Updated November 9, 2020:

An independent contract agreement for cleaning services is a written contract between a cleaning service provider and a client which outlines the terms of a specific project or task. Independent contract agreements are used when a business or service provider is hired to complete a task on a short-term basis.

Understanding Independent Contractor Agreements

Like any contract, an independent contract agreement is a written agreement between two parties. Either an individual or business can hire an independent cleaning contractor to provide services for a short-term task. If you are hiring an employee on a long-term basis, you must use an employment agreement instead of an independent contractor agreement.

Unlike an employment agreement, independent contractor agreements must clearly state why the contractor is being hired and why they are not an employee for tax and legal purposes. The document must address these key elements:

  • The hiring person or company in need of cleaning services
  • The contractor providing the services for a cleaning task or project
  • The type of cleaning services being provided
  • How much compensation the contractor will receive for completed services
  • An effective date when the agreement and the job begin
  • Whether the hiring party will terminate the relationship at will and how many days written notice is required before termination
  • Fringe benefits that don't involve the hiring company's vacation pay, health coverage, sick pay, or unemployment benefits
  • Any assistants involved that the contractor may hire, understanding that the contractor alone is responsible for assistant expenses like Medicare and Social Security

In addition to these key elements, an independent contractor agreement must also cover the following legal details:

  • Assignment: both parties cannot transfer the job or the right to get paid to another party without written permission
  • Binding effect: the contract is still valid if another person takes over the contractor or hiring company
  • Entire agreement: the current agreement invalidates any prior agreements
  • Expenses: each party is responsible for their own expenses unless the agreement outlines preapproved costs and parties submit invoices
  • Governing law: certain state laws apply
  • Indemnification: if problems occur, the contractor is held responsible and must defend the customer from liability
  • Insurance: the hiring party's insurance policy cannot cover the contractor
  • Representations: all parties have the authority and power to enter into the agreement
  • Severability: is any part of the contract is invalid, the rest of the contract is still legally binding
  • Waiver: any release of a right or claim must be submitted in writing
  • Warranties: the contractor must promise that they have all the necessary permits, licenses, and registrations required for the project

An independent contractor agreement may also be referred to as a:

  • Contractor agreement
  • Client/Service freelancer agreement
  • Freelancer agreement
  • Company contractor agreement
  • Independent consulting agreement
  • Freelancer contractor agreement

Contractors vs. Employees: Who Should You Hire?

Independent contractors are necessary when you need to hire someone to perform a specific task over a short-term period. An independent contractor will have a certain set of skills that go beyond what regular employees can offer, plus they will own their own equipment needed to complete the project. As such, a contractor will have more autonomy or control over how a project gets done.

Essentially, an employee works for an employer while an independent contractor is self-employed. A contractor may work on a seasonal or short-term basis with a clear task or project in mind. It's up to the contractor how the project is executed and completed, and the hiring party will evaluate the contractor on the results.

Since an independent contractor isn't covered by the hiring party, they are responsible for their own on-the-job injuries. As such, contractors must purchase their own work insurance and health coverage. They are also responsible for paying their own taxes. A contractor can negotiate that they own the service or product being created, while an employee does not own any intellectual property they create for the company that hires them.

Some of the most common independent contractor situations include:

  • Cleaning a home or commercial building
  • Repainting a home or business
  • Providing landscaping services
  • Pet sitting
  • Overseeing home improvement tasks
  • Writing conference reports
  • Designed websites for business clients
  • Coding software for a specific project
  • Providing photography, videography, floral, or catering services for events

If you need help drawing up an independent contractor agreement for cleaning services, post your job on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.