Legal Issues You Might Face as an Online Freelancer

Working as an online freelancer is not all bliss. There are times when you are faced with legal issues, and you should be ready for them. The fact that you are working from the comfort of your home or half way around the world doesn’t mean that you don’t have to deal with legal issues.

Online freelance work is still new to many legislations the law is not clear on many issues. It is important to know as a freelancer, it might be a bit challenging to address legal issues compared the traditional business person although it is still possible.

Here are some legal issues that online freelancers should be wary of:

Client breaching contract

If you are working on a long-term project, most of the time you are required to come up with a contract that governs how the job will be done. Coming up with a contract and signing it is one thing but following it is a whole different story. There are instances, where the client will go against everything that you agreed to the contract.

This is one of the most frustrating things that you can face especially after investing your time into the work. Most of the time getting legal action for a breach of contract is almost impossible especially if the client is in a different country.


This is one of the challenges of working with clients that you cannot meet in their offices of even talk face to face. Sometimes it becomes difficult to agree on how the terms of payment work. It becomes even worse when you do the job, submit it to the client, and later he/she fails to honor the payment terms. For clients, working countries apart it is even more difficult to claim your payment using the legal system.

Plagiarism and copyright

Plagiarism and copyright laws are meant to protect people’s work from being duplicated and misused without their consent. This is one of the legal issues that almost every good and creative freelancer face.

There are times that you find that your work has been used by someone else as their own. At this point, it becomes difficult to track the person down for prosecution and the much you can do is report their site.

Paying government tax

If you work as a freelancer on a full-time basis, then paying government task is mandatory. This is a bit complicated because as a freelancer you have to do everything on your own. Online freelancing is new so many governments have not provided a good system for freelancers to submit their tax.

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