There are plenty of occasions where you might not need to refer to the terms of a contract to resolve a dispute or technical issue but when something goes wrong or the deal doesn’t go according to plan, you will want to ensure the terms are as much in your favor as possible.
Here is a look at what you want to see in a contract as an independent contract and an overview of what points you need to cover in the wording so that you can protect your business from a variety of different scenarios.
Why Writing A Contract Makes Plenty Of Sense
[pullquote]If you are an independent contractor you have the opportunity to protect your interests and avoid a potential dispute at a later stage with a contract that outlines what you want and expect from the arrangement.[/pullquote]
As an independent contractor, it is a contract that helps to provide the framework that ultimately defines your relationship with your client.
Even if you have a standard contract that you use for undertaking work you can always adjust the terms to fit each particular project and insert any specific clauses that are relevant to the project you are getting involved with.
The main to remember is that it is not a good idea to start doing work until you have a contract in place and your interests are protected as best as possible.
Getting It In Writing
It is also worth pointing out that despite the fact that a large percentage of verbal agreements are likely to be binding and could potentially be upheld if a dispute goes to court, that is a costly and stressful outcome that could easily be avoided if you have a written contract.
Plenty Of Detail
It is important to provide a decent level of detail in your contract so that it removes as much ambiguity as possible and gives you a better chance of protecting your interests.
It pays to concentrate on providing this level of detail in the Scope of Work clause that will be in a standard contractors contract.
This is your chance to detail exactly what you are supposed to do and what sort of significant milestones and dates are required and what needs to be done to consider that these targets have been met.
Getting The Right Level Of Protection
Even if you think that you have covered all the bases with your contract it is a sensible strategy to minimize exposure to a range of unforeseen accidents and scenarios where you could find your business is exposed to a potential claim.
Taking out handyman general liability insurance which has been created to deal with the sort of specifics in your industry that might not be covered by a more general policy will help to give you the coverage and backup needed.
Having this type of insurance in place will give your business the right protection and should be comprehensive enough to cover most expected eventualities in your line of work.
Watch Out For Revisions And Changes
[pullquote]There are times when the terms of a standard contract are so vague or open to interpretation that they could leave you dangerously exposed to financial loss if you are not vigilant.[/pullquote]
If you are presented with a standard contract to sign that expects you make all revisions required by the client, it would be wise to back off and get something more specific. The problem with something that is so vague and loose in its wording is that you could face a scenario where the scope of the project is dramatically revised and you might not be properly compensated when this happens.
The Scope of Work clause in a contract is one of the most important components and this is something you should definitely focus on to ensure you are adequately protected from unforeseen changes.
Payment terms are vital when you are an independent contractor and you want to make sure that your contract clearly defines exactly how much you are being paid for the work and when these payments will be made to you.
You have the scope for changing the terms according to what you might agree with the client, such as agreeing on a flat fee for the work or requiring a percentage of the cost up-front before you start work.
Whatever payment terms you agree verbally, make sure that everything is incorporated into the contract so that you have some certainty on when you can expect payment and how much.
If you don’t get paid on time, you are on a much stronger footing to take steps and enforce the terms when it is set out in the contract.
The more you look into it the stronger the case is for ensuring that you have everything you want to be covered in a contract so that you can enjoy greater peace of mind that your business interests are protected as much as possible.
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