Service Contract Templates

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A service contract is between a service provider and a client. It is commonly labor-related with the service provider acting as a 1099 independent contractor. Depending on the contract type, the client will either make payment at the start, during, or at the completion of the service. A service contract is typically an at-will arrangement with no end date with both parties being able to terminate.

Federal Law (29 CFR § 4.1a(h)) – For all contracts over $2,500 in value, the service provider is obligated to pay their employees the minimum wage in the locality of where the services are being provided (“prevailing wage”).

By Type

Table of Contents

What is a Service Provider?

A service provider, in a service agreement, is the party that is providing services to a client for a fee. The services may be in actual labor or providing access to a client. The pay the service provider charges are commonly in accordance with average pay for the specific industry.

How to Create a Contract for Services

Writing a service contract requires that there is already a verbal agreement in place and converting to a written document. The contract is between the client and service provider and upon both their signature the contract becomes legally binding.

Step 1 – Review the Other Party

In most service contracts there is no background check or profiling that takes place. Although, it’s best to search the search provider’s name into Google and view if they have had any issues in the past. The client should also be searched in public directories, such as the local court dockets, to see if they have any pending or past litigation.

Both parties should take the necessary steps to ensure the services are done in a professional manner and that the provider will be paid on-time.

Step 2 – Negotiate the Services

Depending on the service type, the client and provider may have to negotiate back-and-forth on the price. Both parties are recommended to use online resources to view the average rate ($/hour) for a specific service.

View Average Pay ($/hr)

After the service has been negotiated a contract may be created.

Step 3 – Writing the Service Contract

When creating the contract, it’s important to describe the services, pay, schedule (if any), start and end dates, and any other terms agreed by the parties. Depending on the contract amount, the parties may want to seek legal advice from an attorney. Once the contract has been finalized it’s time to have both parties authorize the agreement.

Retainer – Mainly for professional and consulting work, a retainer allows the provider to be paid a small amount at the time of signing that gets applied to future balances.

Notary Public – Recommended being signed in the presence of a notary public if the contract is for more than $10,000.

How to Terminate a Service Contract

A service contract, if allowed, may be terminated by written notice at any time with proper notice. Most service contracts do not have a required end date and commonly allows either party to terminate with sufficient notice.

How to Write a Service Contract

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Open Document Text (.odt)

Step 1 – Access The Documentation Needed To Set Your Agreement To Paper

After reviewing this page find the links designated as “Adobe PDF,” “Microsoft Word (.docx).” and “Open Document (.Odt).” These files are all represented in the contract preview and are downloadable at-will. Save a working copy you can open with your software to this machine.

 

Step 2 – Date The Agreement Detailed In This Contract

The “Effective Date” of this contract otherwise known as the first calendar date when it may legally hold its participants responsible to its statutes must be presented in the first few words of the paragraph statement at its beginning (labeled “I. The Parties”). Place the month and calendar day of this date on the first available empty line and its corresponding year on the second. Keep in mind the year should be in a two-digit format.

 

Step 3 – Introduce The Participating Service Provider

Proceed through this statement to the bold label “Service Provider.” This is the party that will be commissioned to perform a job for the Client in exchange for a predetermined payment or rate of payment. Furnish the legal name of this business immediately after this label.  This can also be the name of a Freelancer or Independent Contractor so long as it is the full legal name of the Service Provider.      After providing this identity, continue to the next two lines where the Service Provider’s “Mailing Address” should be started with your entry of the building and street on the second blank line and its “City” on the third blank in the Service Provider’s section.  You must complete this address with the “State” where the Service Provider receives mail on the line between the term “State Of” and the label “Service Provider” 

 

Step 4 – Set The Identity Of The Paying Client

Article “I. The Parties” will seek one last item; the identity and address of the Client. To the effect of clearly identifying this contract participant, we will supply the legal mailing address. Present the Client’s full “Name” on the line first line after the bold label “Client,” then continue to the next available space to furnish the building number, street name, and apartment number used in this entity’s “Mailing Address.” This Contract Participant will agree to hire the Service Provider (named above) to work on a job or provide some form of service.

The remainder of the Client’s “Mailing Address” is necessary for the completion of this article. The last two blank lines (which follow the terms “City Of” and “State Of”) of this statement expect these address items displayed as their contents.   

 

Step 5 – Give A Definitive Lifespan To This Paperwork’s Effect

The next concern of this agreement is to seek documentation of its starting calendar date along with how it should terminate if successful. The second article, “II. The Term,” will open with two lines formatted to display the requested date. Present this start date on these lines.

The checkbox statements the second article contains require you select one to apply. Your selection determines how this contract should end when allowed to continue successfully to its conclusion. This agreement can be developed to terminate “At-Will,” expire automatically on a specific “End Date,” or conclude by some “Other” method. Only one of these means can be named as the method of termination. If this contract should persist until one or both Parties decide it should be terminated, then mark the checkbox attached to the words “At-Will.” This choice will need you to report the number of “Days’ Notice” that the terminating party must give when it is time to end this agreement. If not, then leave this choice unattended.  A second option to set for this agreement’s termination will be to simply set a specific calendar date for its natural conclusion. If this is preferred by both parties then, mark the second checkbox and use the formatted spaces to declare this termination date.   These parties can also have a different idea of termination in mind. If so, then mark the box labeled “Other.” The blank line in this statement is reserved for the required description of how the agreement in this paperwork should end.  

