After awarding a project you can communicate with provider via the Project Message Board, which becomes available for viewing and posting messages only to the customer and the selected provider
You can unilaterally confirm the budget of your project before the contract is signed. To confirm the budget, open the current project and click "Confirm budget".
After you discussed all the project details with the provider both have to sign the contract.
You are the first to sign the contract. To do this open the current project in My Office -> Manage My Projects and click "Sign contract". Read the terms, check the box "I agree to the terms of the contract" and click "Sign contract".
Now you have to wait for the service provider to sign the contract. The provider receives the corresponding notification.
After both parties have signed the contract you are expected to post the escrow deposit.
Posting the deposit means that the project work has started in the system.