Moving Services Contract Template
Moving can be stressful, but choosing the right moving company can go a long way towards making the transition as simple and easy as possible. As the business owner of a moving company, the homeowner will look to you to provide sound advice and guidance…along with being trusted to move their belongings, and securing it all with a moving contract.
- Ask if there are any special/valuable items to be moved; if so, discuss with your client how to handle them. Ensure the full value is noted of the item(s) – and of the entire shipment being moved by the shipper.
- Once the goods are unloaded, request that your client sign the mover’s copy of the inventory initially prepared to show that your client received the items. Make proper notations of any missing or damaged items (if you are aware of any) – this will solidify your reputation as an honest and reliable moving company. Word of mouth makes all the difference. Remember: Movers are prohibited from having someone sign documents that release the mover from all liability for loss or damage to the shipment in exchange for delivery.
- All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the household goods they transport. Do remember that there are two different levels of liability that apply to interstate moves which is either a released value (most economical; minimal protection; but you only assume liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article) and full replacement value (most expensive; most comprehensive; you will either repair or replace article; you are permitted to limit your liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value (exceeding $100 per pound – jewelry, china, furs, etc.) unless the client specifically lists these articles on the shipping documents.
- The shipment will be transported at full replacement value coverage unless the client specifically waives this specific coverage.
- Note if there are additional charges for higher end items which require special care, or overweight items which require additional considerations on your end to complete a satisfactory move as well
- It is highly encouraged that your company registers with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) even if you do not plan to engage in interstate travel. By registering with FMCSA, you confirm to your clients that you are a trustworthy, safety conscious company ready to help them move their family.
- If you intend to engage in moving services outside of the business’ home state, you will need a USDOT number. This unique identifier is issued by the United States Department of Transportation, and it serves as a nationwide license for commercial vehicle operators who cross over state lines.
- There are two types of estimates: binding and non-binding estimates.
- A binding estimate guarantees that your client cannot be required to pay more than the amount on the estimate. But if they add additional items to the shipment or request additional services, you and your client may agree to abide by the original binding estimate, negotiate a new binding estimate, or convert the binding estimate to a non-binding estimate. If there are unforeseen circumstances (such as elevators, stairs, or required parking permits) at the destination you can bill your client for these additional expenses after 30 days from delivery. Be advised that you can charge a fee to prepare a binding estimate.
- A non-binding estimate is intended to provide the client with an estimate of the cost of the move. It is not a guarantee of the final costs, but it should be reasonably accurate. It should indicate that the final charges will be based upon the actual weight of the shipment and the services provided. So the estimate will likely be different than the amount your client ultimately must pay. You cannot require the client to pay more than 110% of the original estimate at the time of delivery.
- Moves that start and end within a single state fall under the jurisdiction of state laws and regulations, and in some situations, county codes may also apply.
- Also known as ‘intrastate’moving companies, in general these businesses are required to be registered with the state commercial motor vehicle branch or state department of transportation which inspects the company for safety compliance. Some states also have laws that dictate the amount of cargo insurance moving companies must carry, although this isn’t required in all locations.
- To check state laws related to moving companies in your region, start by contacting your local Department of Transportation or state consumer affairs branch.
- A few states do not require any local registration or license for moving trucks or drivers. If you do business in one of the following states, you probably will not need to be registered with the regional department of transportation.
States that only require a USDOT license:
- Alaska (only USDOT)
- Arizona (only USDOT)
- District of Columbia
- Maine (only USDOT)
- Maryland (only USDOT)
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota (only USDOT)
- Utah (only USDOT)
- Bingo stamps used to be a common type of licensing. Under this type, trucks had to have a stamp for each state where they would travel on their cab and each sticker cost money. In the mid-90s the practice largely fell by the wayside to make room for other regional regulations. Some states still use them, though. States that still require bingo stamps: Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee
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Moving Services Agreement
This Moving Services Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into and made effective this ____ day of _______________, 20___ (the “Effective Date”), by and between John and Jane Doe, with a mailing address of 1234 Heartland Drive, Anywhere, State 12345 (the “Client”) and Moving-Is-Us, Inc./LLC, a [insert state in which incorporated] corporation [or limited liability company if applicable], with a mailing address of 123 Main Street, Somewhere, State 54321 (the “Company”). The Client and the Company shall collectively hereinafter be known as the “Parties” or “Party,” as applicable.
