A consultant agreement generally refers to a document between a consultant or contractor and a person or business. The agreement usually lists the type of work to be performed by the consultant, the agreed-upon payment terms for the work, the time frame in which the work will be completed, and any other stipulations agreed on by both parties. This aims to protect both the consultant and client because it ensures that the contractor gets paid and that the client will be getting what he or she is paying for.
Most independent workers, contractors, and consulting professionals will ask new clients to sign a consultant agreement. This ensures that the details of each project are mapped out precisely before the work begins, and allows the consultant and client to feel more confident in the arrangement. It also protects both parties in the case of a disagreement or lawsuit at a later date. Examples of situations in which a consultant agreement may come in handy are nonpayment issues, or the work not being delivered on time or in the right way.
To ensure that a consultant agreement is written correctly and usable, it is a good idea to have it checked over by an attorney. A lawyer may also be hired to write the agreement, although this is not generally necessary. Pre-written agreements can also be found in many business or office supply stores which are sufficient for use as simple agreements.
In order for the agreement to be valid, it must be signed by both parties. Sometimes it may also be best to have it notarized or to have a third party witness the signing. This is not always possible, as in the case of each person or business involved is located in a different setting.
It is heavily advised against that independent contractors never work without a formal agreement. In the even that the client decides not to pay, there is no other way to prove that an agreement for payment was made. This will prevent a lawsuit from being waged or won in a nonpayment case. It will also make disagreements more likely to occur without a written document outlining exactly what is included for all fees charged and other important project details.