The 10-Point Checklist for Cooperating with IT Freelancers

Cooperation with IT freelancers brings a company a number of advantages: Freelancers in the tech sector are usually experts in their field, bring valuable know-how with them and can be deployed flexibly. But before companies decide to hire a freelancer, a number of questions usually need to be clarified: How should work processes be carried out? What is expected of each other? And what are the legal requirements that need to be met within the contract? For the cooperation with an IT freelancer to go well, it is important to clarify the general conditions in advance and to eliminate any possible ambiguities. Our 10-point checklist covers the most important issues that companies should consider in advance. 

1. Scope of responsibilities: What are the tasks and goals of the IT freelancer?

One of the most important points that should be clarified before working with an IT freelancer are the exact tasks. What performance is expected by the company and what is the final goal that is to be achieved by the freelancer? The more precisely you as a company know where you need support and expertise, the better the tech freelancer can meet your expectations.

2. Skills: What must the ideal IT freelancer be able to do?

The more closely you have defined the details in point 1, the easier it will be to determine which qualities and qualifications the ideal candidate must have. Therefore, it is best to consider which technical skills you would like to see in the freelancer and whether specific training or experience is required.

3. Search: Where can I find the right IT freelancer?

The search for a suitable tech freelancer can sometimes be quite difficult. How can you make sure that he or she fits the company and that the freelancer has the right skills? A large number of freelancers from the IT sector can be found on various platforms. In spite of this or because of this, it is difficult to find the right one. expertlead supports companies in their search for the right tech freelancer and tests their skills in advance in a 4-step quality check. This way companies can be sure to hire the ideal candidate for the upcoming project.

4. Time: When and how long do you need a tech freelancer?

Freelancers often work for different companies at the same time or for months on a single project. To ensure that the desired IT freelancer has enough time for the company's project, it is important to define a time frame in advance. Questions that should be answered include: When should the project be completed? Will the freelancer be needed full-time, for two months, or only one day per week for half a year? Should there be fixed working hours or can the freelancer arrange them independently? With this information the tech freelancers can organize themselves better and make sure that there is enough capacity for your project.

5. Financial: What about the payment and fees?

Once it has been clarified whether the IT freelancer meets the technical requirements of the company and whether the freelancer has the time capacity, the next important question must be answered. Namely the question of the payment and the fee. Experienced freelancers usually have an hourly or a daily rate. In any case, the tech freelancer and the company should agree on this point. If it is agreed to pay according to time units, it is also important to determine how the time is recorded. The second step is to clarify how the payment is to be processed. This includes the billing address, the right contact person in accounting and the method of payment. This can be done by conventional bank transfer, PayPal or credit card.

6. Working Place: Remote or in the office?

Do you as a company want the IT freelancer to work in your office or would you rather have them work remotely? Many freelancers are used to working remotely and are often even more effective when working in their own environment. In some cases, however, it may make sense for freelancers to work in the company office. For example, if the freelancer is to become part of a team for a certain period of time or if daily exchange with colleagues is essential.

7. Communication: Which tools are used and who is the appropriate contact person?

Especially when freelancers work independent of location, it is important to clarify how they will communicate. Is there an internal communication tool, a program for project management, a cloud system or should updates simply be sent by e-mail? It is also important to define who is the contact person for certain topics or whom the tech freelancer can contact in case of uncertainties.

8. Working material: Which programs and software are used?

The next question that needs to be answered is the one about the programs and software that are needed to perform the freelancer's tasks. It should also be clarified whether the IT freelancer can use the internal programs of the company or should work with his own software.

9. Legal: What should be in the contract?

When working with a freelance IT employee, a contract with a specific regulatory content is advisable. Especially if the tech freelancer will be working for you over a longer period of time and he has to deal with sensitive internal data. Corresponding assignments should consider the following points:

  • Service provision and a precise description of the tasks
  • Precise compensation regulation
  • Invoicing rules
  • Estimated duration of the project and conditions for terminating the contract
  • Intellectual property rights and rights of use
  • Obligation of confidentiality
  • Questions of liability

10. Self-employment: Avoid pseudo self-employment

A freelancer is not a regular employee and must therefore be treated differently by the company. If the relationship between a company and a freelancer is similar to that of a permanent employee, the freelance work may be considered as pseudo self-employment under certain circumstances and may lead to the need to pay additional social security contributions and taxes. The contract should therefore contain provisions (and these should be observed accordingly in the course of the cooperation) to exclude such a situation as much as possible. One of the most important points about self-employment is that freelancers are always free from instructions, can choose their place of work themselves and are not integrated into the clients' business. As a company, care should be taken to ensure that the above-mentioned points are respected.


Before working with tech freelancers, there are a number of questions that need to be answered. This is important so that all sides know what is expected of each other and disappointments are avoided. But once these issues have been clarified, nothing stands in the way of successful cooperation with IT freelancers!

Hire Freelancers

Sep 2020 - 5 min read

Katharina Höll

Katharina Höll

Senior Communications Manager

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