Free Architect Contract Template

Fully editable with standard terms and clauses. Send and e-sign it online.

Free Architect Contract Template

Fully editable with standard terms and clauses. Send and e-sign it online.


Architect Contract

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Architect Contract

First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

This Architecture Design Contract (this “Agreement”) is entered into as of [ENTER EFFECTIVE DATE] (the “Effective Date”) by and between: [ENTER ARCHITECT NAME] (hereinafter “Architect”), located at [ENTER ADDRESS] and [ENTER CLIENT NAME] (hereinafter “Client”), located at [ENTER CLIENT ADDRESS] (collectively referred to herein as the “Parties,” and individually as a “Party”).

WHEREAS, Client intends to build a [ENTER DESCRIPTION] to be located at [ENTER ADDRESS], hereinafter called the “Project”; and

WHEREAS, Client desires to utilize the services of Architect in rendering the architectural design of the Project and Architect agrees to provide such services in accordance with the terms contained herein.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants, terms and conditions set out herein, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the Parties hereto agree as follows:


The Architect shall provide the following services (collectively the “Services”):

1.1 SDP.

Site development planning (“SDP”) of the grounds of the building, including other concomitant structures within the Project site, as may be determined by Clien

1.2 DA&E.

Basic Detailed Architectural and Engineering (“DA&E”) Design of the Project to be located at [ENTER ADDRESS].


2.1 Project Definition Phase.

This phase shall involve the definition of the requirements of the Project by Client. The Architect shall inform Client of the technical requirements of the Project and the professional fees associated with the Project. In this phase, Architect shall:

i. Consult with Client to ascertain the conceptual framework and related requirements of the Project and confirm such requirements with Client;
ii. Gather relevant information and data leading to the definition of the requirements of the Project, including the scope of the Architect’s Services; and
iii. Prepare an initial statement of probable construction cost.

2.2 Schematic Design Phase.

This phase shall consist of the preparation of schematic design studies derived from the Project Definition Phase, leading to conceptual plans. The Architect shall:

i. Evaluate Client’s program, schedule, budget, Project site and proposes methods of Project deliveries;
ii. Prepare the initial line drawings representing design studies leading to a recommended solution, including a general description of the Project for approval by Client; and
iii. Submit to Client a Statement of Probably Project Construction Cost (“SPPCC”) based on current cost parameters.

2.3 Design Development Phase.

Based on approved schematics and conceptual plans, Architect shall prepare:

i. The Design Development documents consisting of plans, elevations, sections and other drawings;
ii. The outline specifications to fix and illustrate the size and character of the entire Project as to the type of materials, type of structural, electrical, mechanical, sanitary, electronic and communications systems;
iii. The diagrammatic layout of the construction systems; and
iv. An updated SPPCC for submission to Client.

2.4 Contract Document Phase.

Based on the approved Design Development Documents, Architect shall:

i. Prepare the complete Contract Documents consisting of detailed designs and construction drawings, setting forth in detail the work required for the architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing/sanitary, mechanical, electronic and communication works prepared by the Architect and by the other state-regulated building professionals involved (if any);
ii. Prepare the technical specifications describing type and quality of materials, finish, manner of construction and the general conditions under which the Project is to be constructed;
iii. Submit to Client [ENTER NUMBER] sets of all construction drawings and technical specifications for purposes of obtaining a building permit;
iv. Update the SPPCC based on changes in scope, requirements or market conditions.


3.1 Fees.

Client agrees to pay Architect for the Services, a fee of [ENTER FEE AMOUNT] (the “Basic Fee”), with other payments and reimbursements hereinafter provided. Client shall pay any by Architect to Client within ten (10) days of receipt. Client shall pay interest on all late payments, calculated daily and compounded monthly, at the lesser of the rate of ten percent (10%) or the highest rate permissible under applicable law. All such payment shall be paid via [ENTER PAYMENT METHOD].

3.2 Payments.

Payments to Architect shall be made by Client as follows:

i. Twenty-Five Percent (25%) of the Basic Fee or [ENTER FEE AMOUNT] upon the signing of this Agreement.
ii. Upon completion of the Schematic Design Services, but not more than fifteen (15) days after the submission of the Schematic Design to Client, a sum equal to Twenty-Five Percent (25%) of the Basic Fee.
iii. Upon completion of the Design Development Services, but not more than fifteen (15) days after submission of the Design Development documents to Client, a sum equal to Twenty-Five Percent (25%) of the Basic Fee.
iv. Upon completion of the Contract Documents Services, but not more than fifteen (15) days after submission of the Contract Documents to Client, a sum equal to Twenty-Five Percent (25%) of the Basic Fee.


