When you’re working with freelancers, you want to make processes as simple and streamlined as possible. Each freelancer may have their own systems and expectations, including their working location, hours, salary and communication preferences. One thing that you can standardize however, is your own consultant contract template, for consistent onboarding and management.
If you’re starting to amp up your freelance strategy, it’s worth looking into a Freelancer Management Solution like Fiverr Enterprise, which will automate a lot of the administrative overhead associated with working with freelancers.
In the meantime, to learn more about creating a template for consultant contracts, keep reading.
This is part of a series of articles about Contractors Agreement.
What Are Consultant Templates?
Templates are a great way to reduce the amount of work needed when drafting documentation. Instead of starting from scratch every time you need to draw up an agreement, a template allows you to simply fill in the blanks where information is unique in that situation. A consultant template is exactly what it says on the tin — a template used to simplify onboarding when you’re working with consultants, or freelancers.
What is the Consulting Contract Template Used for?
A consulting contract template is a document that you can use every time you enter into an agreement with a new freelancer, consultant, or independent contractor. A consulting contract will codify the professional relationship you are entering into, and ensure all expectations are clear on both sides.
By using a template, you can be certain that no steps are forgotten, and no gaps exist in your relationship that may cause problems down the line. For example, you can guarantee you’ve got all of your regulatory and legal steps addressed, including checking for misclassification risk, and getting signatures on IP rights documentation or non-disclosure agreements.
Not only does a consulting contract template reduce risk, it also improves your internal processes, saving time on repetitive administrative tasks. Your HR teams are freed up to complete more strategic work elsewhere, and it’s easier and faster to get freelancers onboarded and working, a total win/win.
How to Structure Consultant Contract Templates
You can take some time to think about what elements you may need in your consultant contract template, as every business will have its own requirements. However, here are 11 elements that will usually be included.
- Introduction: Lay out what the document is for, and that it will outline the professional relationship between both parties, the business and the freelancer.
- Scope of consulting services: Outline the project guidelines, which will vary from engagement to engagement. Here you may want to write what expertise the freelancer holds, and in what capacity they will be supporting the business.
- Consultant’s status: Make clear that the consultant will be working in a freelance capacity, and that you are not considered their employer for the duration of the relationship. Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t be held responsible for misclassification if the freelancer acts as an employee according to local and national laws.
- Compensation and payment terms: If you have company policies about payments, write them here. This could be that consultants are paid Net + 30 or Net + 60, or that you pay via wire transfer, PayPal, or another method. Here, the freelancer will include their payment terms, such as a service fee, retainer fee, or payment due dates.
- Terms of work: What are the terms between your business and the freelancer? This could include the expectations on the time frame in which work will be completed, and when the agreement will begin and end, if necessary. You may also want to include where the agreement will be governed, for example in a certain State or according to national laws.
- Confidentiality: Especially in industries with high regulatory demands, adding a confidentiality clause can be useful. Consider whether you need freelancers to sign a separate non-disclosure agreement, or whether a simple confidentiality clause will suffice.
- Intellectual property rights: As the worker is not an employee, include a clause in the contract where you can agree that all work created belongs to the business. This can also be known as a proprietary information clause, and ensures the contractor agrees to assign all rights over work to the business.
- Termination of agreement: You can also include reasons why the agreement may be terminated before the agreed date, such as negligence or failure to submit work on time.
- Legal and regulatory compliance: Consider what elements need to be included in this section, from indemnification for the contractor, to a written clarification that the business will not be responsible for employer taxes or employee benefits. Also add here any specific compliance mandates for your industry.
- Dispute resolution: If a dispute arises between the two parties, where will the disagreement be taken to for resolution? Here you can include the local court, or a specified mediation procedure that you would like to follow.
- Signatures: Of course, any contract needs to be signed before it can become a legal document. Make sure that you get signatures from contractors, sign the document yourself, and that you send the freelancer a signed copy for their own records.
Examples of Consultant Contract Templates and Workflow Solutions
Even with consultant contract templates, onboarding freelancers can be a little… slow.
Fiverr Enterprise automates and customizes the legal and tax compliance process to your specific business needs, so your teams aren’t weighed down by paperwork. Tax forms, background checks, NDAs, etc…we take care of it all. From onboarding to offboarding, we give you peace of mind that every step of your freelance lifecycle is in order.
You can create a fully customized workflow for your freelancers, according to your business needs, and triggered when you find the right person. All the necessary documentation will be sent, signed, and delivered, stored securely, and monitored in case of any changes that could impact your compliance. Instead of a static template which still relies on administrative overhead and your teams chasing signatures and updates — you have a dynamic workflow process that runs behind the scenes, and frees up their time to add value elsewhere.
Want to see how it works with your own eyes? Schedule 30 minutes to speak with one of our workforce experts, and you’ll see how different a consultant contract template can be.
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