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What is a virtual assistant contract?


A virtual assistant contract is an agreement or legal document that provides evidence of any working relationship between a virtual assistant and their client. It’s always important to use a virtual assistant contract, which will protect your rights as an independent contractor and service provider.

Many virtual assistants are independent contractors, instead of full-time employees for a business. For this reason, virtual assistant contracts should cover all the specific terms and conditions necessary for an independent contractor, as well as that of the client.

If you want more than one client, then you should create your own virtual assistant contract template. This is where all your usual duties, terms and conditions, payment details, and more are specifically stated in a draft contract. All you need to do is edit the document to fit the needs of each client and you’re ready to send it over.

Note: Want to get started on your virtual assistant contract? Sign up to Bonsai now and have yours ready in minutes.

Why do you need a virtual assistant agreement?


A virtual assistant agreement is going to protect the rights of an independent contractor, the client, and any other party. It clarifies exactly what the expectations, responsibilities, obligations are of all parties while providing assurance that the agreement is legally sound.

Without a legally sound contract in place, a client may be less likely to hire a virtual assistant. Because many virtual assistants are likely to work from home instead of the office, it’s important to assure the client that they’ll still be an integral part of their operations — the best way to do this is with a virtual assistant agreement.

Whether you're a freelancer or own a virtual assistant company, a wise virtual assistant (VA) won’t want to start work without a contract in place. In many instances, you might prefer relying on verbal agreements, however, a verbal agreement can lead to misunderstandings. These can be costly to all parties involved, which is why using a virtual assistant contract is always the best option.

What should be included in a virtual assistant contract


Detailed descriptions of the work

After you’ve sent your virtual assistant proposal and the client agrees, it’s time to get started detailing the description of the work. As with any other contract, it’s only logical that the virtual assistant contract should contain these basic details. This will include the names and contact details of both the client and the virtual assistant, the dates of preparation and the signing of the contract. Following the rule of any communication, it must be clear, coherent and to the point with only as much detail as is necessary.

The agreement should be in a language that both parties understand. It should be without errors and omissions. It should also be concise and easy-to-read with a pleasing layout and format.

You’ll also want to detail who is responsible for what and the expectations of all parties.

Deliverables

Here you’ll want to include the tasks that will need to be completed on a day to day basis, as well as the specific services you’re being hired to provide. For virtual assistants, this could include sending or receiving certified mail, updating social media posts, handling calls, or anything the client decides.

Expected working hours/days

Every contract needs to include the expected hours or days you’ll be working. This is especially true for a virtual assistant contract! Because a virtual assistant is responsible for assisting managers or even a whole office, clarifying when you’ll actually be working is a must for managing expectations.

This section can include any expected vacation days too. This could be offered as employee benefits from the company or client, or just vacation days you plan to be taking. Although it’s not very common for freelance virtual assistants to be offered vacation time, it’s always worth double-checking what your client offers.

Payment details

One of the most important clauses in every contract, your payment details will include your rate, when you’ll be paid, and how you'll be paid. You can also include any other payment terms, such as if you'll be paid pro-rata.

Only you will know what your payment terms are, so outline everything important for you and you believe is fair. If you want to be paid a flat fee, in milestone payments, or per hour, make this clear and make sure all parties agree to your terms.

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) & non-solicitation clause

Contracts are legal documents that aim to guard against the disclosure of confidential information and protect intellectual property rights. This often comes into play if the virtual assistant has access to information that the client considers private. It also works in favour of the virtual assistant, where their social security number and other sensitive information may be accessible by the client.

A non-solicitation clause or non-compete clause is also important for the client or company hiring the virtual assistant. It will provide protection against any competitor obtaining company trade secrets and other sensitive information.

Cancellation clause

Within a certain period, either party may need to cancel the contract. To avoid being taken to the American Arbitration Association or having to pay reasonable attorneys fees in a legal battle, this section should include any reasons the contract can be cancelled. This could include compensation from the breaching party.

Termination of contract

All your virtual assistant contracts will need this section detailed and agreed to. The termination of the contract should outline the specific date the contract ends or any other reasons it can be terminated.

Restrictive covenants

Sometimes a virtual assistant contract will need a section on restrictive covenants. This is where both parties agree to restrictive actions and can include factors around buying stocks, taking on new debt, or other company actions.

Equipment usage

Have a state about whether you use your own equipment or if the client provides you with some. Keep in mind that if a company wants you to use specific software, then it's best to use their equipment rather than your own. You may also need permission to use software from third parties.

Sample virtual assistant contract template


If you don’t know how to prepare a virtual assistant contract, you can use our free VA contract template below. A template can keep you from making grave mistakes or leaving out crucial clauses, all while being easy to edit.

What is the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?


