Welcome to the 5th lesson in the Consulting Crash Course.
In this section we're going to cover:
It's important to sign a consulting contract so there are no disputes over billing and engagement.
The main points you want to cover are:
Here are some sample consulting agreement templates.
DevCo Consulting Template
PandaDoc Independent Contractor Template
DocSketch Independent Contractor Template
Note that the contract is usually biased toward the party that wrote it. If possible, get clients to sign your contract. Rather than you signing their contract.
If you have to sign their contract, read it carefully and make sure things like rate, frequency of billing, and project completion are well understood. If you disagree or don’t understand something in the contact, discuss it with the client.
Minor modifications can be made before signing by clearly indicating the change and initialing it. If the client agrees, the should sign their initials too.
NDAs - Non-Disclosure Agreements
An NDA stands for non-disclosure agreement and is used to make sure you or the client won't share secrets or sensitive information about the project. Many clients will want you to sign one of these before starting work.
NDAs will vary from project to project but here are some NDA templates.
SOWs - Statement of Work
SOW stands for statement of work and it's similar to a consulting agreement but covers the specific work you'll be providing. This helps determine what the billable work is and can be used to settle any disputes. It helps you manage expectations so you're not on the hook for something you didn't agree to or something you think you should be paid for.
SOWs vary from project to project but here are some templates.
It isn't a good idea to create legal documents from scratch. Unless you really know what you doing. Start with a template or ask to see a colleagues contract and modify it for your needs.
Various contract templates can be found at PandaDoc.
It's a good idea to find an attorney if you need help drafting a document that is specific to your industry. You can find an attorney through referrals or online research. More on choosing an attorney from WikiHow.
That's all for this lesson. In Contracts for Consultants we'll cover ways to find contracts and consulting clients.
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