What to Think About with Consulting Agreement Templates
Looking for a general consulting agreement template that you can edit and customize for your project and use again and again for your business? Look no further. This document is ready for you.Download Template
Below we’ll cover:
- Key Components of a Consulting Contract
- Important Clauses to Include in a Consulting Contract
- Tips for Consulting Contracts
- Additional Resources
- Getting the Consulting Contract Signed
Key Components of a Consulting Contract
Consulting work is in high demand in today’s business world. If you have an area of expertise, whether it be SEO, research, marketing, or another field, you can get paid to share that expertise with businesses that need it. However, you must have a contract to protect yourself when you take on this work.
When creating a contract for your business as a consultant, regardless of the scope of the consulting work you perform, the terms of the agreement need to be clear. With a clear contract, you and the companies you serve will both know what is expected, so there are no miscommunications along the way.
Some details that should be in a consulting contract include:
- Type of consulting work
- Scope of the work
- Payment terms
- Timelines and deadlines
- Contact information for you and the client
- Duration of the agreement
Important Clauses to Include in a Consulting Contract
In addition to the basic information above, a consulting contract should contain clauses that protect your work. The clauses to consider include:
- Termination Clause – If you or the client decide the consulting gig is not a good fit, you need to outline the exit strategy. Make it fair for both parties, so your time is honored but you are not stuck in a contract that is not satisfactory.
- Dispute Resolution Clause – This clause outlines what happens if you and your client have a dispute. It can protect your ability to file a lawsuit, and potentially make your legal fees the responsibility of your client if they acted in breach of contract.
- Incidentals Costs – If your consulting work will require travel or travel-related costs, add a clause that addresses how those will get billed and paid.
- Changes Clause – Add a clause that addresses how changes to the project and its scope should be handled. Consulting is fluid work, and it can change with time, so give yourself an option to make that change.
- Intellectual Property Clause – Consulting work generates intellectual property, and your contract should identify what that property is and how it can be used through your relationship with the client. If you wish to retain your intellectual property, clearly state the terms in this part of your contract.
Tips for Consulting Contracts
Before sending a consulting agreement template to a potential or existing client, make sure you consider these important tips.
- Be specific. Consulting work is, by its very nature, vague. Be as specific as possible regarding the details of what you will offer. This will prevent conflicts and provide the right level of protection for your business.
- Check your state laws before finishing your contract. Most consultants work as independent contractors, so make sure your contract’s terms follow the appropriate laws for this type of worker.
- Have a time frame for renegotiation. Even in consulting agreements that are working well, you may wish to re-visit the terms, so work renegotiation into the contract so you both know when it will happen.
- Make it clear in the contract how you will know if you have achieved success. The project objectives and responsibilities can show this. Remember, your consulting work may not mean your client is successful, so you need to ensure your objectives are clear.
- Get it signed. You can use Nitro Sign to get any of your contracts or important documents signed with ease.
For more information about consulting contracts, take a look at these resources:
- Entrepreneur: Protect Yourself – How to Structure Your Consulting Contracts
- Good Reasons to Insist on a Consulting Contract
- Inc. - Five Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Consulting
Getting the Consulting Contract Signed
Once you have a contract, getting it signed is the final step in making it legally binding. Nitro allows you to collect signatures easily online. Customize your consulting agreement template to fit your consulting business and send it to your client. With eSigning, workflow barriers disappear and you can get your signed contract back in minutes. Explore these options with your free trial of Nitro.