Handshakes do seal business deals, and you might have had projects you completed without glitch this way.
But if you don’t have a signed agreement in place, you might be putting yourself and your business at risk. Today, consultants need to define business relationships and set boundaries for their consulting services to be on the safe side. Hence, the need for a consulting contract sample that would define terms for new business deals and specify the roles of the parties involved.
Writing a consulting contract may pose a challenge if you are yet to understand the basic elements that the document should contain. We would take you through the essentials of a typical consulting contract sample in this article.
But let’s talk about the need for such a contract in the first place.
A consulting contract is a legally binding document, and it has a different application to a business deal. See a few of them.
Consulting contract defines the scope of work and tells why a client is hiring a consultant. The contract defines the relationship between a consultant and a client, and it also covers details about the job. Before creating your consulting contract sample, take time to discuss with your client, and ask them questions about their pain point and the type of change they desire in their business.
Get information about the goals and objectives of your client, conclude on fees, and project timeline before drafting the document.
Another reason why you need a consulting contract sample is the issue of intellectual property and rights to proprietary information. Freelancers and consultants that create copyright-able contents or other forms of license-able technologies need to protect themselves with a contract.
It is difficult to claim ownership when there is no agreement, or there's no clause in the agreement that defines ownership right to intellectual properties. The document specifies contractual agreements that cover employment insurance, property damage, and compensation.
Consulting contracts go beyond legal documents that define business relationships between consultants and clients. A consulting contract sample is also a strong marketing tool because it helps understand the reactions of a client to your deliverables and services. You can always improve your services and strategy after getting feedback from business deals for which you submitted a proposal.
Every consulting contract sample would contain a combination of the following section.
List the parties involved and include your business names, email address, phone contact, and website plus those of your client.
Define the problem and state the goals and objectives from the client's perspective. Use the words of the client to show you understand his/her position.
Define all you need to do and break the work into discrete bits. State your strategies and paint a picture of what to expect when you are done.
List material requirements, if any, and include the date they must be provided to allow the consulting service to run smoothly.
State the estimated project timeline and add milestone dates if applicable.
This section of your consulting contract sample talks about pricing and fees. List your service and give a breakdown of the fees you collect.
What happens if a party decides to withdraw from the contract? Add a clause to take care of this situation.
Are there terms and conditions associated with your service? Please put them in writing, and state if you collect up-front payment or prefer compensation after project completion.
Who owns the intellectual properties created? Discuss this over with your client and make it clear in your consulting contract sample.