Free Agreement Templates

Welcome to our gallery of agreement templates. You can search by industry to find an agreement template specifically for your freelance profession.

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Additional templates are only available within Bonsai.

What is an Agreement Template?

Agreement templates are essentially draft versions of your agreement, with blank spaces to insert client-specific, agreement-specific or project-specific information. By using a template, you don't have to spend so much time drafting and creating a solid agreement from scratch. All you have to do is customize your template to fit the two or more parties involved and their needs—ta-da! You've got yourself an agreement.

Before continuing, you need to understand that an agreement and a contract are two words that are sometimes used interchangeably, although they are not always the same thing.

An agreement is simply an agreement between the parties involved–it can be written or verbal.

A contract is a specific type of agreement that must be more thorough and signed to be enforceable in court.

Keeping this in mind, contract templates serve the same purpose as agreement templates. What's essential for them to be a legally binding document is that they contain all the necessary information and elements required to do so: something you won't have to worry about if you’re using a template.

Here are some examples where agreements can be used:

  • A collaboration agreement; in which you enter into an agreement with other freelancers to work on a project together
  • A consulting agreement; that outlines consulting work, which helps to prevent scope creep
  • A non-disclosure agreement; in which two parties explore a potential business relationship

In each of these examples, an agreement protects you and your client, and others that are party to the agreement. In the non-disclosure example, both parties can share resources or information without risk of disclosure. Once both parties sign off on the agreement, it becomes binding.

A retainer or service agreement will provide details on the rate of pay in exchange for the services you’ll provide to the client on a regular basis. This is much easier than having an agreement for each block of work to be done.

An agreement is a mutual understanding between yourself and the client, and it creates clarity and prevents disputes.

When you need to create a business agreement, you open your agreement template, make the changes necessary, and save it with a new name specific to its purpose. It can then be sent to the client or other parties to the agreement. Formats such as a secure PDF are easy to send, download and share, or print for paper filing or record keeping for self-employment taxes.

Why use an agreement template?

An agreement template may take some time to set up, but it will save you time in the long run. That’s because you’ll be able to complete sections that are standard for any type of agreement,  and then use them every time you enter into agreement with a client.

An agreement template will also protect you and your clients. By ensuring you get important terms correct, such as late payment terms, you won’t have to worry about the language each time you write an agreement. You should have a legal review of the template, but once that’s done, your terms will be airtight.

Then, whenever you take on a new client, or a new project, you use the agreement template as the basis for the deal, which is particularly helpful when you do a specific type of work for multiple clients.

But whatever type of work you perform, an agreement template means very little information is changed each time you need an agreement. There will be consistent information used each time, such as late payment terms, and then information that’s specific to the client or the project, which is what you will adapt in each circumstance.
You could even have different agreement templates for different situations. Perhaps you do project work on a regular basis, and you also work on a retainer basis with several clients. You could have an agreement template for each situation.

7 common mistakes to avoid while using agreement templates

Agreement templates are useful, but there are still some pitfalls in using them, unless you’re aware and avoid making mistakes.

At Bonsai, we’ve worked with 500,000+ freelancers and most of them are in the top 1% category in terms of earnings. We asked them what their top mistakes were and how they would avoid each.

Here are the 7 mistakes to avoid when using agreement templates:

MISTAKE 1: Not signing the agreement.

Your agreement template needs to have space for your signature and your client’s signature. Even in those instances where you may think your relationship is close enough that you don’t need sign-off, you do. Even simple agreements can go sideways, so in order to be legally binding, you must have signatures from yourself and any other party to the agreement.If it’s a collaboration agreement, there should be signatures from every individual involved. If you think it’s too much hassle to get agreements signed and printed by everybody, explore an e-signature option. A legal battle will be a much bigger hassle than the signature process.

If it’s a collaboration agreement, there should be signatures from every individual involved. If you think it’s too much hassle to get agreements signed and printed by everybody, explore an e-signature option. A legal battle will be a much bigger hassle than the signature process.

MISTAKE 2: Not having a legal review completed.

