Updated November 3, 2020:

An exchange of services contract template will guide you through the process of exchanging goods or services with another party. A contract is important because it outlines each party's responsibilities.

Basics of an Exchange of Services Contract

You use this contract when trading goods or services without money exchanging hands. It's also used when you or your company trade goods or services for work being performed. With an exchange of services contract, the terms clearly state what is being traded and to whom. You can break down services by task, job, or hours spent working. For goods, the contract outlines the quantity and conditions of the items.

Neither bartering nor exchanging goods and services require a contract, but it is recommended that one is drawn up. Having a paper document that the parties involved sign ensures everyone is responsible for keeping up their part of the bargain.

When using an exchange of services contract template, note that the items and services involved in a trade can be taxable. For example, if you own a business and use stock to trade for work that a contractor does, you are legally paying the contractor. You and the contractor must include the transaction on your yearly taxes.

Using an exchange of services contract or a barter agreement is not new. They have been popular ways to pay for services or goods for quite some time. In the past, a handshake was the common way to seal the deal. Today, a legally signed document is used to protect both parties' interests.

Writing an Exchange of Services Contract

There are three areas to consider when creating a barter agreement.

Calculating the Value

You will calculate the value of the goods or services you and the bartering partner are offering. Both the monetary value and the exclusivity of the items must be considered in the valuation. If an item or service cannot be obtained elsewhere, the item or service increases in value.

Negotiating Terms

You and your bartering partner will negotiate the terms of your agreement. For example, you are offering to do car repair work in exchange for landscaping. You will need to agree on how often the person will mow your lawn to pay for repairs to the car. Both parties will also decide who will pay for additional parts for the car or gas for the mower.

Writing a Contract

When creating a contract, you must specify the terms that both parties have agreed to. This can be a simple agreement that just lists the details of the contract. If it is two companies, the bartering services can be more complex.

Basics of an Exchange of Services Contract

When creating a contract, you will address several areas, including:

  • The date when the agreement goes into effect.
  • The names of the parties involved.
  • Goods put forth for consideration.
  • Goods put forth in exchange for the goods the first party offers.
  • The location and date where the goods will be exchanged.
  • A statement noting each party has the ability to freely and legally enter into the exchange or barter agreement.
  • Terms and conditions covering market value, additional items, and money to ensure the exchange of goods is fair and equal.
  • Legality of items noting that goods will be delivered in a well-kept condition and that no rights to the agreement will be assigned without prior approval by the other party throughout the duration of the agreement term.
  • A term statement covering the beginning date and ending with the exchange of goods.
  • An indemnification statement.
  • An agreement finalization where the parties acknowledge that they understand and agree to the terms and conditions by signing and dating the agreement.

Using a Service Agreement

Service agreements are written documents used to describe the terms from one party to another. In this case, the exchange is for compensation. A service agreement is also called a:

  • General service contract.
  • Consulting services agreement.
  • Service level contract.

Service Providers

A service provider uses a service agreement anytime a service is to be performed for a client and you want to protect your interests. The agreement also ensures you are paid for your services.

Customers and Clients

Whenever a customer hires a service provider to perform a paid task, service agreements have the details of the job. This includes the job duties, compensation, and confidentiality agreement.

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