You landed a great freelance gig, and they tell you the pay is great! How do you make sure you actually get paid for your freelance work?
There are many freelancers and contractors coming out to the job playing field these days. Layoffs are heavy and the economy is tight, and employers are using this as a great excuse to cut off extra positions and change out personnel. From your perspective, this is a great opportunity to look for a work at home job. While looking for that perfect career at home, it just makes sense to grab any opportunity that may pay the rent while looking to land that permanent at home position.
It is expected of you to invoice your customer for any work that you may do. Make sure you and your customer have payment arrangements up front. But, here is the ultimate tip: get half of your payment now for the job, and invoice the rest weekly, monthly, or quarterly, as you and your customer have agreed. It is very difficult to work on freelance if you don't have other income steadily coming in. Also, if you have not previously worked for this customer, you will know that you at least have half the payment up front, therefore your losses are minimized greatly.
If there isn't a foreseen end to your contract, and it looks as though it may last a year or more, it is wise to ask for a premium up front (one month's worth of pay). Let the customer know that this is a payment they can deduct from your last invoice at the end of the contract. The premium will cover any starting business costs you may have, and also save you from not getting your last payments when the contract ends. Remind yourself that you are not dealing with a person who may not have money in his/her pocket at that moment, this is a company that always has money available for these sorts of costs. If the company does not have this money available to them, it may be in your best interest to rethink the job.