There are three situations in which you need a contract. If any of them apply to you, then yes, it's time for a contract.
Situation 1:You are running a business and want your clients to treat you like a business owner. Contracts are not used to intimidate clients or create an extra hurdle in your process. They’re used as a tool to both protect your business and build trust with your clients.
Situation 2: You need to get paid. If any exchange of goods and services results in an invoice, you need a contract. If you’re providing services or products for free or as a gift, then a contract wouldn’t be necessary. If you’re trading services, we’d still recommend a contract so everyone “pays up.”
Situation 3: You need to cover your butt.What's more expensive than a contract template? A lawsuit. Even if it's only in small claims court — or has no merit — you still have to deal with it. In other words: It will still cost you hundreds of dollars at best. Each of our templates are created to minimize the risks to you and your business and reduce the amount of money you could be on the hook for if a client decides to file a lawsuit.
We get this question so often that we wrote a blog post about it!
The short answer is, no, we are not a law firm. We simply provide lawyer-drafted-and-reviewed templates. Law firms provide custom legal advice and solutions based on your problems and questions at hand.
No, nor do we recommend it. Electronic signing [e-signing] is way more convenient [and secure] for your clients and shows them that you are considerate of their most precious resource: their time.
We don’t believe that custom contracts are worth the time and money. Here’s a full explanation of why we think contract templates are better than custom ones.
All of our templates are drafted by Christina Scalera, a licensed attorney. They are also peer-reviewed by at least two licensed attorneys—one based in the US and one based in the country the template will be used in [for example, for all of our Canadian entrepreneurs, we have a Canadian attorney review those templates].
In short, yes. But we know that may not be enough to earn your trust, so here’s the longer answer:
When you buy a service agreement template from The Contract Shop®, you get:
Our contract templates have also been trusted by HoneyBook®, Danielle LaPorte, and Ramit Sethi’s Growth Lab.
You can use it as-is by downloading it, filling in the blanks where prompted, and sending it to clients either electronically or physically.
Each template is delivered immediately in PDF and Word formats for easy use "as is." You'll receive access to your lifetime portal shortly after your purchase, where you can always go back to access the most recent version of the template and learn how to upload your template to any e-signing platform of your choice.
This portal is also helpful in case you lose your order, your computer deletes all your past emails or any of those other inevitable tech glitches that only ever happen when you're in the middle of something important.
You'll get plenty of instructions as to how to use your template with your download, and in your Hold My Hand™ guide [available for most contract templates], we'll also show you how to make the most of your contract. Pinky swear, I send my clients proposals in less than 30 seconds, and so can you.
Getting your contract template reviewed by an attorney in your area is a good idea, but starting with one of our templates will save you a ton of money. After all, having a very well-drafted, peer-reviewed, used-by-many contract is better than nothing.
Learn more about the validity of our contracts state-by-state.
Questions are bound to come up, which is why we’ve created Hold My Hand™ guides that walk you through your own template. That way, you’re prepared to answer any questions that may come up. Pro tip: You can watch the entire thing, or skip straight to the related question.
Please note, access to the K Club™ or Hold My Hand™ Guides is dependent upon the product(s) you’ve purchased. These resources are not applicable to all situations, but are intended to be used as a bonus companion to your contract and terms templates.
No. Sharing isn’t caring in this instance. In fact, we believe that sharing our templates negates our mission to help the entire creative industry. It’s also against our terms.
Absolutely! Contracts can be legally binding and look really good. Here are a few examples of what your contracts could look like! If you use a tool like HoneyBook, you can use our contracts and “white label” them in your workflows. Pretty sweet!
We really hope it never gets that far! But for further peace of mind, you can learn more about how the dispute process works — and the steps that come way before ending up in court.
That said, if you were to get into litigation, the most important thing to have at your disposal is a clear, unambiguous list of what your rights and responsibilities with your client were/are. Our templates provide exactly that, plus the necessary language around dispute resolution and the things that make a contract legally sound and legitimate for business use. That includes details like:
Can you see why a contract is SO important now?
We’re customers of online businesses too, so we’ve made a refund policy that’s simple and easy to understand. For all products sold by The Contract Shop®:
Our no-hassle, 14-day happiness policy means that if you are not satisfied, for any reason, we’ll work with you to make sure you’re happy, even if that means a full refund. You can submit a refund request here.
For any Services, such as participation in a group program, consulting, retreat or mentorship program:
The Contract Shop® stands behind our work and our participation as professionals aiding in your success. If you find evidence that Christina Scalera, LLC dba The Contract Shop® has not performed its work in a professional and ethical manner, you may request a refund of any payments made in the 60 days prior to your submission of evidence.
Yes! Our contract templates are not dependent on local laws and are applicable no matter where your clients are in the world. Our philosophy is that we want to capture the spirit and mutual understanding of the relationship between the service provider and client in an easy-to-understand, accessible way.
Therefore, we have international versions of select contract templates for convenience, but not out of necessity. Our Hold My Hand™ guide will walk you through how to adjust for international use.
Check out our extensive Knowledge Base, it's filled with great information. If you still can't find what you're looking for, just contact us for support.
One of the reasons our business is a success is because we treat people like people. That means we work regular business hours of 9-5 p.m. PT, Monday through Thursday each week. Not weekends, not holidays.
Please note: If you have an urgent issue that needs to be addressed outside of our normal customer support team hours, let us know. We may be able to make ourselves available for a rush fee of $500 per hour outside of normal work hours.