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If you are providing a service, you will need a written contract that specifies the terms and conditions you have discussed and agreed upon. Before working together, review carefully the proposed terms. Put everything in writing and have the client sign a copy. Here are some tips to help you write a contract.
Give the date, and list the client’s name, address and phone number. You’ll also want to give the project a job number. Include all your contact information, and detail the job description. It’s important to give as much detail as possible. There are many different formats for preparing a contract. You can use your letterhead paper or an invoice, which is given to a client when a project has been approved.
State how you are charging--by the hour or a flat rate. The one obstacle you may face when a client decides they want to hire you is coming up with a fee that is agreeable to both of you. Don't lower your rate if a client complains that your fee is too high. One suggestion is to find out what the client can afford to spend, then offer a fee within that budget.
Put a deadline in the contract, and specify the date and time the work will be completed. Always let a client know how long it will take you to finish a project and when they can expect the work. Also state when payment for services is due.
Be specific in describing exactly what services your client is getting. Provide as much detail as you can. The next step is to finish the work in a way that the client will be satisfied.
Make two signature lines at the bottom of the page. One for you to sign, and one for your client. Type the names below the line. Once the contract is signed, the client accepts the terms. If a client doesn’t pay within the specified time, send a friendly, but formal letter along with a copy of the contract that shows payment terms.
Kathryn Radeff began writing professionally in 1982. A versatile writer, she has contributed to numerous publications, including "Woman's World," "The Buffalo News," "Buffalo Spree," "Reader's Digest" and "USA Today." Radeff studied theater and dance at the University of New York at Buffalo for two years. Following a 20-year career as a fitness instructor and dance educator, she now specializes in writing about health issues.