WHEREAS, the Company offers moving services and the Client desires to retain the Company to perform such services in connection with the details outlined herein;
WHEREAS, this Agreement is intended to outline the terms and conditions applicable to the service aspects of such business relationship between the Parties.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and the mutual covenants contained herein, for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the Parties hereto covenant and agree as follows:
- DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES. On [insert date], between the hours of [insert hours movers are expected to perform the services], the Company will use its professional knowledge and skill to pack, load into a truck and begin transport of all household and personal possessions (including, but not limited to, clothing, furniture, lawn equipment, etc.) from a location of _____________________________ [insert street address, city, state, zip code] to a location of _____________________________________ [insert street address, city, state, zip code] (the “Services”).***if the Client is not paying for the “packing” part of the services, but simply having their possessions put on the truck and moved (already packed), then remove “to pack,” from the above paragraph so it reads, “…knowledge and skill to load into a truck and move all household…”*** The Parties acknowledge and agree that delivery shall be made on ______________________________________ [insert date of delivery].
- Equipment. The Company shall provide all materials needed for the Services. These may include, but are not limited to, boxes, bubble wrap, protective coverings, boxes for hanging clothes, furniture/appliance dollies, etc.
- ESTIMATE. The Company shall provide or has provided to the Client a written estimate [binding or non-binding – explained in detail in blog content outline accompanying this contract], including options for insurance (discussed in further detail below) on such goods. This estimate shall include, but not be limited to, transportation, accessorial and advanced charges, and shall be signed and dated by both Parties. This estimate shall be based on a physical survey of the Client’s household goods if the Client is moving from a location within a fifty (50) mile radius of the Company’s place of business. The Parties acknowledge that any change to this estimate may only be made prior to the goods being loaded into the moving truck to protect both Parties.
- BILL OF LADING. The Company shall prepare a bill of lading for the transportation of goods. This document shall also outline the acceptable method(s) of payment to the Company. The Company shall provide the Client with a copy of same before or at the time of loading the shipment. The bill of lading shall specify the terms and conditions for payment of the total charges and the maximum amount required to be paid by the Client at the time of delivery if a binding estimate has been prepared. Conversely, if a non-binding estimate has been prepared by the Company, the bill of lading will not include a final calculation of charges because such cannot be determined until the shipment is weighed.
- If the Company has been requested to prepare a binding estimate for the Services, the Client agrees to pay one hundred percent (100%) of the charges specified therein at the time of delivery of the goods. If the Company has been requested to prepare a non-binding estimate for the Services, the Client agrees to pay one hundred ten percent (110%) of the charges specified therein at the time of delivery of the goods. Additionally, the Client acknowledges that they are responsible to pay the charges for any services requested (i.e., waiting time, an extra pickup or delivery, storage) after the contract was executed and which were not included in the estimate, not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) of all other charges due at delivery.
- If the Client desires to cancel this Agreement more than three (3) days after the Effective Date, the Client shall pay to the Company a cancellation fee in the amount of $_________ [insert amount of cancellation fee…should be substantial enough to deter individuals from canceling]. If the cancellation is the result of the Company, any and all funds paid to the Company by the Client will be refunded to the Client within [insert number of days] days following cancellation by the Company.
