Client Agreements2024-01-19T01:53:29+00:00

Client Agreements

This area of infrastructure deals with the relationship with your clients and it’s one of the most important parts of your legal infrastructure. As service providers, the most important business asset is the relationship you have with your clients. And your client contracts are the written representation of those relationships, so they need special attention.

To have a good relationship with your client, you need a good client contract. It can be the difference between a mediocre, short-term relationship and a trusting, honest and long-term relationship.

Request Our Free Download: Client Service Agreement Checklist

This Client Service Agreement Checklist will help you make sure yours contain all of the important components that help maintain a long-lasting relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I call my client agreement?

What you call your client agreement can depend on your industry norms or it could depend on the type of service you are providing. Below are some common names for client agreements: Engagement Agreement, Client Services Agreement, Master Services Agreement (with a Scope of Work), or Professional Service Contract.

What type of service agreement do I need to use?

It depends on your service and it depends on the relationship. If it’s just a one-off type of service, you can use a contract that deals with that limited time period. If you have a longer-term relationship with your clients where they hire you again and again for your services, you may consider a “master” agreement and each engagement has its own “scope of work” attachment. In all service agreements, you should consider the impression it makes on your clients.

Why do I need a client agreement at all?

There are so many reasons why you should use a written agreement when you provide services to your clients. Here are just a few:

  • It needs to show your clients that you are a professional. It needs to establish trust between you and your client.
  • It needs to show your clients that you care about them. It needs to explain what you will be providing.
  • It needs to establish expectations and consequences. It needs to protect you.
  • It needs to protect your client. It needs to show your client that you are the right fit for them.

What should my client agreement include?

Every client agreement should have 5 parts to it: Services, Exchange, Central, Safeguard, and Connection. They don’t need to be in that order. The “Services” part explains what you will provide and how you will deliver it. The “Exchange” covers payment terms for your services as well as any other obligations the client agrees to provide. The “Central” section contains the legal bones; the magic legal language that many people refer to as boilerplate. The “Safeguard” part protects against bad behavior; it sets out the rules in case something goes wrong. And last but certainly not least, the “Connection” element of the contract that shows your unique brand and allows you to connect with your clients; it’s an opportunity to continue building a trusted relationship with your clients.

The Legal Department Client Agreements

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Focus on these specific areas in your business to build stronger legal infrastructure:

Entity Structure

The type, organization, structure, and governance of your business is the most basic aspect of your foundation.

Regulatory Compliance

Many service professionals are governed by specialized rules and regulations in addition to general regulations.

Client Relationships

Having direct, honest relationships with your clients is the key to repeat business, referrals, and long-term success.

Vendor Relationships

When you’re the client, understanding the agreement and how the relationship should work is critical.

Worker Relationships

Relationships with an employee or independent contractor need to be defined to protect your business and clients.

Owner Relationships

Without structure or guidelines to establish expectations and accountability, business partners can pose a high risk.


An important part of protecting your brand is making sure your trademark rights are in place.


Copyrights capture a broad range of things you create for your business or for your clients.

Check out our journal posts below for more information on this topic:

Here’s what our clients are saying:

“For years, I have been using a “standard” contract put together by my union. Laurie showed me all the places where I wasn’t protected, rewrote my contract, and now I feel confident in presenting it to my prospective clients.”

Diane Faulkner, Full Circle Press

“Every business owner keeps a list of quality solution providers. They are our go-to firm for all legal matters.”

Mike Sperry , Sperry Software

“I had to create both Employee Agreements and Customer Service Agreements customized for our business. The Legal Department met and exceeded our needs. It is also great and a relief to know that I have a legal team backing us.”

Orland Ruiz, JeePee’s Saw

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