I'm always trying to learn from other people's mistakes or experiences. It's served me well over the years, saving me much heartache, healing, and money.
Whenever you're working on a professional level, and even sometimes when you aren't getting paid, it's smart to have a contract that stipulates the terms of the services you are providing. A contract not only helps protect you legally, but it can also help either party remember what was agreed on.
More than once, I've had someone claim that I agreed to something, but I wasn't 100% sure I had. I've since learned to get it in writing. I missed out on getting part of a startup company sold for millions of dollars in my younger years because I did not have it in writing.
In this video from Chris Hau, he explains how he almost got sued over working with three different companies and how you can avoid that situation. Chris explains that you should have a contract checklist.
Chris explains that you should know and understand what you sign and get a copy of it. That contract should specify the scope of work, compensation, ownership rights, insurance and liability, cancellation policy, and governing law. I can personally attest to the late payment details, as this has helped ensure that I've gotten paid promptly with some past projects.