This is a fun and more friendly contract than your "standard" legal contract and started from a previously designer or design firm initiated contract (see on the right). The main elements of this are
- Client initiated for a developer contractor
- Fixed monthly rate (in Scrum you could call it paying for a sprint, with an unknown # of sprints)
Between us [company name] and you [contractor]
We’ll always do our best to make the projects we give you are fun, challenging and interesting as well as fulfil our responsibilities as your client, but it’s important to have things written down so that we both know what’s what, who should do what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong. In this contract, you won’t find any complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. We’ve no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. What we do want is what’s best for both parties, now and in the future.
So in short;
We are hiring you ([contractor]) located at [contractor address] by us [company] located at [company address] to [develop a web application] for the price as outlined in our previous correspondence and shown below. Of course, it’s a little more complicated, but we’ll get to that.
What do both parties agree to do?
You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself or your company. We will review your work, provide feedback in a timely manner. We believe you have the experience and ability to do everything we’ve agreed and you will do it all in a professional and timely manner. When requested we expect you to do your best to meet deadlines. You are agreeing to maintain confidentiality on all of the project details we discuss and you work on during the contract period and up to 12 months after the contact is terminated. Upon termination of this contract and for the following 12 months you are agreeing to not solicit any current employees or contractors to engage in projects or "work" for any other companies other than the us. You are agreeing that during or upon completion of this contract and the following 12 months, you will not work for any direct competitors to us.
We expect you to let us know 30 days in advance if you plan or need to stop working on the project.
Us: Agree to stick to the payment plan set out at the end of this contract and provide all the required and agreed upon development software needed to complete this project. We will let you know 30 days in advance of what we consider project or contract completion and/or termination.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty
Design and development
You will be tasked with research and design of the technical details of building our web application, as well as the development of features, API based services, and software / web applications in general. Specifically we are talking about the project code named "[project name]" but it is assumed the scope will expand.
Availability and technical support
As discussed we expect you to be available Monday thru Friday, most of the European day on days other than pre-arranged days off or partial days off and occasionally for US east coast meetings. We also expect you to be available in case of any emergency production issues, but we expect and hope this is a rare occurrence.
Changes and revisions
We know from experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial, as they set limits on changes we know will occur.We also know having a predictable amount received each month is beneficial and reduces worry, as well as helps avoid over working burnout. So looking out for your best interest and because we don’t want to limit the ability to change our mind so for that we will do a fixed monthly price rather than fixed total price.
We realize that your work will not be error-free and so we know you can’t be liable to us or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if we’ve advised you of them. Finally, if any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
We will own all everything you deliver in this project. You will provide all source files and finished files.
We understand how important it is as an individual or small business that you promptly receive payments for the invoices that you send. As noted on the invoice that will be 10 business days from the date the invoice is received. As mentioned above we believe a fixed monthly rate is better for both parties, and we so will pay you $ [amount] USD per month which expected to average out at [x] hours a month and never be at a point that we pay you more than you are owed.
But where’s all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and needs not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of US courts.
Oh and don’t forget those men with big dogs.
The dotted line
Signed by and on behalf of [company name]
Signed by and on behalf of [contractor] Date [date]
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their records.