Free Service Agreement Template

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Table of contents

What is a service agreement?

A service agreement is an essential document if you're thinking about hiring services from a contractor. It’s a written agreement that helps you to state the expectations of both parties and ensures that both the client and worker are covered with a legal document.

If you're unsure of what a general service agreement exactly is, this guide is for you. Here at Bonsai, we work with a range of freelancers and businesses to develop professional templates that can be used in employment settings.

A service contract is a legal agreement that is made at the starting point of a project. This sort of document is brought about to help businesses save money and avoid any sort of issues down the line. When you present an independent contractor with a service contract, they will understand what is expected of them as per the document's terms.

Like regular contracts, service contracts are a mutual agreement that outlines the work that will be undertaken, as well as other important information. This includes the names of the parties involved (including any third parties), the type of service provided, details about the payment schedule, expenses incurred, legal fees, ownership rights, and so on.

Note: Ready for your own service agreement? Sign up to Bonsai now and have it in minutes.

Why do you need a service agreement contract?

As an independent contractor, or when working with an independent contractor or service provider, you should be able to present a clear services agreement. This agreement can be used for all types of trading and commercial jobs, from construction to catering services.

For the service provider, it’s a good idea to use a service proposal template and quote template for added professionalism. Additionally if you are looking for a way to use an agreement that governs future agreements try a master service agreement template.

What should be included in a service agreement

There are a few things you must state when it comes to putting together a service agreement for work. We've compiled all that you need to include below for you to refer to if you're unsure what information needs to go in such agreements. There is no set number of pages to keep in mind when you create a service agreement, however, there are crucial details that you should not overlook.

Identification of parties

You need to question yourself on who is involved and who needs to be detailed in the agreement. From the service provider themselves or the independent contractor to yourself as the client. All party names and contact information should be written clearly in the service agreement.

Description of services

Whether you are paying for one or multiple professional services, the agreement should clearly state what work is being carried out and who is responsible for what work.

Being clear about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations involved will go far should the service provider fail to upkeep the services set out in the agreement. If that happens, you will be able to take further action and protect your business.

Deliverables and deadlines

Clarify in detail all the other tasks involved with the project, and determine the deadlines that the service provider will have to meet for each one. A clear timeline means the service provider will be able to organize themselves efficiently, which means your project is going to become more seamless.

Payment details

Payment terms are often the most important part of any type of work agreement and the same applies to a service agreement. The service provider will want to know how much is their payment amount and when, of course, they can expect payment.

You should also detail more specifically whether there is a provision for expenses incurred or if the services provider is eligible for payment towards overtime.

Dispute resolution

Should a dispute arise between either party, it is always sensible to have a clear protocol set out in the employment document. When the contract has been signed on either side, a dispute resolution will be in place and agreed upon.

Non-disclosure and confidentiality

Any confidential information that needs to be protected should be included in the service agreement. However, we recommend creating a separate NDA (non-disclosure agreement) to ensure that the service providing party has obligations to keep the information safe.

Ownership of materials

Declaring ownership rights and any intellectual property is an important section to have in your service agreement. It’s here where both parties agree to ownership terms, including what they own and when ownership comes into full force. You should also include any permissions granted throughout the contract.

Cancellation clause

This will answer the question around what happens should the service provider or client have to cancel on the other party. This agreement should be around who has to find a suitable replacement and if there are any non-refundable flat fee payments to be made.

Termination of contract

Every contract should include a termination clause, which will usually occur on a specific date. However, it can also happen once a certain project is completed, final payment is made, with written notice, or if any clauses in the agreement aren’t upheld — this means the terminating party has full rights to do so without repercussions.


Finally and most importantly, you will need to ensure that all of the parties involved agree to all of the terms in the agreement by signing. As standard with most contracts and related documents, this adds further value and mutual understanding from both parties within the agreement.

Service agreement template sample

Below you’ll find a sample of our service agreement template, which will give you a good idea of how a professional contract template will look like.

