Lynch Law Firm, PLLC May 27, 2015 Drafting Professional Service Contracts Austin Startup Attorney Helps With Professional Service Contracts Austin Startup Attorney Natalie Lynch can assist your startup with the negotiation and drafting of professional service agreements. Regardless of whether your Austin start up is the provider of the service or the buyer of service it is important to establish the parameters of every service agreement. For example, quality of service, delivery schedule, pricing, and deadlines must be detailed within each agreement. In the course of building your business you will be conducting business with a variety of service providers, including accountants, HR consultants, other consultants, graphic designers, and website developers. Conversely, if your company is the service provider, you need to ensure your customers have appropriate expectations regarding the provision of your services and the payments for your services. The Lynch Law Firm can assist your startup in the drafting and execution of Professional Service Contracts, tailored to your startup’s specific needs. Austin Startup Attorney’s Top Reasons to Have a Written Professional Service Agreement 1. Clarity and Communication. A written Professional Service Agreement helps to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of obligations, payment, delivery schedules, and conflict resolution. The Lynch Law Firm can assist your startup with a well-drafted Professional Service Agreements, which aids in the quality of the business relationship. 2. Good Working Relationship. Having a written Professional Service Agreement encourages goodwill and understanding between the parties. When all parties are aware of the expectations, terms, and specific requirements, the Professional Service Agreement can encourage good collaborative performance and payment. 3. Cost Reduction. Working through your company’s unique needs and creating a template regarding the provision or acquisition of services will save your company money and time in the future. If you are an acquirer of services, you can offer your standard template to service providers to quickly acquire services without consulting an attorney each time. In the instances your service provider cannot accept your service document, your company will be able to compare the terms of a service provider’s contract to those terms you have deemed acceptable. Conversely, if you are a provider of services, it is imperative that you thoughtfully draft and update your company’s Professional Services Agreement because it will be the documentation describing your relationship with each one of your clients. 4. Accounts Receivables Security. Articulating, in a countersigned document, the expectations for compensation is the best financial stability your company can provide for itself. Your Professional Services Agreement should discuss the timing of initial payments, expectations regarding expense payments, and the terms under which your start up will no longer extend services to a non-paying customer. These details assist your financial staff in planning, budgeting, and scheduling financial matters, which can be paramount to a startup 3 Common Mistakes Made With Professional Service Agreements 1. Failure to Include the Details. A Professional Service Agreement must carefully balance the vagueness and specificity within the same agreement. In some instances, a document that is too specific will scare away your customers or vendors. In other cases, it is paramount that a contract very strictly describes the remedy to contractual concerns. The balance between areas of specificity and areas of vagueness depend deeply on the nature of your company and require a talented attorney and the company’s experiences to properly draft. In the event of a breach of the contract, without clear terms and conditions, the parties could end up in a costly dispute. 2. Nonpayment or Failure to Provide the Service. Regardless of whether your startup is providing services or your startup has hired a service provider, there needs to be a provision in the Professional Service Agreement detailing the remedies for non-payment. 3. Not in Writing. Many startups fall into the trap of entering a service arrangement without a written Professional Service Agreement. The details of a “handshake” agreement are often very difficult to prove in court when the relationship deteriorates. The Lynch Law Firm can assist your startup in drafting and tailoring Professional Service Agreements for your specific needs. Natalie Lynch of the Lynch Law Firm is an Austin Startup Attorney who genuinely cares about growing ideas into viable businesses and helping with legal advice that can facilitate that growth. Natalie is your resource for review, formation, and problem solving for your next Austin consulting agreement. If you would like assistance, call Natalie at (512) 298-2346 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.