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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.