Whether you’re working with a client for the first time, or you’ve worked together for many years; whether you’re simply in an “exploratory phase” or you’re starting a major project; whether you’re doing a one-time job or working on a retainer; you need to have legal review for any contract or agreement.

If you have an agreement template, it’s even more necessary, because you could reuse the same terms, only to find out too late that they’re faulty. Have your agreement template reviewed by a lawyer, who can ensure that all your legal terms are legitimate and binding. You’ll be protecting yourself and your client with good contract language.

MISTAKE 3: Not having enough detail.

Even for a deal that seems simple, like a non-disclosure agreement, there must be enough detail to avoid confusion and ultimately disputes. In the case of a non-disclosure agreement, that includes definitions of terms such as “confidential information.”

In the case of a project contract, that includes details about the project deliverables, how changes or additions are made, roles and responsibilities of each party, and more. Without detail, there’s always room for interpretation, which can lead to scope creep, missed timelines, overrun budgets, and potential legal battles.

MISTAKE 4: Using the client’s agreement.

As a freelancer, it’s important to keep your clients happy. However, you don’t want to risk your business in an effort to please others. Once you have created a solid agreement template or contract template, it’s important that you use them whenever you’re engaging in a new project or with a new client.

While your contract or agreement can be adapted for the situation, from short and straightforward to long and complex, it does need to include the relevant terms that are necessary for your business. Don’t compromise your hard work by accepting an agreement that’s missing what you need. If nothing else, make sure all the terms that are in your agreement template are included in any contract you may accept from a client.

MISTAKE 5: Not having clear payment terms.

Even with clients that have hired you in the past, you must include clear payment terms in any agreement or contract in which you will be paid for your work. That could include a down payment, perhaps if you’re working with a first-time client. It should include milestones with a payment schedule for particularly long projects.

You don’t want to risk cash flow for a long project or work that drags on beyond what you anticipated. It should also be part of retainer agreements, so that you can be sure you’re getting paid on a regular basis for your regular work. Payment terms also need to provide a deadline for payment that’s clearly stated - such as “The Client has 15 days to pay invoices.” And, when payment is due, be sure to send your invoice on time.

MISTAKE 6: Not including late payment charges.

While it might feel uncomfortable to add this type of clause, it’s essential that you include late payment charges as part of any contract or agreement. There are different ways to charge for late payment, from a percentage to a flat fee. A good way to do it is by stating a percentage for a late fee which is charged against the total amount due.

Late fees are generally between 2% and 10% a month, and are usually not compounding, meaning you would calculate the amount owed each month after the invoice’s due date. Failing to include late fees opens the door to not getting paid promptly, or not getting paid at all.

MISTAKE 7: Not including an “out” clause.

While every relationship with a client starts out rosy, there are always instances when that changes. Or, situations change and the work no longer needs to be completed, or can’t be finished. It’s good to include some kind of  “out clause,” which provides for a payment if the contract or agreement is ended early.

You can choose the type of payment option, depending on the nature of the work, the size of the budget and other factors. A flat fee is one option, or you can charge a prorated amount based on the amount of work that was completed. Once again, it may seem awkward to include, but you’re running a business, and you need to protect that business.

We’ve baked in a lot of the best practices mentioned in these tips in our own agreements tool called Bonsai. It costs $19 per month and is used by 150,000 freelancers. Give it a try with a 14 day free trial.

What Should be Included in an Agreement

While there will always be sections of agreements and contracts that are specific to a project or a client, there are components that need to be part of every agreement template.

Dates and timeline

Any binding agreement should have a starting date and an end date. This way, both parties know how long the legal relationship will be and when their liability will change.

Parties involved

Another thing that an agreement should always have is a clear definition of who the contractors and parties involved are. This is the most important thing an agreement will have. Otherwise, it is just a promise document, but not a legally binding one.

Terms of agreement

Here you will state precisely what the agreement entails. Is it a business partnership agreement? How will it work? Or maybe it is a service agreement? Which service? Or perhaps it is a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in which the included parties protect the confidential information of their meetings, data, and the other parties.

Whatever the agreement's purpose, you will need to go into detail to make it clear to all third parties involved exactly what they’re agreeing on.

