Service Agreement

An agreement for the provision of services by one party to another.

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Suppose you are a web designer who has just received an order to build and maintain a website for a local restaurant chain. Or perhaps you are a yoga instructor and a fitness center has called you about teaching four weekly classes at their location. Either way, you are entering a contractual relationship and the next step for you is to create a Services Agreement.


Before you do anything else, you want to outline all of the details of the deal for your services, and a Services Agreement is the best way to ensure all the aspects are documented and agreed upon by both parties. For the provision

Frequently Asked Questions

A services agreement is a legally binding document that clearly outlines the expectations in the sale of services from one party to another.

If you are an independent contractor or business whose “product” is a service you offer, having a service agreement ensures that both you and your clients are clear on what is expected of one another.

The services agreement is fairly straightforward and includes:

  • Recitals: This section describes the who, when and why of the agreement.
  • Terms of Engagement: The agreement proceeds to describe the substantive terms of the arrangement, such as the required services, the term of engagement, covenants of confidentiality, amount of compensation, and method of termination.
  • General Provisions: The second article of the agreement contains terms ensuring the document’s validity and describing how disputes will be resolved.
  • Signatures: Each party must sign the agreement for it to be legally effective.
  • Fee Schedule: If the contractor will be paid in multiple installments, a fee schedule will be attached to the agreement.

This agreement is designed for use by a client and an independent contractor.

As long as the agreement has not expired, the client and contractor may expand the scope of the services provided by mutual written agreement.

When the agreement expires is up to you. If the contractor will only provide services once, you have the option to have the agreement expire after those services are complete. For contractual arrangements that are contemplated to last for a longer duration,  you may set an expiration date for the agreement for the contract, or have it last indefinitely.

A business may lose their competitive edge if their confidential information is disclosed to other businesses or the public at large. Because the confidential information of the client may be communicated to the contractor in the ordinary course of their relationship, including promises in this agreement that the contractor won’t leak or misuse such information will put the client at ease about their viability and provide recourse in case the contractor discloses the information without permission.

For contractor arrangements beyond a single transaction, the contractor will, by default, agree not to misuse or disclose the “trade secrets” of the client. You may also choose to include the following clauses:

  • Non-Competition by Contractor - A non-compete clause is a covenant by the contractor not to engage in a business competitive against the client. The client may strongly consider using this clause if confidential information will be disclosed to the independent contractor.
  • Non-Solicitation of Existing Customers - By agreeing to a non-solicitation covenant, the contractor agrees to not attempt to solicit customers away from the client, either for their own benefit or the benefit of another party.

A services agreement controls the provision of services while a bill of sale involves the selling of goods or products. Sometimes, a job may involve using both documents -  you have the option to list labor as an item on the bill of sale. You could include any equipment purchased to finish the job on your services agreement.

Generally, a services agreement does not need to be notarized – you only need to sign the document to make it legally enforceable. A witness may be helpful if the other party attempts to contest the document, but a notary is not necessary.


Please Note: The use of a notary ensures that no one challenges any signatures later and is a secure way to firmly establish the effectiveness of your document.

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Applicable to all 50 states
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