Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

...for project-based work.

So far I didn't, and always got paid when work was complete and didn't ran into any problems. Does this make me look unprofessional? :)

Should I ask like 25% - 50% advance before I start working?

The work I usually do also includes graphic design to some extent (user inteface for my app)

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Justin Cave, ChrisF Apr 26 '12 at 16:03

Questions on Programmers Stack Exchange are expected to relate to software development within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is not a problem unique to software developers. – ChrisF Apr 26 '12 at 15:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As we have to think from the sides of both customer and us , I think it will not be good idea to ask for the payment immediately before you start working. But you can break the tasks into smaller milestones and ask for the payment as soon as each milestone is delivered.

For example: (break the milestones as per your convenience and nature of the project)

  • Requirement analysis delivered : 20% of payment
  • Data model delivered : 20% of payment
  • First user story delivered : 20% of payment
  • etc and so on ( I made up the tasks but feel free to negotiate the milestones).

Make sure the first deliverable is small so you will know the customer soon rather than waiting till the end.

This will put both customer and you in a comfortable position. And both parties will know if one of the party is not honoring the contract very soon.

My 2 cents.

share|improve this answer

I think a good policy would be to always ask for half immediately for first-time clients. After the first time, I think you can safely assume he'll pay you at the end. The only risk that you could take that would make you look unprofessional is to ask for all of it up front.

share|improve this answer

I'm on the opinion that from complete strangers (no recommendation from known people etc.) it is OK to ask advance payment if the project size/anticipated length warrants it. And no, it's not unprofessional, quite the contrary. Just be reasonable: for small&cheap projects you can take the risk if you feel comfortable.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.