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

When you create your own service agreement, you run the risk of making mistakes, missing out on important clauses, and spending a lot of money on legal services to verify it. With Bonsai, we’ve worked together with legal experts and industry professionals to make our contracts fully vetted and make sure nothing important is missing.

The best thing about a contract template from Bonsai is that you can easily edit any of the clauses to fit your professional requirements.

How to create a service contract with Bonsai

Step One - Choose Your Template

Select our service agreement template or start with a blank template. Add your client name, project name, preferred currency, and then click “CREATE CONTRACT”.

Step Two - 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), your name, and your client’s legal name (company or person). Then click “CONTINUE”.

Step Three - 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. Click “CONTINUE”.

Step Four - 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, or monthly rates.

You can also outline payment terms (net 15 days for invoices, for example), late payment fees, and contract start and end dates here. Click “CONTINUE” and then “CREATE CONTRACT”.

Step Five - Review & Sign Your Final Contract

You’re ready to review your fully fleshed-out and vetted freelance service agreement contract. If you want to make any edits to the template, you can do so at this stage.

If you’re happy with the finished contract, you can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to e-sign it and make it legally binding before sending it to your client to do likewise.

Now you can return to your personalized Freelance Dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed.

Create and edit your own service agreement by signing up with Bonsai today

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

What are the types of service agreements?

There are 3 types of service agreement. Customer, Internal and multi-level service agreements.

Does a service agreement need to be registered?

Service agreements don't require to be registered. It only needs to have the legal aspects for it to be legally binding.

It best to ensure that the contract can't be edited by anyone ones sent. You can send it as a PDF for the other party to sign or if they just want to review, have it in a read-only Word document.

It best to ensure that the contract can't be edited by anyone ones sent. You can send it as a PDF for the other party to sign or if they just want to review, have it in a read-only Word document.

What is the purpose of the service agreement?

A service agreement is going to protect all the rights and interests of all parties involved. Once you’ve found a prospective job or a potential hire, it’s going to help you to determine who’s responsible for what and outline expectations. This is why it’s an extremely important document to have — should anything go wrong or if the unforeseen happens, a contract is going to help you get what is rightfully yours.

Are service agreements legally binding?

If you’re using a service agreement contract from Bonsai and both you and the other party agree to and sign the contract, then it is a legally binding document. If you aren’t using a fully-vetted contract from Bonsai, make sure you seek legal advice from an attorney or law firm to pre-approve the validity of the document. ‍

Template preview

Free Service Agreement Template

Service Agreement

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

This contract (the "Agreement") provides details for the services (the "Services") by Acme LLC (the "Contractor") for Sample Client (the "Client" and together with Contractor, the "Parties"), effective on the date of signing this Agreement.

As a condition of the Client hiring the Contractor and other valuable considerations, the Parties to this Agreement agree as follows:

1. Services & Payment.

1.1 Services. The Client is hiring the Contractor to perform the following: [SCOPE OF WORK]

1.2 Schedule. The Contractor will provide their Services to the Client until ["the completion of the work" or END DATE]. The Contractor may be required to extend the previously established completion date to ensure they can provide the Services to the Client.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Contractor a total fee of [PAYMENT RATE] (USD). Of this, the Client will pay the Contractor a non-refundable retainer fee of [DEPOSIT AMOUNT] (USD). The Client will also pay any applicable taxes, other than the Contractor's income tax.

1.4 Expenses. The Contractor may require payment from the Client for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses or deposits. Expenses must be confirmed by the Client in advance if additional payment is required.

1.5 Invoices. The Contractor will invoice the Client for the non-refundable retainer fee after both parties sign this Agreement. The remaining amount owed will be invoiced at the completion of the project.

1.6 Late Payment. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed after receiving the invoice. Payment after the invoice due date will incur a late fee of [LATE FEE PERCENT]% per month on the outstanding amount.

2. Ownership & Licenses.

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Contractor is creating "work product" for the Client. The Contractor hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full and the Services have been provided. This means the Contractor 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 Contractor also waives its moral right to the integrity of the work product. 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 Contractor's Use Of Work Product. Once the Contractor gives the work product to the Client, the Contractor does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Contractor here. The Client gives permission to use the work product as part of portfolios and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the work and not for any other purpose. The Client does not give permission 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 Agreement ends.

