Many freelancers shy away from charging for anything other than their services. It can be very intimidating to add a fee to an invoice. Freelancers think that they might lose a client for asking for more, or that they’ll be labeled difficult to work with.

Sometimes fees are more than justified though. As a freelancer, you have very few workplace protections. Fees for things that negatively affect your money and business are totally appropriate and will help keep you afloat.

Here are three fees that all freelancers should feel comfortable with implementing when they need to.

Late Fees

At some point, a late payment will happen to every freelancer. It’s an unfortunate truth of the freelancing world. But just because a client pays late doesn’t mean that you are totally powerless.

Late fees are a great way to let clients know they need to pay on time in the future, and for you to be somewhat compensated for their tardiness. Freelancers have to follow their money from start to finish- from sending the pitch, to creating the invoice, to recording the payment.

When clients don’t pay on time freelancers have to do additional work to track down the money. A late fee is appropriate to compensate the freelancers for getting the money, and a polite way to remind clients to pay on time in the future.

Rush Fees

There’s a famous saying: a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. If a client needs a piece of work turned around in a short amount of time, freelancers can absolutely implement a rush fee.

Work that needs to be turned around completely can mess with your schedule, add work to your plate, and require more work and stress than usual. All of this is something that you can and should charge for. There’s no overtime or backpay for freelancers unless we create it for ourselves. A rush fee can help cover your time and energy costs for the output you’re giving.

Consulting Fees

When you start gaining some traction as a freelancer people may start asking you for your advice. Don’t get bogged down by requests to ‘pick your brain’ or ‘give some feedback’ if you don’t have the time or can’t afford it. It’s wonderful to be kind, but if you genuinely can’t afford to give someone an hour of your time for free, you can implement a consulting fee.

Consulting fees can take a variety of forms. You can have an hourly rate or sell yourself as a consultant and create packages. If you create any sort of handout for the client, make sure to take that into consideration as well. Consulting fees are a great way to take back some of your time, continually earn money, and weed out people who simply want something for nothing.


Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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