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How to Write and Negotiate a Consultant Contract

   |   MBO Partners   |   August 11, 2015

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Why a consultant contract is important

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. 

  • 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.

How to write a consultant contract

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.

To write a consultant contract that protects your business, it is necessary to understand:

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

Download our guide to learn more and also receive sample agreements, such as:

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

Download our Consulting Contracts Guide


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