Client shall undertake the following acts:

a. Provide full information as to Client’s requirements for the Project;
b. When necessary, designate a representative authorized to act on Client’s behalf;
c. Promptly examine and render decisions pertaining to documents submitted by Architect to avoid unreasonable delay in the progress of Architect’s work;
d. Furnish or direct the Architect to obtain, at Client’s expense, a certified survey of the site, as may be required, topographical and/or relocation surveys covering grades and lines of streets, alleys, easements, encroachments and related information, boundaries, with dimensions and complete data pertaining to existing buildings, structures, trees, plants, water bodies, wells, excavations/pits, etc. and other improvements and full information as to the available utility/service lines both public and private; zoning compliances, clearances, deed/s of restrictions, encumbrances and annotations to titles, association guidelines and standards.
e. On guidelines and standards, and soil investigations/tests and test pits necessary for determining soil and subsoil conditions;
f. Promptly pay for architectural and all other engineering and/or other services required for the Project;
g. Arrange and pay for such legal, auditing, insurance, counseling and/or other services as may be required for the Project;
h. Pay for all reimbursable expenses incurred in the Project;
i. If Client observes or otherwise becomes aware of anything that may impair the successful implementation of the Project, Client must give prompt written notice to Architect.


a. Where Architect has to render additional services, additional compensation shall be required.
b. Scale Models. Costs for these services are to be paid for separately by Client and shall be subject to a coordination fee payable to Architect.
c. Per Diem & Traveling Expenses. If applicable, a per diem plus traveling and living expenses shall be chargeable to Client whenever Architect or Architect’s duly authorized representative is required to perform services at a locality beyond one hundred (100) miles from Architect’s established office.
d. Changes Ordered by Client. If Architect renders additional services due to changes ordered by Client after approval of Architect’s outputs, Client shall pay Architect for the extra time, resources/drafting or other office expenses incurred.
e. Work Suspended or Abandoned. If the work of Architect is abandoned or suspended in whole or in part, Client shall pay Architect for the services rendered corresponding to the amount due at the stage of suspension or abandonment of the Services.


Any SPPCC or any Cost Estimate submitted by Architect can attain only a certain degree of accuracy. As Architect has no control over the cost of labor and materials, or the many factors that go into competitive bidding, Architect does not assume any professional responsibility for such cost estimates.


All designs, drawings, models, specifications and other contract documents and copies thereof, prepared, duly signed, stamped and sealed and furnished as instruments of service, are the intellectual property and documents of Architect, whether the work for which they were made is executed or not, and are not to be reproduced or used on other work except with a written agreement with Architect.


Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, Architect makes no warranties and disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Services to the extent permitted by applicable law. Consultant makes no representations and/or warranties as to the success of the Services for any purpose or use. Past results are in no way a guarantee of results for any current client of the Consultant. Client hereby disclaims that it is relying upon or has relied upon any representation and/or warranty not included in this Agreement that may have been made by any person, and acknowledges and agrees that Consultant disclaims any such other representations and/or warranties.


Architect is an independent contractor with respect to its relationship to Client. Neither Architect nor Architect’s employees and/or contractors are or shall be deemed for any purpose to be employees or contractors of Client. Client shall not be responsible to Architect, Architect’s employees and/or contractors, or any governing body for any payroll taxes related to the performance of the Services.


This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of [ENTER STATE].


Any dispute or claim that arises out of or relates to this Agreement, or that relates to the breach of this Agreement or that arises out of or that is based upon this Agreement shall be resolved by arbitration in accordance with the then effective arbitration rules of (and by filing a claim with) the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), and judgment upon the award rendered pursuant to such arbitration may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Any such arbitration proceedings shall solely be conducted in [ENTER APPLICABLE COUNTY] County, State of [ENTER STATE].


In the event Client defaults in the performance of any of the terms, covenants, agreements or conditions of this Agreement, and Architect seeks to enforce all or any part of this Agreement, Client agrees to pay Architect’s reasonable attorney's fees.


