Consultant contract

Individual in any field: short version
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This consultant contract is for use by an individual consultant working with large or small clients on any work. It is a short version drawn primarily to protect you, the consultant. It is intended for situations where your work or your clients make it difficult or inappropriate to propose a long form contract. Use too, when the consultancy work is likely to be continuous over a period of time but where you do not wish to be an employee. It is drawn to be acceptable to a client but strongly protects the consultant.
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About this consultancy contract

We have two agreements for an individual consultant: this and Consultant contract: single consultant.  This is a short version of the other. We have stripped out some of the detailed provisions which you may not need in less formal circumstances. This contract is suitable to use in any industry to establish your status as a consultant, as against that of an employee. The fact that the agreement comes from you and is not your client’s document, may assist in any argument with Irish Tax and Customs as to your status. As you see from the subject list below, this agreement also provides full legal protection.

This short consultant contract is intended for a consultant in any line of business. It will be used most frequently by IT consultants, but can be applied very simply to HR, engineering, health and safety, environment, or any other industry.

This agreement is suitable for a single, fully described work assignment. This could be a standard “product”, such as a service in recruitment, Internet marketing, running a sports course or preparing a tax return. Details would be on your website but you would not take orders or money via your website. The consultancy contract refers to an “Assignment”, but you will probably prefer to give your service or product a name.

Of course your industry sector affects the work you do. But this is a legal document, not a specification for your work. This contract is for an individual consultant to present to any client as his contract. See below for alternative consultancy contracts. It may be edited either by you before you submit it, or in negotiation with your client. It is drawn to protect you, the consultant, but should also be acceptable to your clients.

The consultancy contract provides for the specification of work to be placed in a schedule to this agreement on the first time it is used. All later assignments of work will automatically be subject to this contract.

There are options in several areas, notably contract summary, payment systems and working arrangements.

Key features

  • Ease of use (as always with Net Lawman documents)
  • Coverage of essential legal areas
  • Practical business provisions
  • No requirement for you be your own lawyer

The law in this consultant’s agreement

There is little statute law in this consultant agreement. It depends on basic contract law and tort.

Alternatives to this consultant’s agreement

Net Lawman publishes three types of consultant contract:

  • for a corporate consultant to offer to its client
  • for a single consultant working alone or with colleagues or sub-contractors (like this one)
  • for the client of a consultant to offer to a consultant, to protect his own interest

Each of these three is available in three versions:

  • for IT consultants;
  • for HR consultants;
  • and for any other.

The IT and HR versions contain more provisions relating to aspects of IT and HR, but the legal framework is the same in all.

You can see the full selection at Consultancy agreements.

Contents of this agreement

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Preliminary legal matters
  • Consultant's status
  • Consultant’s fees and expenses
  • Work to be done
  • Confidentiality
  • Intellectual property
  • Option for no competition (if your client insists)
  • Limitation of your liability
  • Duration and termination
  • Other legal provisions
  • Miscellaneous matters

Over 1,600 words of helpful and informative drafting notes.

Reviews of this document
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Recent reviews
Conor O Callaghan
17 January 2022
Very convenient way to get a complex document sorted for your business.
David McLoughlin
15 September 2020
Just what I was looking for. Straight-forward to-the-point document.
Nick Heeney
01 March 2015
I found the document very helpful although a bit long .
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