- COMPANY EMPLOYEES. The Company shall assign a sufficient number of employees (“Employee” or “Employees,” as applicable) (as determined by the Company based on the amount of items to be moved and amount of time involved), including one more senior individual to serve as a team lead, exclusively for the performance of the Services. The Company reserves the right to change any Employee assignment and substitute another Employee at any time due to illness or other emergency. Employees shall wear a uniform of navy blue shirt and navy blue pants [or whatever other colors chosen – if Company shirts are provided, include that here]. Employees shall be allowed a 15-minute break for every four (4) hours of work and one half hour (1/2) for a lunch break. No smoking is allowed by the Employees except in a reasonable location away from any Client door or window.
- Confidentiality. Employees may, during the performance of the Services, overhear or be privy to personal, business or propriety information in written form or discussed between individuals comprising the Client or anyone visiting or associated with the Client. Such information shall remain confidential and shall survive the termination of this Agreement.
- INVENTORY. The Company shall prepare for the Client an inventory of the goods being shipped and shall list any damage or unusual wear to any items. Once prepared, both Parties shall sign each page of the inventory and retain such for comparison once the goods are delivered.
- LAWS AND PERMITS. The Client acknowledges that the Company shall be limited by the rules and guidelines of a location (more specifically, apartment complex parking). Any desired flexibility of location rules and guidelines shall be subject to negotiation solely by the Client with the location management. The Company will assist the Client in making suggestions on truck movement and/or parking if expressly requested by the Client.
- BACKGROUND CHECK; CRIMINAL RECORD. The Company affirms that all Employees have been fully vetted and passed a background check, along with any international, federal, state, and local searches deemed necessary. No Employees have any criminal history relating to driving offenses and/or crimes associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, child abuse, violence directed at children, and is not listed as a sex offender on either a federal or state-based registry. Additionally, for purposes of federal immigration law, all Employees have provided the Company with documentary evidence of identity and eligibility for employment in the United States.
- FORCE MAJEURE. Neither Partyshall be held liable or responsible to the other Party nor be deemed to have defaulted under or breached this Agreement for failure or delay in fulfilling or performing any term of this Agreement to the extent, and for so long as, such failure or delay is caused by or results from causes beyond the reasonable control of the affected Party including but not limited to fire; floods; embargoes; war; acts of war (whether war be declared or not); acts of terrorism; insurrections; riots; civil commotions; strikes; lockouts or other labor disturbances; military disturbances; shortage of supply; acts of God; loss or malfunction of utilities, communications or computer (software or hardware) services; or acts, omissions or delays in acting by any governmental authority or the other party. A Party claiming the benefit of this provision shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the occurrence of any such event, (a) provide written notice to the other Party of the nature and extent of any such Force Majeure condition; and (b) use commercially reasonable efforts to remove any such causes and resume performance under this Agreement as soon as reasonably practicable.
- LIMIT OF LIABILITY. In the unlikely event that the Company is unable to perform the Services due to a Force Majeure event as described above and/or if the Company is unable to secure a suitable replacement, responsibility and liability as to the Company is limited to the return of all payments received for the Services.
- LICENSE AND INSURANCE. The Company shall be licensed and approved for doing business in the state, county, and/or city of the origination of Services provided. Additionally, the Company shall be responsible for the acquisition of all licenses and/or permits required through state licensing and/or the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). If the Services provided herein involve interstate transportation of goods, the Company affirms that it is and shall be in compliance with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations covering household goods carriers. The Company shall be insured and/or bonded as to its services. The Company acknowledges and agrees that this information may be subject to verification by the Client prior to the initiation of the Services. The Company shall cooperate fully in providing the Client with requested supporting documentation.
The Company shall maintain a policy(ies) of commercial general liability insurance with limits of liability of not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence and Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) in the aggregate providing coverage for, among other things, professional liability and basic carrier liability coverage. All insurance required to be maintained by the Company pursuant to this Agreement shall be maintained with responsible companies qualified to do business, and in good standing, in the state of _______________ [insert state of Company] and which have a rating of at least “A-” in the most current A.M. Best’s Insurance Guide or such similar rating as may be reasonably expected. If the Company cannot or will not provide evidence of the appropriate insurance coverage within five (5) business days of the Effective Date herein, this Agreement shall terminate at that time and any funds shall be refunded to the Client within five (5) business days of termination.
