1. Entering Into a Business Contract Overview
2. Elements of a Contract
3. What Is a Service Agreement?
4. Use of Service Agreement
5. Contracts That Are Similar to a Service Agreement

When creating sample contracts for services, it's essential to follow the proper steps to enter into a contract.

Entering Into a Business Contract Overview

Doing business is more than shaking hands and making a connection or partnership. The business may currently be in an agreement, but people may forget what they agreed to originally as time goes on. They may no longer want to meet the requirements of the deal and try to get out of the arrangement. 

When a contract is clear with its terms, the agreement will go much smoother. Each agreement should say what the expectations are for both sides. This includes certain details about payments, time frames, materials, and what the procedures are for disagreements that occur. Both parties need to agree on the same factors that are stated in the contract so they'll have something to bring to court if anything goes wrong.

It's not an easy process to write a valid contract. Many items need to be included in the contract in order for it to be binding. Whether a template is being used or the business is writing it itself, it's always important to read over everything carefully.

Make sure all information that was agreed to is included in the contract. The names must be spelled correctly and details need to be accurate. Check for language that may be ambiguous and cause confusion down the road. Also, read all fine print and ask about any terms that are confusing.

Once the contract is signed, it will be legally binding, which means the business may be stuck with something it doesn't want. There may be an indemnity clause, which assigns responsibility for errors. See if this applies to the person creating the contract and if they'll be held liable.

Elements of a Contract

In a contract, something needs to be the offer. Something else needs to be offered in exchange for it, which is normally money. Sometimes it can be a promise or a gift, although this is called a consideration. Both sides need to agree to and accept the terms of the contract (the acceptance stage). Both sides also need to understand how they entered the contract, which is called mutuality.

What Is a Service Agreement?

A service agreement is where two parties enter a contract in which one agrees to provide a service to the other. This normally includes the boundaries the service defined and what the payment or compensation will be. Signing this agreement helps the project go smoother.

Legal protection is provided to both the employer and service provider. It also makes sure everyone agrees to the same terms. A service agreement is a general term that defines a contract where both parties agree one will provide services and one will pay for those services. It may also be called a general service contract, consulting services agreement, or service level agreement. There are a variety of service agreements, including: 

  • Consultant service agent 
  • Child care service agreement 
  • General service agreement 
  • Artist service agreement

Use of Service Agreement

A service agreement can be used for management services, marketing services, testing services, advertising services, or any other type of professional service where an individual has agreed to provide a service to another. There may also be a warranty feature that comes with a product in a service agreement to protect the consumer.

A given type of service agreement is where the manufacturer of a product agrees to replace or fix it in case it malfunctions or breaks within a certain period of time and the customer sends the product back. This is necessary to write up any time a company decides to sell its services and a business purchases services from another company.

A service agreement does not mean it's a bond. A bond is where only one person is held to the contract, whereas both parties are accountable in a service agreement. This provides both parties protection as well.

Contracts That Are Similar to a Service Agreement

Many contracts are similar to a service agreement. These include a consulting agreement, catering services agreement, independent contractor agreement, child services agreement, and computer services agreement.

If you need help with sample contracts for services, you can post your legal need 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.