A consulting agreement outlines the terms of a relationship between a contractor, or independent worker, and client. This contract details the contractor's services, the length of the agreement period, contractor compensation method, and other relevant information. The length of time needed to complete a consulting agreement depends on its complexity and whether the parties decide to negotiate its terms.
Other names for a consulting agreement
Consulting agreements may be called any one of the following:
- Consulting contract
- Consulting agreement form
- Consultancy agreement
- Independent contractor agreement
- Consulting services agreement
- Business consulting agreement
Who should use this form?
Independent workers and companies that hire them often use consulting agreements. This document is a legal record of work arrangement terms the parties agree upon. A consulting agreement can be used as evidence if either party disputes these terms and as reference for disputes if confusion arises during the contract's duration.
A contractor and client must both sign and date the consulting agreement form.
What to include in a consulting agreement
A consulting agreement should give key details about the contractor, client, and terms of the arrangement between them. Common items that become part of this document include the following:
- Consultant's name
- Client's name
- Relationship between the two parties, usually stated as consultant and client for tax purposes
- Detailed description of the client's expectations of consultant services, including the project's scope and the expected standard of delivery
- Any warranty or guarantee on services delivered
- Consultant's billing rate and payment terms
- Details of what happens if nonpayment occurs
- Details of any other fees and reimbursements
- Date consultant commences services and expected date of completion
- Agreements surrounding termination of services, such as required notice and its effects on compensation
- Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements
- Agreements about intellectual property and ownership of work produced
- Details of the ways client can use consultant's services
- Liability and insurance details
- Consultant's expected standard of conduct
- Other provisions, including governing law, dispute resolution, and waiver of breach
Both parties should keep a copy of the signed consulting agreement. Both the consultant and the client can then refer to the agreement document in order to clear up any matters of confusion.