What rights do I have as a freelancer if my client doesn’t pay for the work I completed?

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What rights do I have as a freelancer if my client doesn’t pay for the work I completed?

I completed a software project for a company I have no contract with over 2 months ago. I was paid 50% of the fee up front, and I still have not received the second half which is a substantial amount. They have been telling me for about a month that they have a cash shortage and will get it to me soon. They are already using the software I created and I’m losing patience.

Asked on August 16, 2011 Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok well you have a contract it is just a verbal contract and not a written contract, something that you should NEVER do again.  What you have the right to do is to sue them for the remaining money.  But I would also think about doing is asking the court to issue a cease and desist order to have then stop using the software until such time as they have paid you.  I surely hope that you have some supporting documentation other than your oral testimony as to the matter.  Anything.  Even though emails are not necessarily good evidence they can be given some weight if they are properly documented.  If this is a substantial amount of money I would consider speaking with an attorney.   Good luck. 


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