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What is a vendor contract?


If your freelance business focuses on sales, or you're an event organizer, there are times when you'll need a vendor contract. There's a high chance you'll need a vendor agreement regularly.

Having access to a vendor agreement template makes it easy to replicate what works and helps you avoid writing a contract for every opportunity coming your way.

A vendor agreement typically includes two parties, the vendor and the organizer. Usually, the vendor sells goods or services at an event run by the organizer.

Note: Get instant access to your vendor contract template today, sign-up now for Bonsai, and we'll guide you through the process in just a few clicks.

Why you need a vendor agreement


Vendor contracts are necessary to align on the specific details of what both parties have previously agreed on.

This legally binding agreement protects both parties by law should the contract terms be broken. As a freelancer or small business owner, this vendor contract helps identify payment terms, applicable laws and gives a clear overview of the vendor's promised services.

What should be included in a vendor contract template


There are a few specific clauses that your vendor agreement needs to have to be a legally abiding business contract.

The legal agreement should include the delivery date of services, the fixed price of services, and general terms, including pay, the cancellation process, and workflow for a dispute.

If you're looking to build your own vendor agreement, then read on to get a clear overview of clauses we deem as absolutely necessary for these types of legal documents.

Scope of services or product

Your vendor contract should give a clear overview of the scope of services you're expecting from a vendor. What are they selling, how much of the product will they have, and at which event are they selling? Get all of these questions answered upfront.

A few types of products need to be specified here if your vendor is selling them. For example, if the vendor is selling raw materials, tobacco, food products, or alcohol, you'll also want to note this down.

Contract Length And Duration

Vendor contracts need to clearly outline the length of the contract and the duration of sales hours within that time. Are you hiring a vendor for a three-day event? Or, will this vendor have a semi-permanent place at your market? Make sure this is clear.

Client responsibilities

Vendor agreements also need to outline the client's responsibilities. What is the client responsible for to ensure the vendor's success and to create happy customers all around? Clearly state the responsibilities of the client here to put the vendor's mind at ease.

Payment details

Every retail vendor contract template needs a section for the payment terms and conditions.

  • How much will the vendor be paid or need to pay?
  • What's included with that price?
  • Will the cost of services be per hour, per event, or something else?
  • When will the payment take place, and in what quantity?

Street vendors typically earn around $50,000-$53,000 in the US per year—keep this in mind when deciding on payment. Lastly, include any information necessary to submit an invoice.

Termination of contract

Unfortunately, there may come a moment when you need to terminate the vendor agreement.

However, if you're not clear about why this may happen in your vendor contract, then it's highly likely that either party will pursue legal action. Outline what reasons warrant the immediate termination of your vendor contract and the process for doing so.

Other factors

All vendor contracts are different. Despite that they can be built from the same template, each business relationship will be unique.

This clause is to add anything specific to your vendor contract that will change case by case. In doing so, you won't need to change your entire vendor agreement template every time you secure a new vendor.

Sample vendor contract template  


Here you have your vendor agreement template ready to adapt to your needs for each case. All you need to do is fill in the blanks and use our recommended suggestions for clauses from above.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai instead of editing a template yourself?


Vendor contracts, freelance contracts, events contracts, related contracts, no matter what template you need, you'll have access to all of them via Bonsai.

Plus, all of the templates on the platform have been legally vetted and pre-filled with the information you need.

How to create a vendor agreement with Bonsai


Vendor contracts in Bonsai are simple and quick to make—they're already 90% there!

All you need to do is sign up for the platform, select the contract you need, and fill in the blanks. For example, enter your details and your client's details. Then, send the contract on its way and start working with your new vendor.

Vendor contract template FAQs


There are couple of questions we regularly see when it comes to vendor agreements. Let's get those answered for you now.

How can I get out of a vendor contract?

Vendor contracts are legally binding. If you need to cancel or terminate a contract in a way that's not stated on paper, then it's highly likely that you need to seek legal advice from an attorney or law firm.

Street vendors, like every vendor, have a certain amount of legal rights and are protected by their contract terms. If you want to get out of that contract, you'll need written consent from all parties involved or to be represented by a lawyer.

What is the difference between a service agreement and a contract?

Goods or services agreements and contracts are slightly different; however, depending on the wording, both can be legally binding.

Typically, an agreement is more informal. Whereas, a contract is a way of formalizing an agreement and is often what any business requires to start working with a freelancer.


Use this template
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The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

Vendor Contract Template

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Vendor").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. WORK AND PAYMENT.

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Vendor to do the following: The Vendor will assist the Client with selling services.

1.2 Schedule. The Vendor will begin work on November 06, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Vendor at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Vendor a rate of $55.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Vendor $1,300.00 (USD) before work begins.

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

1.5 Invoices. The Vendor will invoice the Client weekly. 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 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Vendor will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Vendor is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Vendor works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Vendor hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Vendor is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 Vendor's Use Of Work Product. Once the Vendor gives the work product to the Client, the Vendor does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Vendor here. The Client gives the Vendor permission to use the work product as part of the Vendor's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Vendor's work and not for any other purpose. The Vendor is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 Vendor's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Vendor's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Vendor agrees to help with that. For example, the Vendor may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Vendor, the Vendor agrees that the Client can act on the Vendor's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Vendor after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Vendor hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Vendor's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Vendor and on the Vendor's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 Vendor's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Vendor might use intellectual property that the Vendor owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Vendor is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Vendor is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Vendor cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 Vendor's Right To Use Client IP. The Vendor may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Vendor to build a website, the Vendor may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Vendor use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Vendor's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Vendor any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Vendor won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Vendor asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Vendor uses employees or subcontractors, the Vendor must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Vendor won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Vendor puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Vendor may hire that candidate. The Vendor promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.

5. REPRESENTATIONS.

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

5.2 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.

5.3 Vendor Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Vendor promises that it owns the work product, that the Vendor 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 Vendor uses employees or subcontractors, the Vendor also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Vendor giving the Vendor any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Vendor's background IP and work product.

5.4 Vendor Will Comply With Laws. The Vendor 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.

5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Vendor promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Vendor 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 Vendor has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Vendor if the Vendor has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

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

6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Vendor. 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 11.4. The Vendor must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Vendor for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Vendor for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).

7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Vendor as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Vendor 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 Vendor is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Vendor with any training.- The Client and the Vendor do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Vendor cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Vendor is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Vendor 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 Vendor or any of the Vendor's employees or subcontractors.

8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

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

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

8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Vendor each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Vendor 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 Vendor 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.

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

10. INDEMNITY.

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

10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Vendor 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 Vendor has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Vendor of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Vendor of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 Vendor Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Vendor (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.

11. GENERAL.

11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Vendor. The Vendor cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Vendor's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

11.2 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.

11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Vendor 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.

11.4 Notices.

(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.

11.5 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.

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

11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Maine govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Vendor under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

11.8 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.

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