With Bonsai’s templates, you can edit and add the necessary clauses to your contract, take a look:

Agreement editor allows you to seamlessly insert clauses where needed

Legal duties and protections

Let's say you're a real estate professional creating a simple lease agreement. What are the legal protections for the renter and yourself? What will happen when either party breaches the terms of the service contract?

No one signs an agreement hoping things will turn bad, but it's always good to have dispute resolution plans clearly stated just in case things do go south. The agreement should clearly state each party's legal rights and how any breach will be sanctioned.

Payment agreement

Payment terms—in agreements that require them—need to be as straightforward as possible:

  • What's your payment schedule?
  • How much money will the payment be?
  • What options does your client have for paying?
  • What happens when the payment date has been missed?

The more specific you go, the better, ensuring that everyone is on the same terms before signing.  

A note on paper vs electronic agreement templates

As a freelancer, you want to show your clients that you’re ahead of the curve, offering them the latest innovations in your field. Whether you’re a designer, a writer or a consultant, a paper agreement template shows the client just the opposite. Paper adds time and money, and it’s bad for the environment. Instead, having legal documents such as agreements and contracts in a digital format makes everyone’s life easier.

Freelancers often work remotely, and sometimes never meet their clients in person. In fact, they often work with clients all over the world. The laws have kept up by allowing for digital business transactions such as  e-signatures. So it’s best to use an electronic agreement template, to increase efficiency and make it easier to do business.

Advantages of Agreement Templates

Once an agreement template is done properly, there are many advantages to having one. Here are a few:

Reduced time and cost

Let’s say you bid on requests for proposals (RFPs), or tenders for work, on a regular basis. Having an agreement template that’s almost ready to go can save time and allow you to bid quickly and win more jobs. In the long run, that also saves you money because you’re not spending valuable hours creating a new agreement for every new RFP, tender, client or project.

Confidence in the terms

An agreement template that has had a thorough legal review will give you the peace of mind that your business is protected every time you engage with a client. It also makes you familiar with all the terms contained in the agreement template, so you can easily answer any of the client’s questions or concerns. Finally, it provides your client with the reassurance that your contract or agreement is solid.

The professional image of your business

Your clients will appreciate the fact that you run a professional business. Even a one-person freelance company is still a business, so you should use documents such as proposals, contracts and agreements that prove it to your clients.


An agreement template that describes a process, for instance how a designer would undertake creation of a new logo, means your work description is clear and consistent. That means less room for deviation from the work details, and less scope creep. It also makes for a clear understanding between you and your client.

Disadvantages of agreement templates

By the same token, an agreement template that isn’t done properly can cause issues, either with the first client or first time you use it with existing clients. Here are a few disadvantages of using agreement templates:

Poor language gets used time and again

If your template has improper language, or legal loopholes, there’s a risk that a legal dispute can be repeated every time you take on a project or work with a client. Each word, phrase or term that can be disputed, or even misunderstood, can cause you repeating issues. If it doesn’t happen immediately, it’s bound to happen eventually, and you could have the same dispute occur repeatedly.

Not having the correct terms

Besides using incorrect or unclear language, if you create your own template, there’s a risk you will leave out important terms and conditions. Examples of those include an “out clause,” in the event the agreement ends early. Another example is forgetting to include late payment terms. It only takes one incident to highlight a glaring error in an agreement template, and by that time, it may be too late.  

Inflexible terms

While an agreement template is designed to help you save time, it needs to be done properly the first time. Otherwise, you could spend time creating a template and having it go through legal review, only to find out with subsequent projects or clients that the terms are too restrictive, or too open-ended, or not adaptable to the different types of work you do. If customization is limited, it restricts what you can do without undergoing another full legal review. You’ll have to make edits and modifications to the agreement template and then put it through another legal review, as well as clearing it with the client, before you can actually use it for a specific job.

Damage to your business

If you keep using a poor agreement template, you could run into issues with multiple clients. Besides the damage to the reputation of your business, there could be non-payment issues that lead to cash flow problems. Your dissatisfied customers could turn into legal adversaries. That’s a risk you don’t want to take, which could hurt your business and cost you money in legal bills.

