A service agreement, or services agreement, is a legally binding contract made between two or more parties setting forth terms and conditions of professional services between the service provider and the client.

Here's what you'll find in the Service Agreement:

  • A contract template for terms and conditions of professional services between a service provider and a client
  • Tips for things to avoid, key items to pay attention to, and general resources which may be helpful
  • Advice on getting contracts signed quickly, digitally, and legally

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Service Agreement Template

A service agreement is a critical business contract. It is a legal document made between a client and a service provider. It breaks down and clarifies the agreement between the service provider and the client. Basically, it is a contract for services.

What is in this Service Agreement Template?

A customizable practical service contract template to fit your company’s needs

Tips to consider while drafting a service contract.

What is a “Service”?

There are several types of service contracts, depending on the service to be provided. Service contracts vary based on the kind of service, work scope, and fees for such service. So what are some examples of services that require a service contract? Here are a few of the most common services:

  • Independent Contractor or Freelancer (subcontractor, general contractor)
  • Repair / Maintenance professional
  • Artist
  • Photographer (Event or Wedding Photographer)
  • Model
  • Marketing Consultant (Agency Agreement)
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer (Retainer Agreement)
  • Daycare Provider
  • The list goes on and on. However, if you are a company hiring a contractor or vice versa, a written agreement is the most steadfast way to protect your rights.

When do I need a Service Contract?

A service contract is needed if you intend to hire a service provider. For example, if your company needs a cleaning service, a service contract would set forth the agreement’s terms and conditions. The agreement could include a cleaning schedule and payment structure. Alternatively, if you are a service provider or independent contractor, a service agreement is necessary if you plan to provide a service to a company.

A service contract permits the client to establish their expectations regarding what they expect from the service provider.

Does a Service Contract Need to be in Writing?

It is always prudent to put the responsibilities and obligations of each party into a formal written. Assuming the agreement includes all of the required contract elements, it becomes a legally enforceable contract.

A service agreement is used in many different industries among many different professionals. They are generally used to hire freelancers. It is important to notice that a service contract is not the same as an employment contract.

Learn more about enforceable contracts here!

A verbal agreement or “handshake” agreement is complicated because there is no proof of the actual terms agreed to, which turns into a “he said, she said” situation.

What Should be Included in a Basic Service Agreement

A service agreement should be as detailed as possible. If a provision is left out, it can be hard to prove later on. Any oral agreements should be expressed in writing and should be included in the service contract. If additional services are necessary, a new services contract may be needed.

A service agreement usually contains the following provisions:

  • Scope of Services – The service provider should detail all services the service provider is responsible for providing. This section should be the most detailed part of the contract. Be sure not to spare any details in this section.
  • Compensation – The compensation section of a service contract should identify the pay rate the client agrees to pay the service provider. The parties need to include any detail as it relates to any form of compensation. The payment schedule should also be clearly defined, including the frequency of payment and payment method accepted.
  • Dispute Resolution Policy– A dispute resolution clause establishes each party’s responsibility to settle a dispute before taking legal action.
  • Contact Information – The service contract should include each party’s contact information, including a working phone number, mailing address, and email address.

Common Mistakes and the Consequences of not using a Service Agreement

A written service agreement between a service provider and a client is essential. It outlines the exact terms of the agreement and spells out each party’s obligations to one another. Sometimes all of the legal jargon in a contract can be overwhelming and hard to understand.

A licensed attorney can review your service contract and make any suggestions to make sure all of your bases are covered. More importantly, an attorney can confirm your agreement is in compliance with the law.

Preview of Contract: