Novation agreement: transfer of service contract
Transfer a service contract between customers using this easy to use and effective novation contract. Although this novation agreement can be used to transfer any service contract, we have used the example of a transfer of website hosting services between hosting providers. Changes for other types of service agreement are very simple to make. The most common use for this agreement would be to change the parties to service contracts on the purchase of a business.
- Solicitor approved
- Plain English makes editing easy
- Guidance notes included
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About this novation agreement
Use this document to transfer one party’s rights and obligations under a service contract to another party.
This is a simple yet comprehensive agreement that can be used to novate any service contract with only minimal editing. It ensures continuity of service when the party receiving the service changes. For the purposes of providing a working example, this document has been edited to allow the transfer of a website hosting service agreement between the customers of an Internet service provider (ISP).
The consent of all three parties - the transferee, the transferor and the other contracting party - is required to effect the novation. Unless you specifically require the consent of the other contracting party (perhaps because your contract has a non-assignment clause), our assignment agreement may be an even simpler way of transferring your contract to someone else.
Why not a deed of novation?
We have a longer article titled Deeds: clearing the confusion on what a deed is, when to use one and why that explains why a deed of novation is unlikely to be required in practice.
To summarise the article, the deed format is used where one party to a contract receives no consideration. However, a novation is invariably "for value", and as such, a deed of novation confers little additional advantage.
In the unlikely event that a party agrees to novation out of pure kindness, the consideration can be entered as “one pound”, or a "peppercorn". The sum does not need to have any relation to the value of the debt being novated.
When to use this novation agreement
This document can be used to transfer any service contract to another party.
There are, of course, many uses for this agreement. Examples of when this document might be used include:
- On the sale/purchase of a business that depends on the continuation of certain services (e.g. website hosting)
- On the sale of an asset in the process of being produced or amended
The buyer of this document might be:
- The service provider, looking to make sure that the buyer of the business keeps his business with the service provider
- The buyer of the business, keen to sort out the smooth transfer of day to day operations
- The seller of the business, who wishes to make a sale as easy and therefore as attractive to a prospective buyer as possible
You should use this novation agreement, rather than an assignment agreement if all parties to the contract will agree to the change and sign the contract. Its usually easier just to get the transferring parties to sign an assignment agreement, but some contracts have non-assignment clauses that mean that novation is the only valid way of transferring the contract to someone else. If in doubt, use this agreement and obtain consent from all involved.
Agreement features and contents
- Suitable for transferring service contracts;
- Suitable when either party is resident outside the UK;
- Ensures a legal transfer as it is drawn as an agreement between all parties;
- Comprehensive provisions provide ideas for you to mould.
The novation agreement contains the following sections:
- Details of the parties;
- Indemintity clause to protect both parties from loss, damage or legal liability once the contract is transferred;
- The novation;
- Existing claims: sets out how outstanding claims against the transferor will be dealt with;
- Other usual legal provisions in plain English.
This document was written and is maintained by solicitors at Net Lawman to comply with current English law.
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By Andy Lovatt 29 April 2014
Practically perfect in every way.
By Jonathan Bell 22 June 2013
This agreement was written exactly as I like: clearly and in plain English.
The explanatory notes were helpful, without getting in the way.
The fact that this cost my organisation £18 instead of £1000's of lawyers time is all to the good.
By Riccardo Paganelli 19 May 2013
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