A general service contract, which is otherwise known as a general services agreement or, in some cases, just a service agreement, is a contractual document signed between two parties – a client and a service provider or a contractor. When a service provider agrees to provide a particular service for a client, they will require a general services contract to be signed to make their agreement a legally valid one. Naturally, the specifics of the contract will vary one a case to case basis, as some agreements may be for a one-time service, whereas others may be for an ongoing project that requires a longer working relationship. For these reasons, the body of the contract typically defines the scope of the service or job, lists the fee or compensation to be given to the contractor, the timeline within which the work must be completed, and many other specifics of the agreement itself.
Some of the primary things that you should look out for when drafting such a contract to pertain to the nature of the relationship between the client and the contractor. This is extremely important, as a good contract will provide a detailed description of the services offered, with specifics. To guarantee transparency, it will also list out things like pricing, method of payment, the timeframe within which the client is expected to pay, and additional clauses that benefit both the client and the service provider. Finally, a general services contract is also likely to have a number of clauses in the event that either one of the parties is left unsatisfied. These are known as dispute resolution clauses and take on a number of forms, making them an integral part of any general services agreement.
To provide more detail, the agreement must also list the most important and relevant aspects of the agreement. This includes the actual timeframe within which work should be commenced and completed with clear start dates and end dates. Some contracts, on the other hand, may require an indefinite amount of time, and so, need to be tailored accordingly. A clear description of the services to be provided is also required. While this varies greatly on a case to case basis, a good services agreement will make things as black and white as possible and leave little open to interpretation.
Finally, a good services agreement will always comply and be in accordance with both federal and state laws. While federal law typically governs what type of services may be provided and deals with broader categories, state law will oversee the contract in the case of a dispute. This is because cases are much more likely to be heard on a state level rather than a federal level, making it all the more important to ensure that the services agreement is, in fact, in compliance with state and federal laws.
Drafting a General Services Agreement
An excellent service agreement should take all of the aforementioned suggestions into consideration. To give you a better idea of a usable services agreement, we’ve drafted a template that can be modified to suit the specifics of your situation better and is as follows. Keep in mind that this includes only the services and payment sections of the contract, as these are the least likely to vary. Additional clauses that depend largely on the nature of the work itself may be required. It is recommended to consult with your attorney regarding your local state laws and other clauses that should be a part of this contract agreement.
GENERAL SERVICES AGREEMENT TEMPLATE
This agreement, hereby dated _, concerning the parties, “the client”, and “the contractor,”__ attaches the following terms, conditions, and details to which both parties are hereby obligated to follow;
I. The client hereby agrees to engage the contractor to provide the following services;
The services may additionally include any ad hoc tasks that the parties may agree upon prior to the signing of this agreement.
THE TERM GOVERNING THIS AGREEMENT
The term of service within which the “services” outlined in Section I are to commence and reach completion are as follows;
Start Date _ End Date __
The parties, i.e., the client and the contract, hereby agree to ensure the terms of the agreement.
Both parties, i.e., the client and the contractor, should note that, for the purposes of this agreement, all monetary values are to be denoted in U.S dollars.
The contract hereby agrees to charge the client a fee of __ The client hereby agrees that they will be invoiced upon completion and approval, within 30 days of completion of the project.
In the instance that the agreement is terminated prematurely by the client, but work has commenced and/or has been partially completed, the client is obligated to pay the contractor a subsidized rate that both parties agree upon.
The payment and monetary values embedded in this document do not include any taxes that may be due or any other applicable duties as enforced by the law. Any sales tax and/or additional duty may be charged to the client on behalf of the contractor.
Any and all expenses concerning progress and/or completion of the services, if applicable, must be pre-approved by the client.
SIGNATURE of the “Client” _____ DATE
SIGNATURE of the “Contractor” __ DATE _
Templates by Types
Once these sections are outlined, you should browse through a multitude of resources available on the internet. This will allow you to pick and choose clauses that are relevant for your purposes.