Q. How can I make sure I have all the information I need to write the contract?
A. During your initial meetings with a prospective client, ask as many questions as possible about the project and take thorough notes. Get a very clear picture of the scope of the work, the timeline, everything involved. Then put it all in a written proposal - once the client has agreed to the proposal, you're ready to draw up the contract.
Q. What does "scope of work" include?
"Scope of work" means not only the work that you will do for the client, but also any work that is to be excluded from the contract price. Anything extra should be clearly identified as such, and the costs of the extra work should be clarified as well. Set out the process that the client must follow to request extra work (usually it entails submitting a change order of some kind).
It's also very important to define what the work product will be (ie. the work you create or invent under the terms of the agreement), and who will own it at the end of the contract.