Essential Terms to Include in Every Consulting Contract

Whether you're looking to hire a consultant for your business or are a self-employed independent contractor and looking for consulting jobs, it's vital to use a written consulting agreement and have certain basic terms included. We will take a look at what basic terms need to be included in your consulting contract, as well as some optional terms that can be appropriate in many situations.

Basic Terms in a Consultant Contract

  • Identity of the parties - The names of the hiring party and consultant and their contact information.

  • Job description - The description should describe the rights and duties of both parties. The expected time frames and deliverables should be set forth if applicable. For example, a wedding consultant may agree to have the wedding location and catering contracts in place by a certain number of months before the wedding. If other are working on the project, their minimum qualifications may be described. Key tasks for a small business consultant will vary - a marketing consultant may have a specified number of press releases or advertisements placed, whereas a management consulting agreement may specify research report criteria.

  • Payment - The amount of compensation and time and method of payment should be set forth. If approval is required before payment, measures of success needed for approval can be explained.

  • Termination - A date of termination or terms for providing a notice of termination should be specified.

Optional Terms

Confidentiality - There may be a need to protect trade secrets, so a nondisclosure or noncompetition clause can be included when needed. For instance, a confidentiality agreement may be more appropriate for a business management consultant, financial consultant, or IT consultant than a wedding consultant. Business consulting and IT consulting professionals are often exposed to sensitive marketing, design, and product information that needs protection to retain a competitive edge.

Dispute Resolution - A clause for arbitration, mediation, indemnification, insurance coverage, attorney fees, or governing law if problems arise can be included. For example, a technology consultant may require a hold harmless agreement for software defects.

Assignment - The assignability of the contract may be discussed.

Ownership - The ownership of materials used, deliverables, and ideas or inventions can be described.

Warranty - In some cases, a warranty of goods or services provided can be included.

The examples above are just some of the popular terms included in a consulting agreement. US Legal Forms offers a wide selection of professionally drafted, affordable forms for any consulting need.

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