Can You Pay Freelances With Printed Checks

Most people who own small businesses have found that they usually need to hire a freelancer or two to complete various tasks that they might not have the skills or resources to do themselves. As with all employees, you need to pay your freelancers on time and according to the rate and budget that they have posted on their website or profile. If they are using time tracking and invoice apps for freelancers, you may also receive a payment request with their terms and conditions. 

This is where many different payments come in. Some freelancers accept multiple payment methods while some might only accept one. If you want to pay your freelancer by printing checks online, you first need to ask them if this is okay before hiring them for a job and giving them a contract.

Paying Freelancers with Checks

Most freelancers do not accept checks as payment, although you can technically pay them this way if you both agree to it. Keep in mind that you will need to pay extra for printed checks because you will need to pay for envelopes and postage every time you want to send them money.

Some freelancers also want to get paid on time and having to wait for a check in the mail can affect how they pay their bills and when they get money.

You also have to pay to order checks from the bank which can be costly, so always consider how much it’s going to cost you in full to pay all your freelancers with checks.

If you have many freelancers and you want to pay all of them with checks as well as your normal employees, consider working with a check printing company to help save you the fees that you will incur at the bank.

Other Methods for Paying Freelancers

Although you can send checks to freelancers, this is usually not the most efficient method for payment unless you work with a check printing company to do most of the work for you.

If you’re looking for other methods to pay freelancers besides writing checks, there are tons of other ways you can ensure your freelancers are paid on time.

Direct Deposit

This is when freelancers are paid directly from your business bank account. They will set up their banking information and then when payday comes around, the money will automatically leave your account and go into theirs.

If you use payroll, they can also set up their bank account information through your payroll platform and then automatically get their paycheck.

Peer to Peer Platforms

If you have freelancers who prefer to get paid in their digital wallet, you can pay them directly to their Venmo or PayPal. This is best when you have freelancers doing small projects or if the freelancer is only going to work for you for a few weeks.

However, it’s not the best way to pay freelancers that you work with all the time because keeping track of payments in PayPal and Venmo is not as easy as if you were paying someone through payroll.

When you are not able to keep track of payments, it can also cause errors in your tax information and bookkeeping records which can be hard to fix.

ACH Payments

ACH stands for automatic clearing house and is one of the best ways to pay freelancers who work for you regularly. It’s basically just an electronic way to transfer money from your business bank account into a bank account set up by the freelancer.

It often works faster than direct deposit because you can transfer the funds for either the same day or the next day. This allows your freelancers to get the money quickly so many pay prefer this method.

Wire Transfer

Most employees don’t like to pay their freelancers through wire transfer because it can take several days for the person to receive the money and it can cost you fees. However, sometimes a wire transfer is necessary, especially if you are working with freelancers from another country.

If possible, wire transfers should be avoided so that you don’t have to have a separate budget just for paying transfers and bank fees.

Freelance Marketplace Payments

If you hire freelancers through a certain platform, like Upwork, payment is also done through the platform directly. Paying freelancers through another means actually breaches Upwork and other platform contracts, so you want to ensure you are paying all freelancers through the platform.

Usually, the platform will take a small percentage of the transaction but the fees are usually less than if you were to do a wire transfer or write a check.


If the majority of your workers are freelancers and you pay them weekly or monthly, it’s probably best for you to create a payroll system to make paying all of them easier. This also allows you to create invoices for all of them and to pay multiple freelancers at the same time.

When it comes time for tax season, tracking payments done on payroll is very easy and can make doing your taxes a breeze compared to if you were paying freelancers through peer platforms or with checks.

Making Sure Your Freelancers Are Paid Correctly

Along with choosing a payment method for your freelancers, you also want to ensure you are paying them the correct amount and that they are billing you correctly. It’s a good idea for all your freelancers to use a time-tracking app and for you to create official invoices from your company showing payments.

This ensures nothing gets lost and the freelancer knows which project they are being paid for.

Final Thoughts

While you can pay freelancers with checks, this is only a good idea if you have a check printing company rather than ordering paper checks from the bank. There are also many other alternative payment methods for freelancers including adding them to payroll, paying through direct deposit, or paying them via a platform like Upwork.

Before beginning a contract with a freelancer, always ask them the methods they are willing to be paid in and make sure you reach an agreement.