‘Bonsai’ offers Web-based service for freelancers – #Startup

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Life as a freelancer can be rough, getting paid in full & on time isn’t always easy & can be the trickiest part of the freelancing experience. With ‘Bonsai’, that is no longer the case. Using this freelancer service, you can automate the payment process, so that you get paid days or even weeks faster.  The site helps you create bulletproof contracts, with e-signing, & integrated payments. According to the Bonsai Site, with their service, freelancers get paid an average of 13 days faster, and have 3x fewer late payments.

To create a contract you just have to answer a few questions to generate it from a vetted template, then you send the contract to the client to securely e-sign in minutes. Bonsai has a process to create personalized branded invoices automatically from your contract. You can also track payments & auto-remind clients.

Bonsai is a San Francisco, US-based company, comprising a small team of entrepreneurs, designers & developers (mainly UCSB alums), whose aim is to help freelancers run better businesses.

They state on their Website:

As freelancers ourselves, we realized that the most successful freelancers often aren’t the best at coding or designing, but the best at managing a business. We also realized those business skills can be embedded in software, and thus Bonsai was born.

We have two products: Contracts and Payments. Contracts enable freelancers to create and e-sign bulletproof work contracts. Payments make it simple to get paid quickly online. The products are tightly integrated and have an opinionated design that helps freelancers make decisions that reduce common issues like scope creep and late payment.

Contracts are totally free and always will be. Our goal is to standardize these contracts, since they’re a fundamental part of running a successful business, and don’t believe we should charge for them. Payments cost $1 per paid invoice, plus standard processing fees.

Bonsai is mainly focused on freelance designers, writers & developer in the US, UK, Canada, & Australia, but is branching out to other markets as well. It’s a secure platform & stores your contracts safely in the Cloud. Contracts are only accessible to you & whatever other parties you may share them with. Only authorized parties can access the contracts, at any time of day from any device.

Bonsai supports payment via credit card, ACH & Bitcoin as well as PayPal & other payment methods. They use Stripe for credit card & ACH processing, and Coinbase for Bitcoin transactions.

Managing & sending invoices & payments is free, but if a client pays through Bonsai, there is a US $1 charge plus the processing of the payment used (credit cards cost 2.9% + 30¢, and ACH costs $5 per transaction).  Additionally, if you sign up on their Website you get 5 free invoices.

Bonsai has support for credit cards in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, UK, & the US. ACH is available only for US bank accounts & Bitcoin is available globally. Bonsai’s payment providers, Stripe, Coinbase, & Plaid, use secure procedures to provide safe and convenient transactions.

Bonsai also provides a curated list of tools (Freelance Stack), which makes it easy to find the best services for freelancers. This comprehensive list covers most the tools a freelancer needs to run a business, from finding work to tracking time, to getting paid to maintaining a portfolio.


– This post is merely a startup profile based on publicly available information & not a review. – 
Image Credit: Bonsai
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