A project contract template is a standard form or outline that includes all of the information you will need in a contract, which you can simply fill in when needed. Project contract templates are especially useful if you work with project contracts on a regular basis. They won’t require you to draft an entirely new contract with every new project, and you won’t have to search online and pay for one of your liking.

It can be difficult, however, to know what exactly to include in your project contract template. That’s why we’ve created these easy-to-follow steps to help you write a project contract template.

Step 1: Identify everyone involved

Identify all the names of the parties involved in the project. This will most likely be you (as a contractor or your business), and your client. In this opening paragraph of your project contract, you will want to include the following:

  • both party’s names
  • titles (such as manager, general contractor, client, etc.) of each party
  • both party’s addresses
  • the date the contract is effective

Step 2: Describe the scope of the work

This step is one of the most important steps to creating a project contract. Everything drafted here should be explicitly clear, succinct, and understandable.

This section of your project contract is a detailed description of what work is going to be performed. It should describe what each specific party of the contract will do to properly execute the project. If done correctly, you will be able to understand exactly what is expected of you and your team from just this section of your contract.

This section may be longer than others, so consider organizing the scope of work into bullet points or separate paragraphs. However you write it, make sure that it is easy to understand.

Step 3: Describe the schedule and timing of the project

Here, you will want to state the start and end dates of the project. Include the month, day, and year for both the start and completion dates.

You may want to include a clause that protects you in the event of a delayed project when circumstances are outside of your control.

For example, the Force Majeure clause protects projects and provides liability for delays beyond your control.

Step 4: Specify payment terms

Payments can be tricky, especially for projects of larger sizes. In this section of your project contract, be sure to include:

  • the amount of money owed for deliverance of your services
  • the deposit (if any) required before you begin
  • the schedule of payments (if applicable) with coinciding amounts
  • the maximum number of days allowed after a project is finished before payment is due
  • how (and if) you will provide a receipt
  • statement acknowledging the payment amount will not be changed

Step 5: Determine how to resolve disagreements

Disagreements are bound to happen, so it is important that you are prepared to face them. This part of your project contract should explain how both parties in the contract plan to resolve disputes relating to the project.

Look into the Alternative Dispute Resolution Clause (ADR), also known as the Dispute Resolution Clause, which is a clause explaining how disputes will be handled between a contractor and client.

The World Bank Group gives examples of well-written ADR clauses that you can consult.

Step 6: Decide if you need a termination clause

A termination clause is a way for both you and your client to prematurely and legally end the contract, if needed. There are two types of termination clauses:

  • Termination for Cause- This clause is usually used when one of the parties fails to perform the terms of the contract. This clause is usually used when one of the parties fails to perform the terms of the contract. Under this clause, the contract will be terminated due to failed performance requirements.
  • Termination for Convenience- This clause allows the contract to be terminated at any time and for any reason. The parties involved in the contract will still be paid, however, and the clause will usually calculate the amount that the parties will owe. It is always safe to include this type of clause in your contract, even if you do not think you will need it. Figure out which clause is best for you and your circumstances, and then decide what to include in your contract.

Step 7: Decide if you need an indemnification clause

An indemnification clause reduces risk and financially protects both parties of the contract. It will allocate risk and liability between the parties, as well. This clause is important to include, especially if you are a contractor, because it will protect you from being financially responsible for the entirety of a claim.

Contract Standards gives a great example of how to write an indemnification clause.

Step 8: Provide a warranty or guarantee

A warranty or guarantee provides your client with a guarantee for the work preformed on the project, which states that the contractor or subcontractor will repair any damages or degradation of work at no additional charge, within an agreed upon time-frame.

Establishing a warranty or guarantee in your project contract will boost your reputation and sales as a contractor and provide reassurance and comfort to your clients.

Step 9: Sign and date

The last step of writing a project contract template is to include a place for all parties to sign and date the contract. Though the signatures indicate that all parties understand and accept the terms and conditions of the contract, it is also smart to include one last sentence noting that all parties understand the terms and conditions and will follow them under your state’s laws.

With each signature be sure to include the written name of the parties and the date the contract was signed.

As with every contract, it is never a bad idea to consult with a legal representative to make sure your contract is understandable and binding. Consider reaching out to a legal representative to ensure that your contract meets all legal and professional standards.