Free Monthly Retainer Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.

Free Monthly Retainer Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.


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

Free Monthly Retainer Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.

Free Monthly Retainer Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.

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

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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 a Monthly Retainer Proposal?

As with any proposal, a retainer proposal outlines the services being offered by an independent contractor to a prospective client. 

A monthly retainer proposal outlines the details of a proposed recurring agreement to provide your freelancing services to a client. It’s much like other proposals, but it offers services spanning over a longer period of time. 

It outlines the services on offer for a monthly, recurring fee–a fee decided by you. Retainer proposals are often issued following previous experience with a client, and it’s likely something you’ll discuss in person before drafting the proposal.

These proposals are extremely beneficial for both the freelance service provider and client trying to take their brand to the next level. In many ways, a monthly retainer is like a subscription to your services—you are guaranteed paid work and the client is guaranteed your services. 

Note: Sign up to Bonsai today to gain access to this monthly retainer proposal template and many other business documents to help you with your day-to-day freelancing.

Benefits Of Having a Monthly Retainer 

​​You might be thinking that retainer proposals are not necessary as long as you have a wide network and stable work. Your reputation will surely do the work for you–clients will be signing up left, right, and center–right?

Wrong, proposals are key for transparent working relationships–and the benefits of having clients on retainer are easy to see.

One of the greatest benefits of being a freelance service provider is the freedom that comes with the lifestyle. We’re sure you’ve heard that with freedom comes great responsibility—in the case of freelancing, it’s the responsibility to balance 50 plates at a time. 

Alongside having to manage everything from resolving legal issues under the governing law to ensuring a super high quality of service, freelancers also need to ensure they’ve got enough work to keep them going. The uncertainty of income sources might end up becoming a huge issue if you are not adequately prepared. 

Finding clients is substantially easier than keeping them, but a solid retainer proposal helps seal the ongoing deal. Clients already know you do good work—the retainer proposal aims to convince them you’re a keeper.

Here’s a brief list of benefits you get from having clients on retainer:

Secure and stable income

A retainer proposal helps bring stability to your expected monthly income by securing ongoing work. It makes sure that you have consistent income every month—even if the client’s project is at a standstill. 

With a retainer relationship, you can even proceed with your plans of adding new members to your team. Bringing on staff is difficult without consistent or secure income, but retainer agreements often give you the resources to bring in new team members. 

Long term projects and value

As a freelance service provider you understand that the joy of working on an ambitious and fulfilling project is one-of-a-kind. With a monthly retainer agreement template, you get to see who’s serious about your work. 

If a client expresses concerns over signing a monthly retainer proposal they’re likely not interested in contracting your services for long-term projects. If you are someone who enjoys working on ambitious and detailed projects, a retainer proposal can also act as a job filter.

One of the most important aspects of freelancing is maintaining a stable and good relationship with clients. 

A monthly retainer also makes it easier to build trust with your clients. Since both parties agree to the proposal details, there’s space to work together on projects—a different approach than the standard draft and edits dance. It makes way for long-lasting business relationships that focus on present and future value.

Better work life balance

Managing a consistent work schedule is a challenge for every freelancer and their business. We are not claiming that a monthly retainer proposal will suddenly bring balance to your life—but it can create the groundwork for you to create a more consistent workflow. 

With a retainer agreement, you get an idea of what you need to do on a monthly basis. You can plan your weeks accordingly, and make space for friends, family, and everything else that matters in life. 

Retainer proposals help you begin to plan out whether you can take additional projects or not, by giving you an idea of your upcoming availability. Of course, the proposal is just the first step—clients need to accept your offer and sign a monthly retainer contract before anything’s set in stone.

Increase in revenue

The most obvious benefit of a client on retainer is increase in revenue. However, that is not just due to the monthly amount that the client pays. The consistency of work helps you deal with other projects better. 

As a freelancer, it is very common to end up juggling new clients, projects, and expenses. With a retainer agreement, you’ve got one less thing to juggle–the client’s locked in for the duration of the agreement. That way, you know exactly how much other client work you can take up. 

A retainer proposal is perhaps the quickest way to boost your monthly earnings. That being said, not everyone knows how to write an effective monthly retainer proposal to secure retainer clients to begin with. 

While proposals are business documents, you still want to add a little flair–it’s a reflection of your business, after all.

What To Include In The Monthly Retainer Proposal Template

With Bonsai, creating a retainer proposal is a walk in the park. If you’re going it alone, however, you’ll need to know how to draft your own.

Before we get into that, here’s what you should know about the contents of a monthly retainer proposal: 

Project scope

A monthly retainer proposal template should provide details on the services being contracted—a breakdown of what you’ll provide month-on-month for the proposed fee.

When creating a retainer proposal, make sure to precisely define the scope of work. It’s very easy to fall victim to scope creep on retainer-–it’s a lot easier for clients to push for more work when you’ve got an ongoing business relationship. 

Ensuring you’ve covered all bases helps avoid any unremunerated work—the client can always request more monthly output for a higher fee. A precise scope just ensures you don’t end up doing extra for free. 

Payment details

Your payment details should clearly outline the recurring fee, payment method, and any additional payments, such as advance payments or extra retainer fees for keeping you on. Retainers aren’t typically charged at an hourly rate, so you’ll likely be working for a fixed fee.

Make sure to only add your freelancer charges after discussing it thoroughly with the client. The proposal can be modified, however you want to swiftly move from proposal to contract as soon as possible. 

Once it’s in a signed contract, you can’t really do much about increasing your fees before the agreed upon term is up. The client’s business isn’t likely to agree to pay more for the services provided if it doesn’t have to.

You should also include details how you can take the recurring payment—can the client pay via cash, card, or any other payment form? Make sure to discuss this beforehand with a new client—it’s essential the client agrees to the payment terms.

