questionshow much should i charge for freelancing?


More than you think. Taxes eat up so much of that stuff.


depends on the complexity of the work. these are just the rates i've used in the past:

low = 30-50/hr
medium = 50-100/hr
high = 100+/hr

also factor in if you'll have to drive to location a few times, if you have to use your own equipment etc. i like to give one hourly rate instead of hourly rate+mileage. my average fee is about $75/hr


In my past experience, I like going flat rate more.

In some (well, many) cases, you do end up spending more time than you expected, but I prefer dealing with the extra work, at a lower $/hr than putting up with the griping and negotiation that usually follows when your client gets a receipt with more hours than they expected. Going flat rate also builds really solid, word-of-mouth advertising for you. People like hearing up front what it will cost them, and then paying that much in the end.


take your wage from when you were working for them before and double it (since they aren't covering your healthcare & other overhead costs), and charge that for however many hours it takes.

no1 no1

Agreeing with @dmaz. This way the client doesn't have expectations that will have to change. More likely than not it'll take more than you estimated hourly, and then they'll feel cheated since you said it would only take x amount of time. My company charges hourly and the impression can be that we're nickle-and-diming them. Make sure to make that flat rate worthwhile for you though.


When I had work on the side, I charged $35/hr for the estimated quoted time it would take. I would then give them the option of paying a premium for my time. Instead of putting 3 hours per evening, for 30% more, I'd put 4hrs or 50% more for 5hrs. My primary job still took priority and I would discount any premium if it interfered with the side work.

So, If I quoted 15 hours. I would offer a flat $525, and about 1 week, $656.25 for 4 days, and $787.50 for 3 day turnaround. But that was 5 years ago, I'm sure going rate is closer to $45 now (and $90 if it's primary freelance job).


Just some advice, granted I'm not certain how formal you want to make this:

I would create a statement of work detailing exactly what they are requesting and how much you're charging (flat fee, per hour, or whatever). Second, don't do anything over the agreed upon expectations, they obviously already appreciate your talents if they came back to you - otherwise you're just giving them free work and cheating yourself.

Just some advice, as I've been in a similar situation with an ex-boss. They seem to feel like you owe them something when in reality you don't.


When I did freelance, I'd charge an hourly rate with a minimum of hours (usually 2). If I had to bid on a project, I needed clear and complete specs to bid on, and the agreement was that anything not in those specs was out of scope and an extra cost. Flat prices are great for the person who wants work done, because they can nit-pick, change things and have feature creep and it's harder to tell them no. If it's hourly, I've found, they tend to keep on track because if they veer off it, they will pay for it. And, they usually veer.. so it's good for me.

As for rate I would usually have a range I'd use. But, generally I'd take what I make in my regular job per hour, add in the taxes I'll need to pay, then a little more :-) Then I'd do the best, most efficient, job I could so I'd get more work.


Since you are familiar with the work, carefully calculate your time until completion. Take your wage you made with them, add 50%, then add 10% for anything you might have missed. Give a flat-rate amount. Good luck!


I agree with kmeltzer...
If you are going with a flat rate be very specific as to what that flat rate includes.

As a freelancer I've been burned with quoting a flat rate and then having the client request so many rounds of revisions that I made less than if I'd charged by the hour. In your flat rate quote definitely specify a certain number of rounds of revisions.

When you invoice make sure to include a set time to be paid and include language regarding interest owed in addition to money due if the payment is late. Some large companies seem like they take their time to pay freelancers and you can wait 90+ days to see any $.


Just to clarify. I do have clear project document (SOW) with scope (including a list of what is out of scope), risks, and expectations. The very last line is that anything additional, including revisions, will cost extra. I also used the 3rds principle, no exceptions. 1/3 paid up front when you sign that statement of work (non-refundable). I get 1/3 more as I am handing it over to test. I get the final 1/3 when you sign off as complete.


You might also want to google what the average freelance pricing is in your area. It really isn't hard to find those numbers.


Pricing is going to vary by where you live. Benefits, including the employers share of taxes, add up to about 30% of salaries. I would say you would need to get a minimum of 150% of what you would be paid per hour as an employee, and I would aim at 200%. Also, I would weigh two things:
1. Do I need the money/want the work? If yes, then I'd aim at being more reasonable, if no, then I would shoot for the sky.
2. Is this likely to grow into a lasting relationship and do I want it to? See above.


@dmaz: I also prefer that approach so that when I am working from home I can play with the dog, read a chapter of my book or chat with a friend on the phone without feeling like I am stealing time from my client. If I have set a fair flat price and deliver it by the deadline, how I use the intervening time to get the job done is my own business (literally).