How to Write a Consulting Contract
Consultants perform a number of services for people or organizations that hire them. Before a consultant is hired,
they often create and execute a consulting contract, which lays out the duties of all the parties involved.
In order to create an effective consulting contract, you will have to understand your state's contract law,
contemplate the contract, write the contract, then execute the contract. Follow the steps in this article and
adapt where necessary in order to create the best consulting contract possible.
Determine whether you have the need for a consulting contract. A contract is a legally enforceable agreement.
You will write a consulting contract if you are looking to hire a consultant or if you are a consultant looking
to be hired. A consultant is someone who provides professional or expert advice.
Determine whether you have the ability to enter into a consulting contract. You will need to decide if you
have the legal capacity to enter into a valid contract, which involves knowing what you are getting yourself
into by entering into the agreement. Also, you will want to know what is needed to create a legally binding
contract. Those requirements include:
• An offer
• Valid consideration
• Mutual assent and
• A legal purpose
Ensure the terms and provisions you want to put in your contract comply with your state's laws. Contract law
is always going to be state law, so you will need to make sure you meet your state's requirements. For example,
some states have strict laws regarding liquidated damage provisions while other states allow them more freely.
Writing the Consulting Contract
Start with the basic information. This will include the title of your contract and the parties making
the agreement. When writing this section, be sure to include detailed descriptions of the parties. For example,
if the parties are people, you will include first and last names. If a party is a company, you will want to
provide the company's name, address, and tax identification number if possible.
Be sure to clearly indicate how each party to your contract will be referred to in the rest of your contract
as well (e.g., "hereinafter referred to as consultant"). Commonly, a consultant will be an individual entering
into a contract with a company looking for the consultant's services. For instance, a law firm may hire an
individual consultant who has expertise in hiring and firing practices.
Detail the consideration each party is providing. In short, clear, readable paragraphs, explain what
each party is providing under your contract. At this point, there is no need to get incredibly detailed. Most
of the time you only have to state that one party is providing consulting services and the other party is
For example, an acceptable provision may state: "The customer is of the opinion that the consultant has the
necessary qualifications, experiences and abilities to provide services to the customer. The consultant is
agreeable to providing such services to the customer on the terms and conditions set out in this agreement.
In consideration of the matters described above..." This type of language is used to ensure that the requirement
for valid consideration is met.
Define the consulting services to be performed. Specify exactly what the consultant will be required
to do under your contract. Be detailed in your specifications and include as much information as possible.
This section may start with something like this: "The customer hereby agrees to engage the consultant to
provide the customer with services consisting of (x, y, and z). The services will also include any other
tasks the parties may agree on. The consultant hereby agrees to provide such services to the customer."
Common services include litigation support, asset management, process improvement, and second opinions.
Include a compensation provision. You must decide how the consultant will get paid. Some contracts
may require periodic payments while others may require one lump sum payment at the end of the consulting.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is detailed clearly in your contract.
If paying periodically, think about including something like this: "For the services rendered by the
consultant as required by this agreement, the customer will provide compensation to the consultant of
$XX.XX per hour." If paying in one lump sum, try something like this: "The compensation will be payable upon
completion of the services."