Note: Some freelancers charge ‘retainer fees’. These are fees that the client pays in order to secure the freelancer on a monthly basis—a commitment fee of sorts.

Terms and conditions

It’s important to be meticulous with the terms and conditions. This is where you include details on the agreement and how any issues will be dealt with. 

No project lasts forever—and for good reason. Make sure that your retainer contract has provisions for how to go about ending the agreement—for both you and the client. 

Also consider how to go about prematurely ending the relationship–are there termination fees or just X months written notice? Include it here, any objections can be discussed before finalizing the agreement.

How To Write A Monthly Retainer Proposal  

It is essential for freelancers to know how to write a proposal. It’s not easy to come up with a persuasive retainer proposal if you’ve little to no experience creating one.

One option is to hire a professional retainer proposal writer, but that might end up costing you a lot if you need multiple proposals for different clients. Plus, with a little effort it’s definitely something you can learn to do on your own-–it just gets time consuming.. 

Here’s how you can start writing your monthly retainer proposal:

  • List all of the client requirements and expectations. From this list, figure out what fits into which section. Once you do that, you have a solid idea of what to write.
  • Practice writing persuasive pitches. A retainer proposal is indeed a pitch that you are making to the client. Learn the fundamentals of composing good pitches in order to persuade the reader.
  • Follow a template. With Bonsai, for example, you get free retainer proposal templates that are optimized for their individual purpose. Bonsai has helped 500,000+ freelancers create thousands of proposals and other key business documents. With a template, the process of creating a retainer proposal becomes a lot easier and quicker.

Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind regarding the contents of your monthly retainer proposal. 

Find out exactly what the client wants

When you know exactly what your client wants, you can shape your retainer proposal accordingly. To fully understand your clients’ expectations, the first thing you need to do is have a detailed conversation about how they want the agreement to go. 

List down everything that they expect from your services. Then, consider your output capabilities and consider how the two match up. If they do not, see if the client is open to any changes and consider whether you are either.

Once you are done with the process of assessing expectations, work on a retainer proposal that addresses the needs of the client specifically. 

For instance, your client might ask you to deliver Y number of assignments every week. In your retainer proposal, mention that number and assure that you will be able to deliver it consistently.

Once you have a retainer document that appeals to the client personally, the chances of them agreeing to it increase significantly. Knowing what the client wants is the first step towards creating a winning retainer proposal and building long term relationships. 

Highlight what sets you apart

Your retainer proposal should focus on your specific skills and expertise, and convince the client that you are the right person for the job. 

Make sure to talk about the skills you bring to the table and the expertise you’ve spent years developing—what sets you apart from other people in your field and what services are your strong suit.  

At the same time, keep the tone professional and remain humble—nobody likes a show-off. 

Bonsai top tip: Make sure you’re covering all the right bases by first understanding the document you’re drafting. Proposals are different to contracts which are different to quotes—make sure you understand what you’re trying to do with each document.

Why Use a Monthly Retainer Proposal Template

Having clients on retainer is a no-brainer if it’s on the cards for your business—but why bother with a monthly retainer proposal template? Here are some of the reasons you need a comprehensive monthly retainer proposal template for your business projects:

  1. It’s quick and easy: using a template for any business document saves a lot of time and energy for you and your team. Monthly retainer proposals often include a wider offer of services, and end up being longer than standard proposals. Having a template on-hand with all the right sections makes it easy to add your specifics quickly and easily.
  1. It’s consistent: consistency is key, especially in business. You want to be sure you’re sending out a stellar monthly retainer proposal every time. A template ensures you can easily iterate your retainer proposals, and keeps them in line with the rest of your brand.
  1. It’s professional: highlight your professionalism by customizing your proposal template with your branding and logo. This enables you to deliver high-quality retainer proposals to prospects, and increases the likelihood of them accepting your offer.

Overall, a template is quick and easy in comparison to drafting your own proposal from scratch. As a service provider, you need to be ready to send out proposals at the drop of a hat—templates enable you to do so.

Creating A Monthly Retainer Proposal Is Simple With Bonsai

Bonsai is not just a free template tool for creating your retainer proposals—it’s an all-in-one suite for freelancers to take care of all the paperwork that comes with freelancing. With Bonsai, you can focus on your work without worrying about documentation and contracts.

Writing retainer proposals with Bonsai gives your document a professional touch and helps in improving your professional reputation. In today’s competitive market, no one wants to work with an unprofessional freelancer—clients are bored of missed deadlines and unreachable contractors. 

Bonsai streamlines every aspect of your business—from time tracking to invoicing–and enables you to focus on the work you love.

Top freelancers across a wide variety of sectors choose Bonsai when it comes to writing all kinds of proposals, including retainer proposals. With proposal, contract, and invoice templates for every industry, Bonsai helps you create proposals that connect and convert. 

Without Bonsai, you could end up wasting your time writing retainer proposals that still won’t end up getting the job done—talk about disappointing.

Over 500,000 small businesses and freelancers have changed their professional lives with Bonsai. With a 14-day free trial and access to hundreds of bespoke business templates, it’s your next big business breakthrough. 

Sign up today to take your freelance business relationships to the next level with crisp and efficient retainer proposal templates from Bonsai. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do all projects need a monthly retainer agreement?

No, not all freelance projects need retainer proposals or retainer contracts. They’re only really for long-term projects where you agree to complete a given amount of work on a monthly or weekly basis. 

Do all clients prefer retainer contracts?

For short-term projects, the client may not see the point of a monthly retainer contract. However, most clients would be glad to sign monthly retainers if it adds long-term value. If you feel that the client is avoiding signing the retainer contract, it might be a red flag to watch out for.

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.