Some virtual assistants prefer to work only on retainer, while others use short-term and long-term contracts depending upon the client and their needs. You need to think about what services you want to provide and what terms are best for those types of services.
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Virtual Assistant Contracts

Virtual Assistant Contracts are an important part of running a successful home business.

Before you start a virtual assistant business, you want to give some thought to your terms of service and the contracts you will use. A legal contract will ensure both you and your client have the same expectations of the work you will do and the compensation you will receive. Even if you are working for a family member or friend, a good contract can prevent misunderstandings and hard feelings down the road.

There are several types of virtual assistant contracts you can choose from and what you decide to use will depend on the types of services you offer as a VA. Once you determine your services and your target market, you will design your business contracts to describe the work you will perform in detail, as well as your terms of service and compensation rates.

Some virtual assistants prefer to work only on retainer, while others use short-term and long-term contracts depending upon the client and their needs. You need to think about what services you want to provide and what terms are best for those types of services. A virtual assistant who offers web design and on-going site maintenance may prefer a long-term contract. A VA who offers general administrative services may find an hourly contract for some services fine. There are many virtual assistant contracts to choose from once you determine what is right for you and your clients.

Here are the three typical contracts Virtual Assistants use:

• Hourly - For clients who need you once or with occasional work they prefer to outsource, the hourly contract can be all you need. It should clearly state what your hourly rate is, billing increments and any minimum time requirements and advanced payments you require.

• Per Project Contracts - If you are working for a client on a specific project, particularly a one-time project, a per project contract can be a good choice. It should define the scope of the work, estimate of the time to finish the project, estimated costs and any payment terms you have in advance.

• Retainer Contracts - Many Virtual Assistants prefer to establish a long-term relationship with a client and bill them monthly in advance with a retainer agreement. This type of contract needs to clearly define the type of services you can provide and the number of hours you will be available for that client during the time period of the contract. These retainer agreements are beneficial for the VA because they provide a predictable stream of income. It is also beneficial for the client because they know you will be available to work for them for a determined number of hours, usually at a discounted rate, without the worry you will be too busy working for someone else when they need you.

Virtual assistant contracts are necessary to ensure that everyone is happy and covered in the event of any conflict. Written agreements are an important part of doing business and are just as important for a home based business. It is important that all aspects of the work you will perform be clear to both parties and the proper forms signed before beginning work. Fortunately there are contracts that have been created for those who want to become a virtual assistant.


Jan Harris is a veteran administrative professional with over 20 years of experience and currently works at home as a Virtual Assistant. To learn more about Virtual Assistant Contracts and starting your own business visit Virtual Assistants Guide

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