What is a contract for services? A contract for services is an agreement between a business and an individual who is self-employed wherein the business agrees to pay the individual for a limited amount of service without that individual formally becoming an employee.

Such agreements are usually made for specific acts, such as painting a house or tuning a car, although long-term work may also occur. The contract will specify the nature of the contracted work, its compensation, and any other details deemed prudent to express for the clarification of the contract.

Drawing Up a Contract for Services

A contract for services may include a variety of different provisions depending upon the nature of the services being contracted, including those related to indemnity, liability, property return, and legal expenses, but the following details should be included in any contract for services:

  1. Basic Information. The names and contact information of the parties involved should be stated, as well as any terms to be used in the contract that need clarification.
  2. Services. The services to be provided should be described in detail. Vagueness should be avoided as much as possible to reduce the possibility of a contract dispute at a later point. For instance, if the contract is a construction contract, the materials, equipment used, and timeframe for completion should all be specified.
  3. Payment. A compensation plan should be outlined in the contract. If a one-time payment is to be made, the amount of that payment, time of that payment, conditions for that payment, and type of payment (cash, check, etc.) should all be specified. If the payment will be in installments, the above details should be specified, along with provisions pertaining to how late payments will be handled.
  4. Confidentiality, Non-Competition, and Non-Solicitation. Depending on the nature of the services being contracted, some may find it prudent to include terms that address these issues. Confidentiality (as in a non-disclosure clause) if trade secrets and other sensitive information are involved; non-competition and non-solicitation if the contractor may be able to unfairly compete or draw off business through the contract.
  5. Ownership rights. If anything will be produced during the conduction of the service, whether it be a material object or intellectual property, the ownership of such items should be addressed, including the ownership of products of a prematurely terminated contract.

Contract for Services or Contract for Goods

A contract for services should not be confused with a contract for goods, although the two share many similarities, such as:

  • Both set standards for performance.
  • Both may have force majeure provisions, or allowances for what are often called “acts of God,” which may delay or entirely prevent the completion of the contract without the service provider being at fault.
  • Both place legal obligations upon the contracting parties and require consideration.

The differences between these two contracts, however, are very important, and they include:

  • Contracts for goods involve the delivery of tangible items, whereas contracts for services involved the performance of tasks.
  • Contracts for goods may require the negotiation of a shipping contract with a third party in order to transport the goods from the producer to the contracting party.
  • Contracts for goods are governed by different laws than contracts for services.

Because of the last point especially, one should seek legal counsel if there is any confusion over contracts for services or contracts for goods.

Contract for Services Examples

Contracts for services can be found in many industries, if not all. Some examples of them include those listed below.

Creative Contracts:

  • Freelance Writer Contract
  • Editorial Contract
  • Graphic Design Contract

Construction Contracts:

  • Construction Contract
  • Carpentry Agreement
  • Electrical Installation Contract

Events Contracts:

  • Catering Contract
  • Bartending Contract
  • DJ Contract

Maintenance Contracts:

  • Interior Design Contract
  • Janitorial Contract
  • Housekeeping Contract

Office Worker Contracts:

  • Human Resources Contract
  • Financial Services Contract
  • Administrative Services Contract

Manufacturing and Transportation Contracts:

  • Production Contract
  • Storage Contract
  • Shipping Contract

Technology Contracts:

  • Web Development Contract
  • Technical Consulting Contract
  • Technical Writing Contract

Childcare Contracts:

  • Nanny Contract
  • Day Care Contract
  • Babysitting Contract

Healthcare Contracts:

  • Physician Services Contract
  • Personal Training Contract
  • Home Healthcare Contract

Animal Services Contracts:

  • Pet Sitting Contract
  • Pet Care Contract
  • Dog Walking Contract

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