- Moving Insurance. As required by federal law, the Client will have the option of choosing the (i) released value/basic carrier liability (free to the Client); (ii) full replacement value protection (which must be purchased by the Client); or (iii) third-party insurance which may be purchased through the Company by the Client. The Company shall have the responsibility of explaining such insurance options to the Client in a thorough and factual manner, thus allowing the Client to choose an option at its discretion.
- CLAIMS. The Client must submit any claim of lost, damaged, or destroyed items within nine (9) months from the date of delivery (or in the event of loss for the entire shipment, from the date your shipment should have been delivered). Such claim shall be submitted in writing to the Company and the Company’s insurance company or third-party company for claim processing. The Company then has thirty (30) days to acknowledge receipt of it. The Company shall then have one hundred twenty (120) days to provide the Client with a disposition. The Company may be entitled to 60-day extensions if the claim cannot be processed or disposed of within one hundred twenty (120) days.
- TERMINATION. This Agreement shall terminate upon the occurrence of any of the following: (i) in the event either Party defaults in any material obligation owed to the other Party pursuant to this Agreement, then this Agreement may be terminated if the default is not cured following five (5) days’ written notice to the defaulting party and/or (ii) the Company becomes bankrupt or insolvent, or bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings are instituted against the Company and the proceeding is not dismissed within sixty (60) days of commencement.
- MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION. Any dispute, claim, or controversy arising from or relating to this Agreement must exclusively be resolved first by mediation with a single mediator selected by the Parties, with such mediation to be held in ___________ [City], ________ [State]. If such mediation fails, then any such dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association in effect at the time the arbitration proceeding commences, except that (a) _______ [state of Company] law and the Federal Arbitration Act must govern construction and effect, (b) the locale of any arbitration must be in ___________ [City], ________ [State], and (c) the arbitrator must with the award provide written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Any Party may seek from a court of competent jurisdiction any provisional remedy that may be necessary to protect its rights or assets pending the selection of the arbitrator or the arbitrator’s determination of the merits of the controversy. The exercise of such arbitration rights by any Party will not preclude the exercise of any self-help remedies (including without limitation, setoff rights) or the exercise of any non-judicial foreclosure rights. An arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction.
- APPLICABLE LAW. This Agreement shall be construed and governed by the law of the state of [insert state of Company] without regard to principles of conflicts of law
- No Waiver. The failure of a Party to require strict performance of any provision of this Agreement by the other, or the forbearance to exercise any right or remedy, shall not be construed as a waiver by such Party of any such right or remedy or preclude any other or further exercise thereof or the exercise of any other right or remedy.
- Severability. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement does not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement.
- Entire Agreement; Amendments. This Agreement has been freely negotiated and contains the entire understanding between the Parties for the Services outlined herein. The Parties acknowledge that they have read and understand the terms contained herein and agree to same. This Agreement supersedes all prior agreements, representations, or understanding (whether written, oral, implied, or otherwise) between the Parties. These terms may not be amended or modified, in whole or in part, except by an express written agreement between the Parties.
- Headings. The headings in this Agreement are for purposes of reference only and shall not limit or otherwise affect the meaning of any provision of this Agreement.
- Counterparts; Facsimile and Electronic Signatures. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, all of which together shall constitute one and the same agreement. Any electronic signature shall have the full weight and authority as an original signature on this Agreement. Additionally, any signature page delivered electronically or by facsimile shall be binding to the same extent as an original signature page with regards to any agreement subject to the terms hereof or any amendment hereto.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have executed this Agreement as identified below and as of the Effective Date of this Agreement.
Signature of Authorized Company Representative
Printed Name of Authorized Company Representative
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