Under no circumstances shall Architect be liable to Client or any third party for indirect, incidental, consequential, special and/or exemplary damages arising from the Services herein contemplated or any provision of this Agreement, such as, but not limited to, loss of revenue or anticipated profit or lost business, costs of delay or failure of delivery, or liabilities to third parties arising from any source. The maximum aggregate liability of Architect to Client arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall not exceed the amount of any fees paid by Client to Architect for the Services described herein. For purposes of this section, “fees” does not include any payments made by Client to thirty-party servicers in connection with the Services provided by Architect.


Client agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Architect and its officers, directors, agents, affiliates, distributors, representatives, and employees from any and all third-party claims, demands, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses resulting from Client’s material breach of any duty, representation and/or warranty under this Agreement.


If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the remaining portions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect and construed so as to best effectuate the original intent and purpose of this Agreement.


The Parties agree they, nor any of their respective agents, will in any way publicly disparage, call into disrepute, defame, slander and/or otherwise criticize the other Party and/or the other Party’s subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, officers, directors, employees, shareholders, agents or representatives, or any of the other Party’s products and/or services, in any manner that would damage the business or reputation of the other Party, its products and/or services or its subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, officers, directors, employees, shareholders, agents or representatives.


This Agreement supersedes all prior agreements and understandings between the Parties for performance of the Services and constitutes the complete agreement and understanding between the Parties. The Parties may only amend this Agreement in a written document signed by both Parties.


First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

Free Architect Contract Template

Fully editable with standard terms and clauses. Send and e-sign it online.

Free Architect Contract Template

Fully editable with standard terms and clauses. Send and e-sign it online.

Bonsai has helped create 1,023,928 documents and counting.

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business owners

Date: March 8th 2023



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.

This Contract is between Client (the "Client") and Acme LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Coach").

The Contract is dated January 23, 2023.


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Coach to develop a coaching relationship between the Client and Coach in order to cultivate the Client's personal, professional, or business goals and create a plan to achieve those goals through stimulating and creative interactions with the ultimate result of maximizing the Client's personal or professional potential.

1.2 Schedule. The Coach will begin work on February 1, 2023 and will continue until the work is completed. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Coach at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 4, Term and Termination.

The Coach and Client will meet by video conference, 4 days per month for 2 hours.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Coach an hourly rate of $150. Of this, the Client will pay the Coach $500.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Coach's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Coach will invoice the Client in accordance with the milestones in Section 1.3. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Coach will not be available by telephone, or email in between scheduled sessions.


- A coaching relationship is a partnership between two or more individuals or entities, like a teacher-student or coach-athlete relationship. Both the Client and Coach must uphold their obligations for the relationship to be successful.

- The Coach agrees to maintain the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

- The Client acknowledges and agrees that coaching is a comprehensive process that may explore different areas of the Client's life, including work, finances, health, and relationships.

- The Client is responsible for implementing the insights and techniques learned from the Coach.


3.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

3.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

3.3 Coach Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Coach promises that it owns the work product, that the Coach is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Coach uses employees or subcontractors, the Coach also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Coach giving the Coach any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Coach's background IP and work product.

3.4 Coach Will Comply With Laws. The Coach promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

3.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Coach promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights, that the Coach has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Coach has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

3.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Coach with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights.


This Contract is ongoing until it expires or the work is completed. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 9.4. The Coach must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice unless the notice says otherwise.

If either party ends this Contract before the Contract automatically ends, the Client will pay the Contractor for the work done up until when the Contract ends. The following sections don't end even after the Contract ends: 3 (Representations); 6 (Confidential Information); 7 (Limitation of Liability); 8 (Indemnity); and 9 (General).


The Client is hiring the Coach as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Coach will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.

- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Coach is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.

- The Client will not provide the Coach with any training.

- The Client and the Coach do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.

- The Coach cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.

- The Coach is not entitled to the Client's benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).

- The Coach is responsible for its own taxes.

- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Coach or any of the Coach's employees or subcontractors.


6.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Coach must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

6.2 The Client's Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Coach may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Coach promises to treat this information as if it is the Coach's own confidential information. The Coach may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Coach use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Coach cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Coach written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Coach may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Coach must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Coach promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Coach written permission first. The Coach must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Coach's responsibilities only stop if the Coach can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Coach came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Coach came across it, but not because of anything the Coach did or didn't do; (iii) the Coach already knew the information when the Coach came across it and the Coach didn't have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Coach with the information without requiring that the Coach keep it a secret; or (v) the Coach created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

6.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It's possible the Client and the Coach each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Coach each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Coach is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.


Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


8.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Coach or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Coach did, then the Coach may promise to come to the Client's defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

8.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Coach agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Coach has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Coach of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Coach of the promises it is making in Section 3 (Representations).

8.3 Coach Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Coach (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


9.1 Assignment​. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Coach. Neither the Client nor the Coach can assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the other's written permission.

9.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

9.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Coach must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

9.4. Noticies.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party's address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

9.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that's the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

9.6 Signatures. The Client and the Coach must sign this document using Bonsai's e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

9.7 Governing Law. The validity, interpretation, construction and performance of this document shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America.

9.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties' final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.
Table of contents

What is an Architect Contract?

An architect contract is an agreement between an architect and a project owner or company. The contract clearly defines the architect’s scope and establishes essential terms, including payment, intellectual property rights, and more. 

Note: You can create your very own architect contract when you sign up for Bonsai’s free platform today. Our templates include everything you need to deliver secure, legally vetted contracts to more clients.

Why Do You Need an Architect Contract?

If you are a freelance architect, a written agreement is a critical part of your business. Not only can it help prevent unpaid invoices, but it can also protect you in a legal dispute. We strongly recommend that professional architects abstain from work until all agreements are in writing.

What to Include in the Architect Contract 

Your architect agreement should clearly define all of the terms, responsibilities, parties, and deliverables of your project. In order to do so, you must create a thorough document with all of the essential elements. We’ve reviewed hundreds of architect agreements, and know what needs to be included to create a watertight project contract. Luckily for you, we have listed them in detail below.

Architect Agreement Cover Page

The cover page of your architect agreement is written to identify each party involved in the contract. It serves as an introduction to the project(s). 

This section of the contract is generally the place where you would establish a relationship and your intent to work for a client or organization. It’s also a great idea to include the start date of the contract and both parties’ contact information, such as their address and phone number.

List of Services You Provide

As a freelancer architect, you may wear many hats, but that doesn’t mean that you offer full-service solutions to all of your clients. Therefore, it’s crucial that you clearly document all of the services for which you are solely responsible. We urge you to be as transparent as possible to ensure client satisfaction at the end of the project. 

That’s not all!

As much as it is crucial to include a list of the services you will provide, it’s also important to define the services you don’t offer. It’s not uncommon to find clients who ask you to do things outside your architect’s scope. When you list the services you don’t offer, you can avoid any responsibilities you weren’t paid for.

The Cost of Your Services

To make sure that you are adequately paid, you should take the time to cover your rates and fees. Not only does this include amounts, but this section of your documents needs to cover how you charge your client. Do you offer financing? Will you charge by the hour or the project? 

If you choose a fixed price per project, your overall rate should be based on the amount of time you anticipate spending on the job. Don’t forget to include the cost of materials! While this method is often the simplest, it could cause contractors to lose money if you underestimate your time.

When an architect charges by the hour, they will need to keep records of all the time they spend working on the projects. This ensures fair compensation even if the project takes longer than expected. However, this method could cause you to go over a client’s budget, so you should discuss estimated costs in either case.

Timeline for Your Architect Project

The next element to include in your architect agreement is your project timeline. When you take the time to create a detailed timeline for all of your projects, both parties can keep track of the architect project schedule and progress. 

While writing an impressive timeline to win a contract might be tempting, you should also be realistic to avoid disappointment or disputes. It’s more important to create an accurate timeline. You can do so by considering:

  • Your Architect Services
  • Your Freelancing Schedule
  • The Scope of the Project
  • Your Limits
  • Extenuating Circumstances That Could Arise

Indemnity, Liability, and Insurance Terms

Architects have a lot of responsibilities and could face a legal dispute if something goes wrong. This is especially true when it comes to the design process and monitoring of projects. 

For that reason, we recommend that you include an indemnity clause or insurance in your documents. Your agreement should dictate that the architect’s liability is limited only to the project described in the contract.

How to write an Architect contract 

There’s more to writing an architect contract than simply including the correct documents. If you want to write a professional agreement that impresses your client, we recommend the following tips.

Find out Exactly What the Client Wants

Before you begin drafting your architect agreement, you want to make sure that you have a solid understanding of what your client wants. When you take the time to have a discovery meeting with all parties involved, you can address all of their needs in the contract.

