How to Write a Consultant Contract: Guide and Templates

By MBO Partners | ,

Updated Monday, July 27, 2020


Why a contract is important for consultants

It is important for the modern independent consultant to realize that we live in an age where people within client organizations change quickly. Without a written agreement of terms, you are without protection.

How to write a consultant contract

Contracts are part of establishing a non-employee relationship with your client. It not only protects you – it protects your client. If an organization misclassifies an employee as “independent contractor,” they could be held liable for penalties, extra taxes, recordkeeping, and safety requirements. A contract is an important step in validating the independent contractor relationship that you enter into with a client.

Contracts ensure that you and the client have put your respective expectations in writing. A contract clearly articulates the services to be performed, the timeline for completion, duration of the contract, and payment terms and conditions. Consulting contracts establish a solid foundation for you and your client.

A consulting agreement can be as simple as a single page or a lengthier document; what matters is that you have a legal framework in place, signed by both parties, that covers the worst case scenario.

In our Guide to Writing and Negotiating the Right Independent Consulting Agreement, you will learn about:

  • the types of contracts and agreements you may want to use, including Master Services Agreements, Independent Contractor agreements and Memorandums of Understanding
  • key terms used in contracts and what they mean
  • terms and contract language to avoid
  • how to include your payment terms
  • how to negotiate contract terms

You will also receive sample agreements, such as:

  • a Sample Independent Contractor Agreement
  • a Sample Consulting Agreement
  • a Sample Consulting Contract with Concerns Highlighted

Download our Consultant Contracts Guide