How To Create a Company Account on Upwork

How To Create a Company Account on Upwork

Creating a company account on Upwork consolidates your team’s interactions with independent professionals and agencies. This makes it easier for you to collaborate, track projects and spend, and refer talent across teams. 

But how do you take that next step? Whether your goal is to better-integrate current activities or to get your whole team on board from the start, in this step-by-step guide we’ll explain how to:

  1. Select the main company account
  2. Organize your account using Teams
  3. Invite your colleagues
  4. Transfer your open contracts

You can edit any of these details at any time by going to your account settings, which you can find by clicking on the user avatar in the upper-right corner.

Consolidating individual accounts helps the company and the pros you work with

A company account links multiple individual accounts under one overall account. Each individual gets their own personal login, but it becomes easier to work together and track the big picture:

  • Work more efficiently when you can quickly source, hire, and work with independent professionals from one place.
  • Attract better talent as your company builds its reputation on Upwork through statistics such as the number of jobs and hires, overall spend, and reviews from talent you’ve worked with in the past.
  • Follow what colleagues are up to and support each other’s efforts: see when new jobs are posted, follow which other projects are on the go, and get status updates via shared messages.
  • Access combined reporting to quickly see who is spending what and when, so you can produce clearer financial statements.
  • Assign specific permissions to individuals on your team to better control how your organization uses Upwork.

Using a company account can benefit the independent talent your company works with, too:

  • It’s easy for you to refer them for new projects with other teams because they’re already on your company’s Virtual Talent Bench.
  • Independent professionals on Upwork save money by working on multiple projects under one company account. Doing so helps them reach the discounted fee tiers more quickly and take home a higher percentage of their pay, which helps strengthen their relationship with your organization.

How to create a company account

1. Choose a profile to use as the main company account

Let’s start with a bit of clarification. Upwork has three types of accounts: Client, Freelancer, and Agency. As someone who’s engaged independent professionals or agencies in the past, you already have a Client account. 

This means that, to have a company account, you don’t need to create a new account specifically for the company. Instead, you’re going to link any individual accounts together using one Client account. For this article, we’re going to call it the primary company account.

If only one person in your organization has an Upwork account, then this is likely going to be an easy decision: You’ll use that account as the primary account. If multiple people in your organization already have Client accounts, however, you’ll need to decide which is the best one to stick with. 

Keep in mind that previous contracts and data cannot be transferred between accounts. So choose the one with the data and spend statistics that are most relevant to your organization (i.e., it’s often the account that’s been most active so far).

Once you know which account you’ll use:

  • Go to account settings and start on the My Info screen.
  • Beneath the top section with your personal details, review the sections called Company details and Company contacts.
  • Confirm that the information is correct and up-to-date. If you need to edit anything, click on the edit icon in the upper-right corner of that section.
  • If you need to transfer the primary account to someone else in your organization, find out more about account owner changes.


Info

2. Use Teams to organize your team members (Upwork Plus)

Teams

Your company will start with one overall team. But, if your business has an Upwork Plus account, you can add additional teams to organize members by department, group, or function.

Within a team, members can:

  • Create reports to track milestones, hours logged, payments, and more
  • Organize projects into groups
  • Customize permissions and controls
  • Streamline and customize billing

Here’s an example of what your team setup might look like:

3. Add members to your company account

Once your teams are set up, you can start to add your colleagues through the Members & Permissions screen, which you’ll find in the left-hand navigation. 

Invite others to join you by clicking on the “Invite New User” button. Indicate the team you want to add them to, then add their email addresses to the distribution list.

If a colleague is new to Upwork, they’ll be prompted to create a new Client account. If they have an existing Upwork account, they’ll see a new Client profile show up under the user avatar in the upper-right corner.

Previously existing Upwork accounts won’t automatically be deleted or otherwise affected, they simply won’t be connected to the primary company account. To avoid confusion in the future, however, it may be helpful to close the old account once any contracts have been transferred over. 

As members join your team, you can start to assign permissions around admin, hiring, and access for each user. 

Members&Permissions


Select the More Options icon […] next to each person’s name. On the next Edit user screen, you’ll be able to adjust their permissions. 

Edit user


4. Transfer all open contracts to the company account

If you started this process with just one account, you’re done! You don’t need to move your contracts anywhere.

However, if you’ve consolidated multiple accounts, this next step is important—and a little sensitive. 

Contracts can’t automatically be moved from one account to another. This means that any company member with open projects on their old individual account will need to end those contracts and restart them using their new individual company-linked profile.

As you might imagine, this can be potentially disruptive and even alarming to an independent professional who’s working hard and in the midst of a project!

So how can this process go more smoothly and positively? Here are a few best practices:

  • Discuss what’s happening with the talent you work with, including a timeline and your expectations.
  • For hourly projects: The system will lock the Work Diary as soon as a contract is ended. It may be helpful to allow time for professionals to check the current week’s Work Diary and make adjustments, if necessary, before ending the first contract.
  • For fixed-price projects: Consider staggering your timeline. If you’re mid-project, for example, it may be best to wait until the next active and funded milestone is complete and payment has been released from escrow—otherwise, you’ll need to request an escrow refund. You can then start the new contract with any remaining milestones. Or simply wait until the work is completed.

To end an open contract in a previously existing account: 

1. After selecting the appropriate account from the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner, go to the Jobs menu and select My Jobs.

My Jobs

Under My Postings, you’ll see a list of currently active contracts.

2. Click on the More Options icon […] and select End contract from the menu. 

End contract

As you end a contract:

  • Take a moment to leave feedback! Feedback on Upwork is a double-blind system and it helps both you and the independent professionals you work with to leave a comment.
  • Make a final payment. With fixed-price projects, you can add a final payment through the “End contract” form. This may be helpful if you aren’t restarting the project on your new account. 
  • Note that talent is able to provide a refund, if needed, on active or ended contracts for payments made within the last 180 days.

To get back to work with a new contract:

To rehire an independent professional or agency with as brief a pause as possible:

  • Navigate to the talent’s profile. To find the link, go to the recently-ended contract, click on the More Options icon […], and select “View profile”.
  • Click on the “Hire” button at the top of the profile. 
  • Complete and adjust job details as needed. For example, you may want to create a copy of the original job post and link to it in your new offer. And, if your company account has more than one team, confirm that the right one is selected since contracts can’t be moved between teams once they’ve started.
  • Once you’ve sent the job offer, the independent professional will be asked to review and accept it. Then you can start moving your project forward again!
Job details


Ready to create a company account and get your team organized? Click here to go to your Upwork dashboard or sign up for a new account.

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Author Spotlight

How To Create a Company Account on Upwork
Amy Sept
Writer & Editor

Amy Sept (@amysept) is an independent writer, editor, and content marketing strategist who’s dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes navigate the future of work. As a Canadian military spouse and slow traveller, she has a lot of hands-on experience with remote work, productivity hacks, and learning how to "go with the flow."

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