For example, many companies desire confidentiality to protect the details of their projects. Therefore, you might need to add NDA documents to your agreement. 

You also might find that the company has a strict timeline. You must keep all of these things in mind to make sure they are satisfied with the contract and ready to move forward.

Highlight What Sets You Apart 

Your contract is one of the first impressions you make on a client. If you have a poorly written agreement or a basic template, they will notice and may choose not to sign it. Instead, you should view your contract as an example of your professionalism.

What does that mean?

You should use it to highlight the qualities that set you apart from other contracts they may have seen. Everything should be well-written with no spelling or grammar mistakes. While writing might not be your strongest subject, it shows that you are taking the agreement seriously.

Freelancers can also show the clientele that they are detail-oriented by being meticulous with the contracts. Though writing a lengthy agreement with multiple documents feels tedious, it demonstrates thoroughness. 

Your list of services is another area where you can differentiate yourself. If you happen to offer services that another architect might not, you should make sure it is included in the document.

Discuss Intellectual Property Ownership

To avoid disagreements between parties, we strongly encourage architect freelancers to discuss intellectual property rights with their clients. In general, the architect retains the ownership of their design documents under copyright law. That means your design couldn’t be modified and reused without signing a written agreement.

With the “work made for hire” doctrine, however, things are different. U.S. Copyright Law gives clients complete authorship and ownership over designs that they commission. If you are seeking partial ownership or certain rights, you should consider including a section for intellectual property in your architect agreement. 

Creating an Architect Contract is Simple with Bonsai

At Bonsai, we understand how time-consuming it is to write up a contract agreement for every client. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the process alone. 

We offer a wide variety of free templates for architect contracts, so it’s easier than ever to sign more clients and get paid faster. In fact, we have changed the way freelancers conduct business with our: 

  • Electronic Signature Features: You no longer have to print out documents and mail them to each client. When you sign up for our services, you can send electronic documents and sign all of them virtually. This expedites the process for bother parties and their written approval.
  • Automatic Reminders: By utilizing our automated reminders, you don’t have to send out a follow-up request to get your client to respond. We’ll give them a little nudge to get a faster response.
  • Multi-Currency Support: Is your client located outside of your country? Do you get paid in another currency? If so, you’ll love that our contracts address currency issues. We make it easier to earn money in any form!
  • Customizable Contracts: Lastly, we recognize that all parties have unique wants and needs, so we make it easy to tailor the structure of our free documents. You can add documents or remove sections that don’t apply to your business. We even allow you to personalize the branding for a more professional appearance.

How do you get started on your architect contract template? Simple:

  1. Sign up to Bonsai for free
  2. Choose your architect contract template from our gallery
  3. Edit the template, e-sign it, download it, send it to your client
  4. Wait for the helpful notification that your prospective client has read/signed your contract

Will I Need Additional AIA Contract Documents? 

The answer depends on the details of your project. At Bonsai, we strive to cover all of your architectural proposal and contract needs. However, you may find that there are specific documents that we don’t have at the moment. 

You may find AIA (American Institute of Architects) contract documents to be a good substitute when this occurs. They are fair and designed according to best practices. 

Note: AIA contract documents are not free. You must pay for each one individually, and the fees are based on whether or not you are an AIA member.

If you’ve never created a contractor or delivered a project, then you probably have a lot of questions about the process. The following are just a couple of the questions we get most frequently. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

Do architects use contracts?

Architect contracts are typically used to govern the relationship between the owner and architect, allowing them to have a mutual understanding of the requirements and expectations of the job, which will minimize the chance of a later dispute.

What is architect prepared contract?

You want create a contract that covers all the basics so there is a mutual understanding of the job requirements and expectations. You might want to include the objectives and plans for the project, the timeline in which the work will take place and the fees and costs involved. Try using Bonsai's free contract template today, to ensure you don't miss out that important information!

What are the types of architect contracts?

The different types of contracts for architects include: Incentives, time-and-materials, labor-hour, indefinite delivery, and letter contracts.

How do your state’s laws impact your architect agreement?

Though U.S. Copyright Law governs the ownership of your designs, there are no federal laws that dictate licensing or regulations for the practice of architecture. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about other laws or regulations.Depending on where you live, where your client is based, or where the design site will be, there could be other state laws that affect your architect contract and the language you must use. We recommend that you do independent research or reach to find out if your state has any architecture laws you need to consider.