Set out on the pages linked below are free independent contractor agreement samples along with straightforward explanations of the intent of the main contract terms.
I have spent many hours over the past six years reviewing and amending contract terms in order to satisfy myself that they are suitable for my use in providing consulting services to my clients.
Once I have amended the contracts to the point where I feel comfortable with them, I usually pass a copy to my lawyer for review and final amendment. This final review and check has paid back many times - a trained legal mind can quickly identify any weaknesses, inconsistencies or exposures that remain in the draft contract.
The importance of Independent Legal Advice
It is not intended that the contracts provided as examples here can simply be adopted and used without amendment. As ever, you should seek your own independent legal advice from a qualified and experienced contract lawyer acting on your behalf in order to satisfy yourself that the contracts you intend to use with clients on live consulting assignments are robust and fit for purpose - YOUR purpose.
The final contract that you choose will be specific to your circumstances, your profession or technical discipline and the particular consulting assignment that you are proposing to undertake. Furthermore, draft contracts will require amendment in order that they are suitable for your intended country of operation, law applicable and jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, you are welcome to use the request soft copies of the free independent contractor agreement examples that are all linked below in order that you can start to review the contract terms in more detail, mark up the documents in soft copy for your own use and develop your understanding in preparation for subsequent discussions with your legal adviser and your potential clients.
Sample Contracts - Summary
In simple terms there are three scenarios and therefore three types of contract that you will need to consider when working as an independent consultant. The three scenarios are set out below:
1. You contract directly with the end Client and work solo to deliver the assignment
2. You contract directly with the end Client and hire subcontractors to help you deliver the assignment, or to deliver it on your behalf
3. You contract indirectly with the end Client through an Intermediary such as an Agency or Lead Consultant
I consider each of these three scenarios in turn in more detail below, and have provided links to the corresponding free independent contractor agreement templates and related documents (appendices and schedules).
All links from this page are to pages elsewhere within the I-C-B.com site.
In the supporting pages I have tried to use straightforward, non technical language in order to illustrate what each contract clause is intended to achieve - my objective is to provide jargon free independent contractor agreement samples.
Interspersed between the clauses of each of the free independent contractor agreement documents in Blue Text is the brief narrative or explanation that I have added to aid understanding and interpretation.
1. Contracting direct with the End Client and working Solo
In order to provide some context to aid interpretation of the contract I have provided some introductory notes. Take a look at these first, then come back here and follow the links to the sample contract.
When contracting direct with the client this is the Basic Contract that I use as a starting point.
In conjunction with the basic contract I use a standard Appendix to record information that is specific to each client and assignment.
2. Contracting direct with the End Client and using Subcontractors
First I suggest you read these introductory notes, then come back to this page and follow the links provided immediately below to the sample contract.
In situations where I am hiring subcontractors I need two contracts:
Firstly, to document my relationship with the End Client I would use the same Basic Contract Basic Contract as detailed above at (1).
Secondly, I use a separate Subcontractors Contract as a framework agreement to document my overarching relationship with each of my subcontractors.
Supplementary to the Subcontractors Contract is a 'Project Specific Agreement' that contains information specific to each particular client and project.
3. Contracting indirectly with the end Client through an Agency or Lead Consultant
In situations where I am introduced to the End Client by an intermediary such as an Agency or a Lead Consultant, I use this contract template as my starting point. Firstly, have a look at these introductory notes.
Then move on to review the sample contract between the Consultant and the intermediary (Agency / Lead Consultant).
Sat behind this sample contract are two supporting schedules:
Schedule A records information that is specific to the assignment such as start and end dates; the commercial terms including the consulting rate and the terms of business.
Schedule B records details of any specific requirements that the client might have. For example, the basis upon which expenses incurred by the consultant will be re-charged to the client; ownership of intellectual property created during the assignment.
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