7 Things a Virtual Assistant Should Include In Their Contract
Virtual Assistants should never work with clients without a signed contract. There are important things that must be agreed to before any work begins.
If you are working with clients without a contract, you are not protecting yourself or your VA business.
Now, we are not referring to VA clients you find on Upwork or any of the other job service boards.
When you work with clients through those, there are terms that you each agree to, before you start working together, so you are covered by those. (quick side note – if you are working there, make sure you go over the terms very carefully so you know what you are agreeing to!)
In this article,we are talking about working independently with VA clients – just you and them. It’s essential to have a signed contract in place before you begin working together.
A contract does not have to be complex, and you can put it together yourself with normal everyday language (instead of legalese), but either way, you should have your lawyer look it over before you start using it.
What should your Virtual Assistant contract include?
Client Contact Information
Make sure that you have the right company name, address, phone number and email address on your client contracts. You can leave this for them to fill in, or you can pre-fill it before you send it to them. Of course you also need a signature line for them to sign at the bottom of your contract.
Description of Services / Scope of Work
The main section of the contract is where you detail what you will do for your client. Be sure you get as specific as you can in this area, so that what you will do is clear to both you and the client. You may need to refer to this area time and time again, so clarity is good to achieve now.
Letting a client know how they should send you work, or contact you regarding their tasks is great to include in your contract. You should also indicate your response times for the various communication methods. Communication is something you will always be managing with your clients, and outlining your expectations here is a good decision.
Payment terms must be included in any contract. In addition to what you will do for your VA clients, detailing how you will be compensated and when (and what happens if they do not pay) is the next most important thing to include in your contract.
You may want to include some policies around boundaries like when you work. Since the contract is something that the client will be signing and agreeing to, letting them know when you are available is an excellent section in any contract.
Some clients will provide you with a Confidentiality Agreement of their own to sign, which is usually fine (read it first), but you should also cover this in your own contract. Write a short paragraph that talks about how you hold and manage their work, and how you will ensure confidentiality of their company information, strategies, and so on.
The final section of your contract should indicate how either of you can get out of the agreement. At the very least, include a timeframe for giving notice to stop work (usually 30 days), and you can also even include language about stopping work due to late or non-payment if you want to further protect yourself.
Putting together your contract is an important piece of your Virtual Assistant business set up. You can find many contracts online, and you can adapt one to suit your business, but you should have a lawyer look it over.
Don’t start work with any client that will not sign your contract.
It’s an important piece of protecting both of you before you begin working together.
It should provide a clear outline of what you will do, how you will do it, what the compensation agreement is, and how either of you can get out of it – and that’s all very important stuff when working as a VA.
It will also show the client a level of professionalism that not all Virtual Assistants provide. Get yours in place today, so you will be ready when that next client comes along! A paid membership in CAVA includes access to all kinds of forms and documents, including a contract (and tons of other benefits too!)
If you are setting up your Virtual Assistant business and want more information about what you need to have in place to do it right, download our free Start Your VA Business checklist here. You will also get a complimentary Community membership in CAVA so you can see what we are all about.
About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.