There are many things you have to put in place when running a consulting business. After laying the foundation of basic structures and business requirements, you should think of two other important tools that will make you a competent, successful consultant- a professional business consultant agreement template and a client report document. We’d focus on the former in this article.
A business contract is a legal document between a consultant and a client; it involves what attorneys call “an exchange of value." That is, if a value in the form of goods, services, or money is provided in exchange for something else (business consulting services in your case) then, the business consultant agreement is considered as a contract.
It is a safe practice to protect oneself from as a consultant or freelancer by ensuring a contract is in place before rendering your services. It doesn't have to do with the nature of the service you are providing- whether big or small, simple or complex; a contract should be written and signed by you and your client. A business consultant agreement protects both consultants and clients and ensures there is no misunderstanding during the project.
Hence, the document should be specific, detailed enough to cover what you are offering your client, the scope of work, and the input of your client. A business contract should protect consultants against "project creep," a situation where you start with one task, which quickly morphs into more work than what has been agreed upon.
Want to know about information and the clause that must be included in your business consultant agreement? See the list below.
The list below is not all-inclusive, but an effective business consultant agreement should include most, if not all, of the following information.
1. Information of parties involved in the business consultant agreement template
The top part of your contract should carry your details as well as that of your client. Your business name, address, mailing address, phone number, websites, as well as those of your client, should start the document.
2. Service description/scope in the business consultant agreement template
Next is the description of what you are offering your client; it should take care of the need of your client. Do a detailed review and make plans using a blueprint of what you are offering.
3. Material requirement/resources in the business consultant agreement template
There are cases where a consultant requires some resources from the client to continue with service offerings. Ensure you include this clause to your business consultant agreement to avoid delay, which may affect service delivery.
4. Project timeline/termination in the business consultant agreement template
Answer timeline questions on the contract- when does the project starts? How long will it take? Are there milestones to cover, and what happens if a party fails to meet a deadline? Also, state the grounds for termination of contract and spell out any refund or fees for breaching the agreement.
5. Ownership and right to resources/materials in the business consultant agreement template
Clients often have an understanding of how the consulting business operates. But don't give room for the assumption about the rights to created materials. You and your client must agree on ownership and display of work as part of your portfolio.
Besides, the business consultant agreement should also state if there is propriety information that must not be divulged to the public. Not only that, it should say for how long sensitive information should remain a secret between parties.
Confidential and proprietary information is often protected via a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
6. Payment terms & conditions in the business consultant agreement template
Details about payment should be added as well as conditions associated with it. The document should state if there is an advance payment, material cost, or settlement after project completion. As a business consultant, you should also add a clause about additional work to avoid reworking without payment.