Contract for services: self employed contractors
This is a contract for any type of work between a self employed contractor (either a sole trader or operating through a service company) and his client. Use of this contract will strengthen the proposition that the relationship is one of business service provision and not one of employment.
About this contract for services
This contract for services could be tailored for any type of work. Most likely, the contractor would be a self-employed individual, either as a sole trader, or through a company, and perhaps subcontracting some of the work. The agreement has been designed, as far as possible, to distinguish the relationship as a business one, and not one of employment.
This contract for services can be edited and reused for each new client that you win. It should be presented to new clients before work starts. If you subsequently perform more work for the same client, this contract automatically covers that work (unless you want to specify otherwise) allowing you to focus on winning and doing the work rather than agreeing contracts.
It is suitable for any service provider, including:
- Professional tradesmen such as builders, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, decorators and gardeners.
- Self employed people undertaking specific pre-defined project work, e.g. commissioned artists, or graphic designers.
But note that we do have a range of contracts tailored for specific construction industry trade as well as a large number of contracts for many other business sectors.
The law relating to contracts for services
A contract for services is a common law term and not defined by legislation.
However, a contract of service is defined in employment and tax legislation, meaning an employment contract.
If you’re self employed, you should make sure that your contract with your client as far as possible, defines your relationship as a business to business one. If HM Revenue & Customs could argue that in reality your agreement was in fact a contract of service then your client would be deemed to be your employer and be compelled to hold back your tax and National Insurance contributions under the usual PAYE rules.
It goes further than that for your client. If it could be argued that you are not self employed but rather an employee, then the client would have further costly obligations to you under employment law such as statutory holiday leave. Savvy clients are likely to reject any contract that may make them an employer. On the other hand, a well written contract for services, like this one, is likely to impart professionalism and signal that you take your business seriously as it protects your client as well as you.
A well written contract for services therefore identifies the issues that HMRC or an employment tribunal might consider and clarifies the terms of the agreement so that it would be difficult to argue that the relationship was not a contract for services. In practice, HMRC will “look through” the contract at the reality of the situation, but setting out the considerations in a contract supports a claim of self employment and ensures that both parties are clear as to how they should act to maintain the relationship as a one of service provision rather than employment.
“Over-arching” agreement designed for ongoing use to cover a series of assignments.
- Service provider to work from home or at client’s premises
- Provides a complete framework
- Reduces the chances for employer obligations to arise
- Client warranties
- the Assignments
- Fees and expenses
- Use of sub-contractors
- Disclaimers and limitation of liability
- Duration and termination
- Assignment of the contract
- Uncontrollable events (force majeure)
- Successors to the agreement
- Other miscellaneous matters
This document was written and is maintained by solicitors at Net Lawman to comply with current English law.
Buy from Net Lawman
Read what other customers thought about this document.
Reasons to buy from Net Lawman
Guaranteed to be the right document
This document comes with a full money back guarantee. You take no risk that it might not be right for your situation. Once you buy it, we’ll give you 30 days to evaluate it in any way you want. If for any reason it's not right, just e-mail us and we’ll refund your money in full immediately. Read more about our guarantee policy.
Every document is drawn by an experienced, qualified lawyer and reviewed by another - just as in any law practice. We incorporate changes to the law quickly so that our documents are up to date. Read more about how we draw our documents.
Real world experience added
As much as possible, our documents and guidance notes incorporate practical angles that only lawyers with commercial experience could include. Our drafting team have not just many years experience advising clients in practice, but also have the experience owning and managing businesses in a wide variety of industries. Our documents aim to give you an edge as well as achieving a legal outcome. Read more about the Net Lawman team.
We write our documents in language that everyone (and not just lawyers) can understand. Not only does this make your task of editing the document easier, but it also decreases the likelihood of another party breaking or disputing the agreement on the grounds of not having understood the terms. Read more about why plain English is important in legal documents.
Easy to use, even if you have no legal knowledge
Many of our customers are lawyers, but our documents don't require you to be one. Wherever it may be needed, our guidance notes explain the purpose of each paragraph, whether we recommend changing it, and what you might like to consider before you do so.
Our view is that, when editing our documents, you shouldn't have to worry about how to add legal wording. So our documents consider a far greater range of issues than our average customer will need, and because we avoid cross referencing paragraphs, we make it easy for you simply to delete what you don't need without affecting the rest of the document.
Support from lawyers if you need it
Our legal team is on hand to help customise a document in an unusual circumstances, or even to draft a document from scratch. Read more about our contract drafting service.
Buy once and reuse
When you buy a document from us, we grant you a licence to use it again. Keep the master copy safe and create new child documents from it whenever you need them. This applies to lawyers in practice as well as individuals and businesses.
Document download and delivery
Immediately after payment, you can download your document from our website. We also deliver immediately by email, but delivery is out of our hands and may take a few minutes.
Contact us about this document
If you have any questions about this document that we don't answer in the text above, please contact us and let us know how we can help. We aim to reply within 24 hours.
Leave feedback about this page
If you have noticed a bug or a mistake on this page, or just want to give us feedback, we'd love to know. Nothing is too small or too big. Send your message on this feedback page.
"If only everything was as reliable as NetLawman. We have used them on numerous occasions & they deliver without fail. Whether we require off the shelf legal documents, bespoke contracts or even ad hoc advice they are there for us. It is like having our own legal team but without the costs that this would entail. Pickaweb has no hesitation in recommending NetLawman as one of our best suppliers."Pilar Torres Wahlberg
"We use Net Lawman because it is an excellent website and always has the document you are looking for."Kemet Services International
"Better we buy the latest basic version of what we do for the clients; keeps us up to date and always gives a flying start to our draftsmanship skills."Wentworths Solicitors