I build websites and webapps for companies and agencies. About five years ago, an agency hired me to build out a big website for a client. I host the website on my server but the billing to the client still goes through the agency. The client and agency have a long relationship and the agency provides other services (design, print, etc) to them that I have no part of.
I have several grievances with the current situation:
- The agency charges the client 3 times (seriously) the amount I charge them.
- The agency slows communication to the client down.
- The agency is slow to pay, despite multiple reminders.
- The agency doesn't give me more work. I have nothing to lose.
I would like to transition the client to pay me directly for my services. It's going to make dealing with their maintenance easier and it'll mean I can make more money from it.
The client knows about me (we do talk directly about everything except money) so there's no problem talking to them, but as I say, they do have (and will continue to have) a relationship with the agency.
And I have no explicit legal obligations to the agency. No non-competes. No NDAs... But I've never done this before so I'm not sure if I need to be cautious of statutes that stop people doing what I'm suggesting.
But assuming this is —legally speaking— on the up-and-up, how do I best convince a client to deal with me directly for my services, and how do I inform the agency?