Direct Contracts for pain-free payments

Use Direct Contracts and make paying global freelancers easy.

Learn More
Interface Graphic

How to pay freelancers

1
Review the contract
Your talent will email you a copy.
2
Accept the terms
Accept and use our secure platform to set aside the funds for payment.
3
Approve the payment
When your talent logs hours or hits the milestones you agreed, you approve the work or hours and we’ll pass on your payment.

Why Direct Contracts?

Your payment is safe

We’ll hold your payment for safekeeping until the work is complete (it’s called ‘escrow', in case that term comes up in the future).

Pay your way

Pay talent by credit card or Paypal worldwide, and even ACH bank transfers in the U.S.

Help with disputes

If your project hits a snag, we can step in to help.

Frequently asked questions

Why would I use this instead of my current method?

With Direct Contracts, you and the freelancer get escrow protection in addition to the ability to easily make payments through Upwork. Freelancers feel assured because you’ve deposited the project funds into a third-party escrow partner and you don’t have to worry about paying for a project that doesn’t get completed or filing tax forms. If during the contract you want to cancel it, you can request to cancel and get your funds returned back to you.

Read More
View Less
Blue chevron down
What’s the cost to set up a Direct Contract?

Clients pay the fees described here.

Can I set up a Direct Contract with anyone, anywhere in the world?

Currently, Direct Contracts are only available to freelancers and their clients in certain countries. If you attempt to sign up and you or the freelancer are not eligible due to the country you live in, you’ll see an error message. We hope to expand Direct Contracts to more countries in the future.

Read More
View Less
Blue chevron down
What are Upwork escrow services?

With Direct Contracts, you and the freelancer get escrow protection in addition to the ability to easily make payments through Upwork. Freelancers feel assured because you’ve deposited the project funds into a third-party escrow partner and you don’t have to worry about paying for a project that doesn’t get completed. If during the contract you want to cancel it, you can request to cancel and get your funds returned back to you. You’ll also get dispute assistance should a problem arise.

Read More
View Less
Blue chevron down
Can I fund a Direct Contract via PayPal?

Yes! You can fund Direct Contracts via credit card, ACH bank transfer, or PayPal account.

How do I file a dispute if I'm not satisfied?

Learn how to file a dispute in this support article.

Pay for projects safely and securely

Learn More