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% of £ upfront -your views

Hi All,

Just looking to get a general consensus from the freelancers out there, RE charging a percentage of an estimate upfront. I have a potential new client who I'm a bit iffy about: can't find his business anywhere on the web, only hotmail email etc. Not an insignificant amount of work/ cash involved so would be looking to get some money off him before investing a lot of time just to make sure he's on the level.

Do any of you charge a percentage upfront for new clients and if so how much?



Active Member
Hi Russell,

I stick to a 50% deposit upfront with remaining on project completion for my new clients, if they're willing to pay up on a deposit invoice you know they're serious about the project :) and it protects everyone involved.


Senior Member
I take 33% (1x3rd) to start work, remaining 67% on completion

wouldn't even consider working without taking a deposit - I also stipulate that the deposit is only refundable on a few terms and conditions, ie not if they choose to cancel but if I cant meet the brief or I cant do it for whatever reason it'll be returned. If they need explanation just say that you need to put hours in for the concept development work etc.


Senior Member
I take 33% (1x3rd) to start work, remaining 67% on completion
Do shot gun rules apply on the remaining 1% !??! haha

Im with greg on this one, always take %50, occasionally get jobs for logos when its the whole lot upfront.


Junior Member
I always ask for 50% upfront now. Before I tried 30%, 30% and then 40% which was far too complicated! I agree with Greg about the client being serious if they can pay the 50% deposit


Active Member
I always ask for 40% upfront non refundable for new clients unless I'm unable to do the work or not complete the project (not happened yet - more case in the event of injury or sickness)

For existing clients i drop to 30% then 20% upfront as motion of trust in the working relationship.




Active Member
I'm glad to see this because I have recently decided to do the same (but not had any new clients to implement it with yet) I've not had anyone not pay but have had people being a bit slow and becomes unplesent when you have to chase them for payment. I was planning for around 50% (maybe slightly less) so good to see you guys to the same!


Junior Member
Another one here for charging 50% upfront, non-refundable. I'm usually pretty flexible on this if it's a larger project with several benchmarks etc, but only if the client requests it. In my mind, simply the act of making that "initial investment" weeds out the tirekickers, timewasters and scammmers, whether it's 50% or 20%