 

Step 6 – Describe The Commissioned Service At The Heart Of This Agreement

The job commissioned by the Client should be adequately described so this agreement can hold the Service Provider’s work to the satisfaction of the Client. This description should be reported on the blank lines in the section labeled “III. Service.”

 

Step 7 – Document The Client Payment Required By This Contract

We have given a definition to the dates when this contract will actively impose terms on its Participants, the identities of the Service Provider and Client, and what is required of the Service Provider for the contracted service to be completed. It is now time to solidify what the Client must do to uphold this agreement. In the fourth article, “IV Payment Amount” will address the compensation owed to the Service Provider. The concerned payment has been divided into three categories which are represented in the displayed checkbox selections. You may only choose one checkbox to define the payment. Thus, if the Service Provider will be paid by the hour then mark the first checkbox and fill in the payment amount expected “/Hour” worked (one hour’s work) on the blank line provided. If this is not an adequate description of the Contract Participants’ agreement, then leave this unmarked and proceed to review the other two options.  If the Service Provider payment will only be collectible at the completion of specific tasks or jobs, then mark the second checkbox. This requires you define how much money the Service Provider will be paid “Per Job” on the first available line then produce a strict description of what constitutes a “Job.” If you require more room for this task, you may provide an attachment and document the title in this area. If you are working with an editing program you may also copy and paste more lines to this selection.    The third possible choice in this section is presented as an open-ended one allowing you to tailor this report to fully describe the Service Provider’s compensation. If neither of the above choices are applicable in this agreement, then you must mark the third checkbox (“Other”). Bear in mind, when reporting the “Payment Amount” with this statement, it is mandatory that you directly report on the compensation using the blank line presented after “Other” to do so. Your entry here must include the payment amount and rate or the title of an attached document approved by both parties.

 

Step 8 – Report The Frequency Of The Service Provider’s Payment

The next task you must attend to is assigning a definitive payment schedule the Client must adhere to. The “Payment Method” used should be addressed in the fifth article by selecting one of the checkboxes. In this way, you can indicate whether the Client must pay the Service Provider when he or she has received an invoice by marking the first checkbox (see example) or at regular intervals on the calendar such as “Daily,” “Weekly,” “Bi-Weekly,” or “Monthly.” If none of these descriptions apply, then you may mark “Other” and document exactly when the Service Provider is qualified to receive the Client’s payment for the commissioned services we defined. 

 

Step 9 – Define Any Retainer Involved

Some agreements will call for a retainer or an amount of money submitted to guarantee the Service Provider’s attention when it is necessary. Locate “VI. Retainer” for this task. You will need to check one of two checkboxes to indicate if whether there will be a retainer fee. For example, if a retainer fee must be paid then, you must check the box attached to the phrase “To Pay A Retainer In The Amount…,” and furnish the dollar amount making up this fee on the blank line attached to the dollar sign. In this case, you will also need to indicate if the “Retainer Is Refundable” or if the “Retainer Is Nonrefundable” by marking the appropriate checkbox. Notice in our example below, the “Retainer Is Non-Refundable” meaning that once it has been submitted to the Service Provider, he or she is not obligated to return it (in many cases) barring a severe violation of the law or this agreement. If no retainer fee is required by the Service Provider, then mark the box labeled “Not Required To Pay…”   

 

Step 10 -Record The State Of Governance Over This Contract

Turn your attention to the eighteenth article which is the next contract item that requires your attention. Here, we will use the language set here to assign this agreement to the court system of a specific State. Furnish the State where the terms of this agreement will be enforced and where the contents must be in compliance with the laws on record to the blank line after the term “…In The State Of” in “XVIII. Governing Law.”

 

Step 11 – Produce Any Additional Agreed Upon Terms Not Covered

The Service Provider and the Client should have made sure by this point that all the terms they have agreed upon are documented. This paperwork will address the obligations and concerns for the grand majority of service agreements, however, if there are any mutually agreed-upon conditions, provisions, limitations, etc. that have not been properly addressed in this paperwork, then you must deliver them to the blank lines presented in “XX. Additional Terms & Conditions.”

 

Step 12 – The Client Must Willfully Enter This Agreement

The Client who we named in the first article will need to sign this document after it’s been completed in order to enter it. A distinct area beneath the “In Witness Whereof…” paragraph has been made available for this purpose. The Client or a Signature Representative of the Client Company must sign the “Client’s Signature” line then immediately record the “Date.”    Once this has been done, the Client should take a moment to print his or her name on the blank line underneath the signature. 

 

Step 13 – The Service Provider’s Acceptance Of These Terms Must Be Given

The Service Provider of this agreement must also officially enter it. This will have to be done in the same manner as the Client. That is, the Service Provider or a Representative of the Service Provider Company will be expected to sign his or her name here. This should occur on the “Service Provider’s Signature” line. Additionally, he or she must record the current day on the “Date” line adjacent to this.      Lastly, the “Print Name” line under the “Service Provider’s Signature” line will require that the Service Provider (or the Signature Representative of the Provider) supply the printed version of his or her name to its contents.  


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