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Old 11-02-2008
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Default Contract Thoughts
I have a couple of clients that came through a previous position that I held and therefore don't have any "formal" contracts with them.

I realize though that going forward with new clients, I will definately need to have contracts in place. I was reading the interview with Bette Creek and she indicated that was one of her lessons learned. I would like more information on this from others as to issues they might have had with/without contracts. I checked the thread on contracts, but would like more input on the personal perspective of this.

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Old 11-02-2008
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Company name: Awesome Assistant
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Roseville, California
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Default Re: Contract Thoughts
I always have a contract. I let the client know that this will help each of us have a clearly defined explanation of what's expected from both parties. That way there is no confusion about what is being done, what payment terms are, etc. If I don't have a signed contract, I don't do any work. It's just too easy for there to be confusion without one.
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Old 11-02-2008
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Company name: Virtual Business Services
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Default Re: Contract Thoughts
I was a little lax at first about getting contracts, but now I don't do any work without a contract.
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Old 11-03-2008
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
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Default Re: Contract Thoughts
I was like Rebecka - a little lax at first but now I don't work without one.
I pretty much wrote my own but then I had a lawyer friend polish it for me. It covers things like Provision of Services, Confidentiality, Availability, Term, Termination, etc. It looks very official (I think) and it's about 3-1/2 pages long. The only thing that changes on the contract itself is the client's name and the dates.
There are two Schedules attached. Schedule A outlines the tasks, numbered and in great detail. Schedule B shows the rates, how time worked will be measured, amount of deposit, invoicing details and discounts if applicable.

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Old 12-03-2008
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: Contract Thoughts
Amen to written contract agreements. I say this from personal experience. Contracts are good primarily for two reasons. First, the contract specifies the duties and responsibilities of each party involved while at the same time clarifying the expectations of both. Secondly, contracts are a deterrent for those clients who may try to switch up or jump ship on you half way through the project. While verbal agreements are legally binding, the written words are a constant reference and reminder.
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Old 12-11-2008
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Orlando, Florida
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Default Re: Contract Thoughts
I am in agreement with this 100%. You do need to have a very specific contract and do not make any exceptions. I learned this the hard way and was out several thousand dollars on a project I did for a long-time friend based on a verbal agreement. To this day I have not received a penny and our longtime friendship ended.
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