You go to you're favorable design school, you get you're degree and/or certification, and then you finally start freelancing. But, how do you know how much you're worth? Some schools talk about this, others don't at all. You go around doing design after design, getting little in return for your work. Why? Because they can!!! If you don't know how much your worth as a professional designer, guess what? You want be professional very long!
Being a freelance designer is hard enough! You don't need you're profits being ripped from you as well! So what's the best resources to learn you're worth? First I would like to show you a powerful web site for the information standards for creative designers. It's called AIGA
Let's say for example your a Graphic Designer with a focus on print media. You have about a year experience doing this for a profession. For a quick over view of price range check out part of the site on this link @ http://designsalaries.org/. They have the info for print design rates and more. I would really like to recommend becoming a member here too, because of the wealth of information and the association benefits you gain also. There is a important document to download for contracts in design work @ http://www.aiga.org/standard-agreement/.
Do you need some some legal protections also? I'm not a law type guy myself, but as you can imagine it's greatly important just as the design work you're doing. To help with this, check out http://www.legalzoom.com.
They have good info and sales plans for LLCs, In-corporations, and so on. Remember to look for the essentials only when choosing your freelance business model. I would recommend keeping up to date with AIGA to match your legal needs. I would also recommend a book to help in conjunction with Legal Zoom called "Talent is Not Enough", it's a very formal but down-to-earth book on creative business practices.
Lastly, as a freelancer you will have very high feeling of loneliness as far as the support of doing this yourself. I will give my final site advice, and it is known as http://www.freelancersunion.org/.
This site is a great support structure for freelancers doing there thing! It's a vast community of freelancers with information on insurances and more!
So there you have it! Some powerful resources to help you on your quest to get bank! But, remember this is just the beginning. There so many unknown factors in freelancing that something wrong is going happen. But, remember to go step-by-step. Stay on the AIGA's site, go around other designers and build a relationship with them to learn much as possible. Do not just blindingly depend on your education in schools for vital information!