Creating and editing your own virtual assistant contract template can be finicky and time-consuming. With Bonsai, there are a few benefits you’ll get with our free templates:

  • It’s legally vetted by experts
  • Includes all the relevant sections
  • Easy to edit
  • Simple layout and format

How to create a VA contract template with Bonsai


1. Select Your Template

Choose our specialized contract template, or start with a blank template. Add your client name, project name, preferred currency.

2. Add Your Basic Info

Next, fill in your basic information. This includes your location (country and state/province), your legal entity (if you operate via an LLC), and your client’s legal name (company or person).

3. Add Your Scope of Work

Describe the scope of work in as much detail as possible. You can also attach a separate statement of work file here if you wish.

4. Add Your Payment Info

Determine how and how much your client will pay you for your services here. You can choose from a flat fee, milestone payments, or hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or per-word rates.

You can also outline payment terms (net 15 days for invoices, for example), late fees, and contract start and end dates here.

5. Review & Sign Your Final Contract

You’re ready to review your fully fleshed-out and vetted virtual assistant agreement. If you want to make any edits to the template, you can do it at this stage. It’s also a good idea to learn more on how to digitally sign a PDF template and contract.

And finally, if you’re happy with the finished freelance contract you can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to digitally sign it with a legally binding e-signature before sending it to your client to do the same.

As we said, it’s simple! Now you can return to your Freelance Dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed.

Virtual assistant contract template FAQs


What are the benefits of using a virtual assistant contract template?

The major benefit of using a virtual assistant contract template for any new project is to protect your work and make sure you get paid on time. You can also use a more general independent contractor agreement template if you prefer to keep things less specific. In every contract, the virtual assistant agrees to the project's requirements, the client agrees to the virtual assistant's needs, then both parties sign to make it a legally binding document.

How do I create a virtual assistant contract template?

A virtual assistant contract template can be created by either making one from scratch every time you need it or by using a sample and editing that. By using Bonsai, you get to create, edit, and download your very own assistant contract in mere minutes. Sign up for a free trial today!

When do I draft and send the virtual assistant contract template?

A virtual assistant contract template is drafted and sent for signature whenever you start a new project.

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

Virtual Assistant Contract Template

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

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

1. WORK AND PAYMENT.

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Virtual Assistant to do the following: The Virtual Assistant will assist the Client with specialized services.

1.2 Schedule. The Virtual Assistant will begin work on August 22, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Virtual Assistant at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Virtual Assistant a rate of $60.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Virtual Assistant $350.00 (USD) before work begins.

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

1.5 Invoices. The Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant's Use Of Work Product. Once the Virtual Assistant gives the work product to the Client, the Virtual Assistant does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Virtual Assistant here. The Client gives the Virtual Assistant permission to use the work product as part of the Virtual Assistant's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Virtual Assistant's work and not for any other purpose. The Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Virtual Assistant's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Virtual Assistant agrees to help with that. For example, the Virtual Assistant may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Virtual Assistant, the Virtual Assistant agrees that the Client can act on the Virtual Assistant's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Virtual Assistant after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Virtual Assistant hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Virtual Assistant's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Virtual Assistant and on the Virtual Assistant'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 Virtual Assistant's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Virtual Assistant might use intellectual property that the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

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

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Virtual Assistant uses employees or subcontractors, the Virtual Assistant must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Virtual Assistant may hire that candidate. The Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Virtual Assistant promises that it owns the work product, that the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant uses employees or subcontractors, the Virtual Assistant also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Virtual Assistant giving the Virtual Assistant any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Virtual Assistant's background IP and work product.

5.4 Virtual Assistant Will Comply With Laws. The Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant if the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant. 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 Virtual Assistant must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Virtual Assistant for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

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

8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

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

8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant promises to treat this information as if it is the Virtual Assistant's own confidential information. The Virtual Assistant may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Virtual Assistant use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Virtual Assistant cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Virtual Assistant written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Virtual Assistant may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Virtual Assistant must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Virtual Assistant promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Virtual Assistant written permission first. The Virtual Assistant must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Virtual Assistant's responsibilities only stop if the Virtual Assistant can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Virtual Assistant came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Virtual Assistant came across it, but not because of anything the Virtual Assistant did or didn’t do; (iii) the Virtual Assistant already knew the information when the Virtual Assistant came across it and the Virtual Assistant didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Virtual Assistant with the information without requiring that the Virtual Assistant keep it a secret; or (v) the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Virtual Assistant did, then the Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and its 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 Virtual Assistant has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Virtual Assistant of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Virtual Assistant of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 Virtual Assistant Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Virtual Assistant (and its affiliates and its 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 Virtual Assistant. The Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant'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 Virtual Assistant 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 Virtual Assistant 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 Michigan govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Virtual Assistant 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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