Proposal Writing Advice (IT related)

I’ve been referred to a medical practice to convert a bunch (3000 or so) of macros into an automated process, using Microsoft Access. I’ve done a slew of freelance work, but generally through a company that acts as my “agent” - they get the gigs, I do the work, they pay my rate.

This time it’s completely independent of them, although the project was referred to me by through them. At any rate, now I’m writing a proposal for the project. I’ve included the cost for software licenses, etc and all is well and good except:

I don’t know if it’s an

a) common
b) accepted
c) both

practice to ask for an upfront percentage, for doing things like purchasing the licenses, as well as a partial security on the work that I’ll be doing? I’ve never had to worry that a client would “short” me before, because the agent-company would always pay me no matter what. If it is an accepted practice, what kind of percentage should I ask for?

Any ideas/insight would be greatly appreciated.

My freelance programmer buddy has a clause in the contract that he (paraphrasing) owns all intellectual property rights to all software he created until the contract has been paid for. If they screw with you, you revoke their license.

Unless you’re planning on making a profit on the access licensing, I would let your client pay for the licenses themselves without you getting involved. Less paperwork for you and cheaper for them.