Kristie Lorette reports:
"When you have a business where customers contract you to perform a service, you need a legally binding agreement to spell out...the terms and conditions of the business relationship. According to 'All Business,' a business agreement serves as a guide that all parties to the agreement must follow. Generally, one party draws up the agreement and both parties sign...it as an acknowledgment of the terms and conditions it contains...Write or type up the date on the agreement to establish an effective date...List the parties involved in the agreement, using full business or individual names and titles...Describe your obligations, including the service you must perform to fulfill your obligations under the contract and be as detailed as possible...Describe the other party’s obligations in detail. In the case of ou[r] brochure writing example, this might explain that the client is responsible for providing the copywriter with business information in a word processing document to describe the business and the information to be included in the brochure text...Describe the payment terms for the transaction, including the total amount for the service, how much and when the deposit is due and how much and when the final payment is due...Spell out a [timeline] or milestones. Include specific dates for the delivery of parts of the service or the final deadline for the service to be complete...Write a termination clause that explains the steps that one or both parties need to take in order to terminate the contract...Also, include payment terms for any work completed to date that the customer is responsible for paying for this portion of the work...Write a dispute clause to establish the handling of a dispute between the two parties...Establish ownership rights to the work. Even in service situations, a product is sometimes the result of the work, so you should also include which party retains ownership rights...Add signature and date lines. Be sure to provide a space for each party to sign and date...You may want to have an attorney review and make suggestions on a template of your business contract. An attorney can pinpoint issues for your particular business that you may need to include in the agreement. You can use a business agreement template and modify it to fit your needs, rather than writing the agreement from scratch."
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