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What should professional consultants include in a consulting agreement?

15 February, 2023 ·Consulting firm
What should professional consultants include in a consulting agreement?
Understanding the duties and obligations of a consultant is necessary for professional success. Now, B12 will share what professional consultants should include in their consulting agreements.

Whether you’re an independent contractor or a business owner working with consulting services, having a solid consulting agreement in place is an important step in ensuring the success of your project. A well-written and thorough legally binding contract can help protect both parties from potential disputes or misunderstandings. 

But what should you include in your standard consulting agreement? Generally, It should clearly outline the scope of work, expectations, payment terms, and other details related to the project. Let’s look at some things professional consultants should include in their consulting agreements with clients. 

5 elements to include in a professional consulting agreement

Scope of work and deliverables 

In the consulting agreement, outline the scope of work thoroughly so that both parties are clear on what is expected services rendered or the consultant's services throughout the course of the project. The deliverables should also be specified so that it’s clear what the client will receive at each stage of completion. This may include milestones, due dates, and any other information necessary to ensure that both parties meet all expectations. 

The scope of work and services section outlines the exact tasks the consultant will be expected to perform for the client and any additional services they might provide. This consulting agreement section should also include deadlines for each task or milestone so that clients know when to expect results. Additionally, it should include details about how the consultant will keep clients informed of progress throughout the project. 

Payment terms and fees

In addition to outlining the scope of work and deliverables, payment terms should also be included in the consulting agreement. This includes specifying how much will be paid upfront, administrative expenses, expenses incurred, and when additional payments are due throughout the project (if applicable). Both parties need to understand exactly when payments are expected so there are no surprises down the line.  

Another important element of a consulting contract is fees and payment terms; this section outlines how much the client will pay for each service the consultant provides and when they will make payments. It is also important to include details about late fees or penalties if payments are made late. This helps ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding financial expectations.  

Intellectual property rights 

The consulting agreement shall specify who has ownership over any ideas generated during or as part of the project. For example, which party owns trademarks, copyrights, patents, etc.? Thus, this prior written consent provides clarity regarding who gets credit for material produced during or as part of the project.      

Confidentiality clause 

A confidentiality clause should be included in a consulting agreement to protect proprietary information or trade secrets from being shared outside of those involved in the project without permission. This step ensures that all confidential information remains private between those working on it and cannot be used by anyone else without explicit permission from either party involved in creating it or agreeing upon its use. 

It may also detail how long confidential information must be kept confidential after the end of the contract period and what steps to take if either party breaches this clause. Additionally, this section may outline any restrictions on sharing information with third parties or using it for marketing or other purposes outside of those specified in the contract.  In short, confidentiality agreements help to protect both parties involved in a consulting relationship by ensuring that sensitive information remains secure throughout their working relationship.  

Indemnification clause   

The indemnification clause in a consulting agreement outlines what happens if one party causes harm during their work with the other; it states which party is responsible for covering losses caused by negligence on their part. This clause helps protect both sides from potential liabilities during their working relationship and ensures that any legal costs incurred due to neglect are paid for by the responsible party rather than passed onto either one’s customers or clients downstream.  

Should you send electronic copies of signed agreements to clients?

Yes! Sending electronic copies is more efficient and secure than traditional mail. With that, here are more reasons why sending clients an electronic copy of their signed consulting agreement is a good idea.

Protect your client and your business 

Sending an electronic copy of a signed consulting agreement helps protect both parties. It provides proof that all parties have agreed to the terms and conditions outlined in the document. In addition, it ensures that all parties have access to the same version of the contract, which can come in handy if any disputes arise. If either party needs to communicate changes or additions to the document, they can reference this digital copy. 

Save time and resources 

An electronic copy of a signed consulting agreement can also help save time and resources. Rather than having to mail physical copies back and forth between parties or keep filing cabinets filled with hard copies, every one can simply reference one single digital file instead. 

This method will be cost-effective and make it much easier for all involved parties to review documents quickly and efficiently when needed. When you send documents electronically, they are sent directly from your computer or mobile device to the client's inbox in seconds. This eliminates waiting days or weeks for a physical document to arrive in the mail.

Plus, you won’t have to pay for printing costs or postage when you send documents electronically—all you have to do is attach them as a PDF file and click “send”! Also, suppose you need additional signatures (like when a new team member joins your consulting business). In that case, you won't have to worry about tracking down the original consulting contract and getting it signed again. You'll just have to email the existing electronic copy out for signature. 

Enhanced security features 

Finally, many software providers offer enhanced security features such as two-factor authentication and encryption technology when sending digital contracts for your consulting agreement. Digital documents are stored securely on the cloud rather than in a physical file cabinet, which means they can’t get lost in transit or misplaced due to human error.

This feature means that all confidential information is kept secure from prying eyes while still being accessible when required by relevant personnel within your organization or your client's organization. By using these security features, you can rest assured knowing that your client's data is always safe and secure when working with you on a project basis. 

Strengthen your consulting firm with secure agreements

A well-written consulting agreement with your professional consultant is essential for protecting your interests while working together on a project. The entire agreement should outline the scope of work and deliverables, payment terms, intellectual property rights, and confidentiality clauses. With that, everyone understands their role within this partnership and can move forward confidently, knowing they have taken steps toward protecting themselves legally if needed later. 

With these critical elements included in your contract with your consultant, you can rest assured knowing everything is taken care of as you embark on your new venture together! Moreover, sending an electronic copy of a signed agreement has numerous benefits for businesses — efficiency, security, cost-effectiveness, flexibility — but most importantly, it allows them to remain paperless and stay up-to-date with modern technology trends. 

It's no wonder why more and more businesses are switching over from traditional methods of document transfer in favor of digital solutions like e-signatures and other digital workflows. So, if you still rely on snail mail or manual processes when sending out consulting agreements, consider making the switch today!

Using B12, you can easily create, send, and store business documents like consulting agreements. Try B12 today for free to launch your online presence and leverage tools like contacts and eSignatures, online payments, scheduling, and more.

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