Take a look at the following examples, which is when agreement templates can cause problems, by being misinterpreted, or even disputed. It’s important to use a high quality agreement template the first time and every time you work with a client.

"I love the Bonsai app! It has been a game charger for my web consulting business. From the moment I started using it I was hooked because everything is easy to use and just makes sense, and I love that invoices are easily automated with a click of a button. Highly recommend! 10 out of 10!"

Siska Hines

Web Consultant & Owner of Good Lime Studio

Why You Should Use Bonsai’s Templates:

We’ve been through some of the reasons that a Bonsai agreement template is better than trying to create your own, using a generic template, or building an agreement each time you work with a client. Reasons like legal review, e-signature included, ability to customize, and more.

Bonsai’s templates are also part of our integrated freelance system, meaning you can use Bonsai for a number of vital administrative tasks that are important but time-consuming. You can use Bonsai to write effective proposals, which can then be connected to contracts, which are then integrated with invoicing. You can manage an entire project from start to finish, or set up recurring invoices for a retainer agreement.

You can do time tracking, accounting, and document expenses.

So when it comes to creating an agreement template, it’s better to use Bonsai’s automatically generated template system, rather than risk improper wording or even legal disputes. Give yourself and your clients the assurance that your agreements are solid and legally airtight. At the same time, you can take advantage of the many other aspects of the Bonsai integrated freelance system.

Bonsai vs Generic Agreement Templates

Using Bonsai’s agreement templates is guaranteed to be the best way of protecting yourself legally and closing deals having everyone’s peace of mind at the forefront.

However, we know you want to know the exact way in which Bonsai’s are better than a generic agreement template–after all, over 150,000 freelancers choose Bonsai for a reason!

Let’s take a look:

  • Fast, automated workflow: By streamlining your drafting and writing process, you can stop spending time on creating an agreement and more time on building key relationships and growing your business
  • 100% customizable: Bonsai’s templates are 100% customizable for you to add sections, logos, change typography, and whatever else you need to make the agreement your own
  • Safety first: Saving time won’t mean being less safe–all the important information, relevant terms, and clauses are included
  • Easy to use: Not only are they intuitively easy to use, but there are explanations and examples for you to start sending agreements in just a few clicks
  • Peace of mind: All agreements and contracts templates have been reviewed by lawyers
  • E-signature: Caring for the environment–and making things easy for you–has never been so easy
  • Template benefits: Create the perfect template for you and save it for the next occasions
  • Integration: Bonsai allows you to integrate invoices, agreements, contracts, and even proposals in the same project–making your business processes that much easier

Now, all there is for you to do is choose the right agreement for the job you need, and you’re off! Send your agreement on its way, and have your client sign it without either of you leaving your chair!



Fast, automated workflow
Create, customize and send professional-looking proposals in minutes.
Flexible editing
Add, move, or remove sections in seconds.
Get notifications when clients view or accept your proposals.
Automate your follow-up
Optimize automatic reminders by choosing the right time to email each client.
Let clients mix and match packages
Add single or multiple package options to your proposals that your clients can choose from automatically.
Streamline approvals
Make accepting as easy as possible with package selection and electronic-approval.


Time spent creating and sending professional proposals.
5 mins
3 hours
Time spent following up with clients.
2 mins
1 hour
Time spent by clients to accept.
1 min
30 mins

At Bonsai, we recommend ALL freelancers to protect their time like it’s the most important thing in the world. Otherwise, it’ll consume you.

E-signature for agreement templates

An electronic signature or e-signature is when an image of your signature is overlaid on a PDF document, which can be done using several different apps, and on different platforms, depending on the technology you use. Bonsai has an online signature maker that you can use for free.

It’s imperative that you and the client sign the document to make it official. But what if you work remotely and your client is in another location? While an electronic agreement template saves you time, there’s still the issue of getting it signed to make it a legally binding document.

If you’re wondering if an e-signature is legally binding and sufficient for you and your clients, it certainly is, thanks to the “E-Sign” Act (Electronic Signatures In Global And National Commerce Act) of 2000. It provides a “general rule of validity for electronic records and signatures,” making e-signature ideal for the purposes of a freelance agreement or contract.