Having written agreements with your clients creates legal protection for both parties, outlines expectations and provides customer service.
You should never go into any business transaction without some written documentation to help guide the relationship.
I’m going to walk you through a checklist process of how to sketch out what a main services contract should include for your business BUT YOU ARE NOT TO USE IT WITHOUT LAWYER REVIEW. You could end up drafting it against yourself, polarizing clients or simply believing it was legit and when times comes…it just is …not.
After working with thousands of photographers, I understand what industry standards exist and the general methods of business. That is why I am able to provide done-for-you contract template forms and the checklists below.
However, each one of you probably has a desire for how your business is to be run. I want you to start first with these few questions:
How do I want to run my business?
- Do I want payment all up front? If not, how much and when?
- What products do I want to include?
- How much do I want to charge for clients to book me? Is that initial fee going to be refundable?
- Do I want to require remaining balances to be paid before delivery of service/product or after?
- How long after session/event will I have the gallery ready?
- Do I have a reliable team members?
- Is there anything I’ve learned in social media groups that I want to adapt?
- Is there anything I’ve seen in social media groups that I want to avoid?
What legal information do I need?
The framework of the written contract should include these areas:
- Name of the client(s)
- Address of the client(s)
- Legal name of your business and entity
- Address of your business
- Description of the services and/or products to be provided
- The amount and method of compensation in exchange for services and/or products
- If applicable, Location(s) details – date, time and venue(s)
- Signatures of client(s)
- Signature of your business representative
Legal miscellany should include:
- Failure to perform
- Dispute resolution method
- Attorneys fees for contract enforcement
- Dispute resolution geographical location
- Governing law
- Force majuere
Services contract specifics should include:
- non-refundable initial payment
- services to be rendered
- products included (if any)
- rescheduling and cancellations
- completion schedule
- delivery method of services
- standard price list
- copyright ownership
- cooperation of parties
Payment specifics should include:
- amount to be paid when
- when and amount of late fees
- payment method