There's a pretty basic model you can follow that goes something like this:
- description/purpose/the service (basically the product/service description)
- parties (supplier and client - including addresses)
- territory/geographical coverage
- definitions - essential glossary 'root' of frequently occurring items in the document
- term - period of agreement
- pricing (refer if appropriate to attached schedule)
- pricing adjustment (for example annual increases linked to suitable index)
- responsibilities of provider - include or append details of services and SLA's (service level agreements)
- responsibilities of client
- payment terms
- dispute and arbitration process
- termination and force majeure
- prevailing laws
- signatures and witnesses
Because the VA industry is still fairly new it is difficult to find free sample templates geared directly at our industry/practice many of us just cobble together our own using examples and resources from other freelance industries - with a little understanding about how contracts should be worded (from the legal standpoint) and what they should have in them (from the freelancing standpoint) you should be able to use these resources to create your own contract.
There's a great little step-by-step tutorial here
on how to write a basic contract as a freelancer.
Here's another writeup on what should be in a basic freelance contract
with a link to a sample the author (a web designer) uses. This article stipulates that a contract does *not* have to be super long and full of legalese in order to be binding and serve the purpose.
I prefer to use a letter of agreement
rather than a long and drawn out contract. This has worked well for me and I tailor it to suit each circumstance. There's a great sample here
that you can do the same with, just edit it to suit your particular needs. (you'll need to set up a free membership at the website this info is hosted at in order to download the sample letter..but it's well worth it. One thing to note, the letter is geared in language toward developers/designers but can be easily modified to suit a VA practice.
Here are two contracts geared toward freelance writing/editing, but again - easily ammended/edited to accomodate your own VA services/terms.
The long version
. The short version
I hope this helps!
I guess one thing we might do as a group is create our own sample contract specifically for VA's - anyone up for the challenge??