Direct Contracts for pain-free payments

Use Direct Contracts and make paying global freelancers easy – no Upwork account needed.

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How to pay freelancers

1
Review the contract
Your talent will email you a copy.
2
Accept the terms
Accept and use our secure platform to set aside the funds for payment.
3
Approve the payment
When your talent logs hours or hits the milestones you agreed, you approve the work or hours and we’ll pass on your payment.

Introducing Direct Contracts

With Upwork, your payment is safe and sound until you approve releasing it. No hassle. No Upwork account necessary.

Why Direct Contracts?

Your payment is safe

We’ll hold your payment for safekeeping until the work is complete (it’s called ‘escrow', in case that term comes up in the future).

Pay your way

Pay talent by credit card or Paypal worldwide, and even ACH bank transfers in the U.S.

Help with disputes

If your project hits a snag, we can step in to help.

Quick and easy

You don’t even need an Upwork account.

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Frequently asked questions

Why would I use this instead of my current method?

With Direct Contracts, you and the freelancer get escrow protection in addition to the ability to easily make payments through Upwork. Freelancers feel assured because you’ve deposited the project funds into a third-party escrow partner and you don’t have to worry about paying for a project that doesn’t get completed or filing tax forms. If during the contract you want to cancel it, you can request to cancel and get your funds returned back to you.

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What’s the cost to set up a Direct Contract?

Clients pay low to no fees. All transactions will occur in USD.

Do I have to create an Upwork account?

No, you will not have to create an Upwork account. Any time action is needed on your part we will send you an email and link to the webpage where you can take the needed action.

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Can I set up a Direct Contract with anyone, anywhere in the world?

Currently, Direct Contracts are only available to freelancers and their clients in certain countries. If you attempt to sign up and you or your client are not eligible due to the country you live in, you’ll see this message: “We’re sorry to inform you that Direct Contracts are currently not available in your country.” We hope to expand Direct Contracts to more countries in the future.

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What are Upwork escrow services?

With Direct Contracts, you and the freelancer get escrow protection in addition to the ability to easily make payments through Upwork. Freelancers feel assured because you’ve deposited the project funds into a third-party escrow partner and you don’t have to worry about paying for a project that doesn’t get completed. If during the contract you want to cancel it, you can request to cancel and get your funds returned back to you. You’ll also get dispute assistance should a problem arise.

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Can I fund a Direct Contract via PayPal?

Yes! You can fund Direct Contracts via credit card, ACH bank transfer, or PayPal account.

How do I view my contract?

When you accept the contract, you’ll receive an email confirmation. That email will have a link to allow you to view the contract and request cancellation in case you decide to cancel an active contract.

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How do I file a dispute if I'm not satisfied?

With escrow service, your funds are protected and won’t be released until the work has been completed. Once the freelancer has completed and submitted work for the project, they will send you a request for payment. You’ll receive an email notification with the option to “Accept” or “Decline” the request.

If you accept the request, the funds are immediately released to the freelancer and the contract is closed. If you reject it, the funds remain in escrow and the contract is kept open. The freelancer can then make any necessary changes to the work and resubmit their payment request.

Important note: When your freelancer submits a payment request you have 14 days to review. If you do not take action, that is considered approval and funds will be automatically released to the freelancer.

How do you handle the U.S. tax filings?
To learn more, click here.

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Pay for projects safely and securely

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