Steps for protecting yourself in the web design business
Have you been burned by a Web design client in the past? It’s not uncommon for design professionals in many disciplines to encounter problems with picky clients, and it can leave you empty handed after putting in many hours on a project. The most important step you can take in the process is to have your client sign a contract at the outset. Couple this step with a requirement that half the cost be paid in advance. Don’t begin your work until these two steps are completed.
Your vigilance doesn’t end with your contract and upfront payment. As you proceed through the steps of the design process, you need to protect your intellectual property. For example, use your own proof server for files until the complete payment has been received. Take time to create quality mockups so that you aren’t faced with your client choosing a poorly designed option. When your client decides on a design, make sure that you have him sign a second contract that outlines what agreements have been made.
From: Top Web Design School