2.3 Credit For The Work Product. The Client is under no obligation to give credit to the Contractor each time it publishes the work product.

3. Representations.

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 Agreement and to perform all of its obligations under this Agreement.

3.3 Contractor Will Comply With Laws. The Contractor promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable laws and regulations.

3.4 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Contractor promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights, that the Contractor has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Agreement does not and will not violate any contract that the Contractor has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

3.5 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Contractor if the Contractor has questions regarding their Services, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

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

3.7 Disclaimer. The Contractor disclaims all implied warranties, representations and conditions, including those that may be implied by statute, a course of dealing or a usage of trade. The only warranties, representations and conditions that the Contractor makes are those that are expressly set out in this Section "Representations".

4. Change of Services.

In the event there are changes to the required Services beyond the agreed-upon work, the Contractor reserves the right to require additional payment or change fees. They may terminate this Agreement at their own discretion if they are unable to provide Services due to these changes.

Any changes to the Services must be approved by the Contractor. If the Client requires changes that the Contractor is unable to provide, the Client may not be entitled to any non-refundable fees.

5. Term & Termination.

5.1 Termination Notice. Either party may end this Agreement for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Agreement and that the Agreement will end immediately. The party that is ending the Agreement must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section "Notices". The Contractor must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless agreed otherwise.

5.2 Client Cancellation. In the event of cancellation by the Client, the retainer paid is non-refundable due to the Contractor reserving their dates on behalf of the Client. The Client will pay the Contractor for the work done up until when the Agreement ends and will reimburse the Contractor for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses.

5.3 Contractor Cancellation. In the event of cancellation by the Contractor outside of the conditions outlined in Section "Services & Scope Changes", the Contractor will refund the Client any payments minus any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses previously paid to provide their Services.

5.4 Effective Term. The following sections don't end even after the Agreement ends: Ownership & Licenses; Representations; Limitation of Liability; Indemnity; and General.

6. Independent Agreement.

The Client is hiring the Contractor as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

  • The Contractor 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 Contractor is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.
  • The Client will not provide the Contractor with any training.
  • The Client and the Contractor do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.
  • Neither the Contractor nor the Client can enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the other.
  • The Contractor is not entitled to the Client's benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).
  • The Contractor is responsible for its own income taxes.
  • The Client will not withhold income tax or make payments for unemployment insurance or workers compensation for the Contractor or any of the Contractor's employees or subcontractors.

7. Limitation of Liability.

Neither party is liable for the other party's lost profits, lost savings or lost business, or for other for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this contract. Except where a party indemnifies the other as described in Section "Indemnity", neither party will be liable to the other, for breach of contract, negligence or otherwise, in an amount that is more than the Client is obligated to pay the Contractor under this contract.

8. Indemnity.

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

8.2 Client Indemnity. In this Agreement, the Contractor 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 that the work product or background IP infringes the third party's intellectual property rights.

8.3 Contractor Indemnity. In this Agreement, the Client agrees to indemnify the Contractor (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 that any material provided by the Client to incorporate into the work product infringes the third party's intellectual property rights.

9. General.

9.1 Assignment. This Agreement applies only to the Client and the Contractor. The Contractor cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Agreement to a third-party without first receiving the Client's written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Agreement without the Contractor'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 Agreement.

9.2 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Agreement, the Client and the Contractor must agree to that change in writing. Neither party can waive its rights under this Agreement or release the other party from its obligations under this Agreement, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

9.3 Notices.

  1. Over the course of this Agreement, 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).
  2. 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 successfully sending to the email address used in previous correspondence; (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.

9.4 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Agreement 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 Agreement is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Agreement is still enforceable.

9.5 Signatures. The Client and the Contractor may sign this document using electronic signature software such as Bonsai. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

9.6 Governing Law. The validity, interpretation, construction and performance of this document shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America.

9.7 Entire Agreement. This Agreement represents the parties' final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Agreement. This Agreement supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.


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