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What is the process for client on-boarding? (what documents do I need, etc)

Mohammad Chughtai's photo
Mohammad Chughtai
·Jan 21, 2018

Hi, I'm a software (web and app) developer. I'm fairly new to freelancing. I had some issues with a client (a 3 month contract that ended a few months ago) that I would like to not repeat.

Essentially, the client handled all on-boarding themselves and I kind of 'went with the flow' thinking that I'd just handle the technical side. Unfortunately, since the client was relatively new to managing/operating a business and I was new to freelancing this led to missed deadlines, poor communication, late payments on their end (also not paying me for the full amount of hours - though we didn't have a good hourly tracking system).

So now I am hoping to go into my next freelancing opportunity with a bit more control/management over the on-boarding process myself, to avoid those issues.

So far the documents I believe I need are:

1. Hourly tracking document
2. Expenses tracking document 
3. Project Tasks/Time tracking document
4. nda? (not sure if I provide this and they make adjustments or they provide it)
4. official contract with terms
5. payment info

Any other documents that I need to onboard clients. Any other advice for to avoid some of my past mistakes with my client and so everything goes smoothly on both ends?