Business Services Contract – Why You Need One
At one time, transacting business was easy. Two people agreed to make a trade, and both parties honored their word. But in the 21st century, professionals are all too aware of the long history of deal-breaking and lawsuits that have taken place all around them. In business, contracts are important because they outline expectations for both parties, protect both parties if those expectations aren’t met and lock in the price that will be paid for services or products agreed to between the parties. Having a written contract means that everyone knows what he is supposed to do and when, and makes it easier to resolve any disputes that might arise. Sometimes, parties may be reluctant to draw up a contract because they’re in a hurry to finalize a deal. This is a bad idea. Taking on a job or receiving work with no formal contract in place is a disservice to all involved. Although writing up a contract may slow down the process of completing a deal or cause some tension in the short term it can help things go smoothly and prevent future problems.
Outlining the scope of agreement.
A contract is a written agreement between two parties that details the terms of a transaction. In a business, it generally states the work that will be performed, along with important information like due dates and costs. It can be easy to make your contract far longer and more complicated than it needs to be, but it’s best for everyone to try to keep it simple. Still, your business should at least include the following:
- Full scope of work to be performed, including all deliverables.
- General timeline or, if possible, exact due dates for each milestone.
- Nothing that you discussed should be left out of the contract if you want it to be enforceable. Payment amounts and terms.
- How many days will the person have after delivery to remit that payment, and how will it be paid?
- The circumstances under which the contract can be terminated and how that will be handled.
- If dispute mediation becomes necessary, the contract should also outline how that will take place. If necessary, one or both parties may choose to include a noncompete or nondisclosure clause. Any terms related to failed obligations. If, for instance, payment isn’t remitted by a certain date, the contract should outline what the late payment fee will apply.
If you can afford an attorney, it would be wise to have one look over your contract to make sure you’ve covered everything. Once you have the initial draft, you should be able to simply update it with all of your clients.
Protecting Both Parties
Although having expectations in writing increases the odds of success, it also makes enforceability easier. Simply knowing it’s in writing can put pressure on all involved parties to meet their obligations on time. The service provider will probably even routinely check the contract to make sure the work is progressing as agreed. If an issue arises, having the agreement in writing will make enforcement much easier. If the client decides to work with a different agency halfway through the project, the provider could take legal action to be paid for work performed. On the other hand, if the service provider performs poorly, the vendor will have legal protection against paying for the work.
Locking in Financial Agreements
If written properly, your contract will make sure the service provider receives payment in a timely manner. For big projects, this generally means multiple small payments as certain milestones are reached. A publisher buying an author’s book, for instance, will often issue one advance payment when the contract is signed and another when the completed manuscript is submitted. However, a written contract may not always be enough to get paid on time. You’ll still have to issue invoices in many cases and reiterate the terms on that invoice. Make it as easy as possible for your client to pay, offering as many options as possible.
Closing the Contract
Hopefully, you’ll never have to take legal action based on the contract, which means the project will end and you’ll move on to the next project. Written contracts require signatures to be valid. Drafts may not be legally enforceable. Both parties should keep a copy of the contract on file for several years in case a later issue should arise. You’ll also have the template that you can tweak based on the lessons you’ve learned from previous projects.
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Users of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances of applicable law or appropriate counsel to your particular situation
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This Business Contract is entered into as of [DATE OF CONTRACT] (the “Contract”) between [BUSINESS NAME] (“Business”) and [CLIENT NAME] (“Client”), having an address of [CLIENT ADDRESS] (together, “Parties”) and sets forth the agreement between the Parties relating to the following terms and defined in this Contract.
- Transaction Details. The Business agrees to provide and the Client agrees to retain, the following services (the “Services”) to be performed by Business in accordance of the terms and conditions of this Contract.
- Definition of the Services. The Business shall provide [DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES TO BE PERFORMED].
- Service Standards. The Services provided shall comply with the Business’ standards, quotation and expectations as detailed to Client.
- Payment Terms. In exchange for the Services performed by Business as specified in this Contract to Client, Client will pay to Business $____ per hour or a $____ as a per occurrence flat rate.
- Business shall provide [no discounts to Client OR a discount to Client if total bill is paid within ___ days] for the Product.
- If any invoice is not paid within 7 days of the date when due, then there shall be a late fee of $____ added to the invoice.
- In addition to any other remedy provided under applicable law, if Client fails to pay an overdue and outstanding balance for the Services performed after 10 days, the Business may consider Client in material breach, terminate this Contract and pursue all methods to recoup any monies owed plus interest.
- Cancellation. If the Client wishes to cancel this Contract, Client must provide written notice to Business along with a cancellation fee of $100.00 plus any incidental fees, taxes or costs incurred by Business.
- Limitation of Remedies. If Business cannot fulfill its obligations under this Contract for reasons outside of its control, Business may locate and retain a replacement company at no additional cost to Client, or refund Client’s money in full. Business will not be responsible for any additional damages or compensation under these circumstances.
- Resolution of Disputes. The Parties agree to not post any negative information about the other arising out of this Contract on any online forum or website without providing advance written notice of the intended content thereof, and providing the other party with an opportunity to resolve any issues between the parties amicably.
- Severability.In the event any provision of this Agreement is deemed invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, that part shall be severed from the remainder of the Agreement and all other provisions should continue in full force and effect as valid and enforceable.
- Waiver.The failure by either party to exercise any right, power or privilege under the terms of this Agreement will not be construed as a waiver of any subsequent or further exercise of that right, power or privilege or the exercise of any other right, power or privilege.
- Legal Fees. In the event of a dispute resulting in legal action, the successful party will be entitled to its legal fees, including, but not limited to its attorneys’ fees. Legal and Binding Agreement.This Agreement is legal and binding between the Parties as stated above. This Agreement may be entered into and is legal and binding both in the United States and throughout Europe. The Parties each represent that they have the authority to enter into this Agreement.
- Governing Law and Jurisdiction. The Parties agree that this Agreement shall be governed by the State and/or Country in which both Parties do business. In the event that the Parties do business in different States and/or Countries, this Agreement shall be governed by [STATE]
- Entire Agreement.The Parties acknowledge and agree that this Agreement represents the entire agreement between the Parties. In the event that the Parties desire to change, add, or otherwise modify any terms, they shall do so in writing to be signed by both parties.
The Parties agree to the terms and conditions set forth above as demonstrated by their signatures this ____ day of ______________, 2020, as follows:
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