A personal service contract is a rather simple legal construct that works as an agreement between two parties – a client, which may be an individual or a company, and a service provider. That being said, it typically deals with contracting individuals like artists, performers, speakers, entertainers, and the like, as it does not deal with the technicalities and particulars, such as in a more specific, nuanced contract. It is generally used when contracting such a person for a one-time gig and is commonly used by governmental organizations, such as working bodies, educational institutions, etc. that require the services of a particular individual. The purpose of the contract is to create an employee-employer relationship between the governmental body and said, individual. It is typically done so that the government representative has the right to supervise any work done by an independent contractor whilst they represent the government.
What Constitutes Personal Services?
Personal services’ is a rather vague term, and so, for clarification purposes, we’d like to take some time to explain exactly what would constitute personal service. The type of service is the essence of such a contract, and so, discerning whether or not the job itself would constitute a personal service is paramount in making sure that the document is legally valid and enforceable. For reference, the IRS’ list of fields that may offer ‘personal service’ is a good starting point and includes the following areas of expertise;
- Accounting and Financial Services – This includes accounting, bookkeeping, financial consulting, and similar services.
- Architecture – Companies and government agencies may consult with architects on a project-to-project basis, and will need such a contract to do so.
- Consultancy – This includes consulting on one-time projects when expertise in a particular field is required. For example, if the government wishes to contract an expert in the field of public health, they may use a personal services contract to do so.
- Engineering – This extends to engineers across a variety of fields, but is typically applied towards civil engineers.
- Law – Lawyers may be contracted on a one-time basis. This is most commonly used to contract lawyers as consultants.
- Healthcare – Doctors may also be contracted on a one-time basis. This is most commonly used in consultancy and mental health care rather than physical care, as little to no equipment is required.
- Performing Arts – The most common use of a personal service contract is in the field of performing arts. Musicians, filmmakers, photographers, guest speakers, lecturers, and any art-related public presenter is typically allowed to be enlisted via a personal service contract.
Drafting a Personal Service Contract
Typically, Personal service contracts are general agreements and so, do not require a ton of modification and/or editing. That being said, they largely depend on the field in which the contractor plies his/her trade and the scope of the job itself, which will have to be explicitly defined in the body of the contract. Fret not, however, as we’ve developed a template that can be modified to suit almost any field and can be used as a legally valid personal service contract! You can find the template attached below.
Personal Service Contract Template
This contractual agreement is made enforceable on the date of _. (DATE)
I. THE PARTIES
The parties contingent to this agreement are listed as follows;
The “Client” - With the following mailing address; ____________________________________________________________ The “Service Provider” - With the following mailing address; __________________________________________________________________
II. THE SERVICE(s)
(Here, the service provider will have to detail exactly what services they are providing, as well as how they plan to charge for it. For example, a musician would list out the hours they plan to perform and the charge for each hour, as well as additional services they may offer, such as recording, mixing, publication, etc.)
The “Client” hereby agrees to pay the “Service Provider” the following amount;
_ Yes _ No A fee of __$/hour _ Yes _ No A fee of __$ for the entirety of the contract _ Yes _ No Other ___________________________ For the purposes of this contract, the parties will collectively be referred to as “The Parties.”
IV. THE TERM
The agreement is scheduled to be enforceable between the dates of _ (START DATE) and __ (END DATE). (This may be modified if required to allow for termination at the insistence of either party.)
V. THE SERVICE(s) PROVIDED
For the purposes of this agreement, the “Service Provider” agrees to provide the following services to the best of their ability, while complying with all local and federal regulations, laws, policies, and standards;
The “Client” also hereby agrees to pay the “Service Provider” according to the following schedule;
(Here, the client and service provider must detail how often they are to be paid, or if they are to be paid just once. Additionally, they must include details on how payment is to be made, such as check, bank transfer, wire transfer, etc. The client should also add the timeframe within which a receipt should be given.)
VI. ADDITIONAL CLAUSES
Here, the client and/or service provider may choose to add additional clauses to help safeguard the agreement. This includes things like retainers, confidentiality, an inspection of services, return of the property, tax inclusion, safety, no waiver, and any other additional clauses they may wish to add. This, of course, pertains largely to the field in which the work is to be done and the scope of the job itself. For these reasons, we strongly recommend pursuing additional resources to understand what clauses may be required!
VII. THE AGREEMENT IN ITS ENTIRETY
The agreement explicitly detailed above hereby represents the entirety of the arrangement between the parties and hereby overrides any previous or existing agreement, contractual or not, that may have been in place prior to the signing of this contract. No additional clauses will be binding unless agreed upon by both parties.
The parties hereby agree to the aforementioned terms and conditions.
CLIENT NAME _
CLIENT SIGNATURE ________ DATE __
SERVICE PROVIDER NAME ___
SERVICE PROVIDER SIGNATURE DATE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A personal services contract enlists one individual to do a particular job for a client. Typically, such contracts are used by companies and/or government agencies to enlist specialists in certain areas. Other common uses include hiring performers, such as musicians, artists, filmmakers, speakers, etc. for one event. These contracts are typically used on a one-time basis and aren’t recommended for long-term projects.
Non-personal contract service is very similar but waives the client’s right to supervise projects and typically does not include clauses like confidentiality or exclusivity clauses.
A personal services contract is a contract that helps government agencies or large companies enlist specialists on a one-time basis. This typically includes things like performing arts, consultancy, and hiring experts on advisory roles.