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What is a vendor contract?

If your freelance business is focused on sales, or you’re an event organizer, there are times when you’ll need a vendor contract. In fact, you may need a vendor agreement on a regular basis. Having access to a vendor contract sample makes it easy to replicate what works, and avoid writing a contract for every engagement. 

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

What should be included in a vendor contract template?

As a business agreement, a vendor contract should also include:

  • The time frame of the event, including access for setup.
  • The fee to be paid by the vendor to the organizer.
  • Any requirements such as a stall, table and other items often provided by event organizers.
  • Compensation to the vendor if the event is cancelled or postponed. 
  • The ability for each party to sign-off on the agreement, with e-signature being preferred.

The format of an agreement may vary, but if you get a solid vendor contract template, you can use it time and again.

What are the essentials of a vendor contract?

One of the products offered by the freelance platform Bonsai is contracts, with templates that have been vetted by thousands of freelancers and top contract lawyers. With a sample contract provided by Bonsai, it’s easy for you to customize the document for your particular needs. There’s also the ability to legally bind both parties with e-signature capacity.

It’s possible to create a one-time vendor agreement, but with the ability to then save it as your own template, you won’t have to repeat the work every time you need a vendor contract. You simply download Bonsai’s template and make it your own.

Take advantage of Bonsai’s free trial and their effective templates to get started writing a contract today.

Use this template

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].


1.1 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.


2.1 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.


5.1 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.


8.1 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.


10.1 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.


11.1 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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