for the remaining functionality.

    I've found that breaking a project into two invoices of 30%/70% creates allot of pressure when securing the second larger payment....and a tendency to get trapped into constant change requests and unexpected assumptions from the client when they realise you're 'finished' and expect to be paid.

    No matter how open and engaging you are with the client, personally, I've found that when an invoice is on the table, it changes peoples perspective.

    By making invoices smaller and more regular, this fosters clients to take the feedback sessions seriously and to understand what it means when they 'sign-off'.

    Working this way adds more hassle for billings, but I'll trade that in a heartbeat to avoid the anxiety and conflicts that tend to arise when all the pressure's on the big bill at the end.

    1 point
  • Brian A.Brian A., 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    Would it be possible to get a "sometimes" option for the second question? I'll personally sometimes forgo the deposit if the project is small and just invoice on completion.

    1 point
    • Eric Puigmarti, 7 years ago

      Thanks Brian. I've added a "sometimes" option for the second question. What would you consider a small project to be?

      0 points
      • Brian A.Brian A., 7 years ago

        Awesome! Filled out the form.

        To answer your question: Sometimes I'll do something small for a client, like a few hours' worth of consulting or a quick logo. That type of stuff usually comes from repeat business or trusted referrals, so I typically won't take a deposit.

        0 points
  • Christoph Hellmuth, 7 years ago


    0 points