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IT, Dotted and Crossed: Contracting with Consultants

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Meet the Consultants: Comparison of Company Specs

IT, Dotted and Crossed: Contracting with Consultants

A preamble generally sets the tone. It should be designed so a court or arbitrator can glean both parties' intent. The preamble should include the scope of the work and refer to any proposal submitted by the consultant.

Once your intentions are clear, define the terms and conditions of the relationship. This section will include a full description of the work to be performed and a schedule for the consultant's performance. It should detail the length of the relationship and document when work will commence. It should also include organizational matters, such as staffing and reporting.

The terms and conditions should also estimate the costs of professional services and forecast the consultant's expenses. Do not build in reimbursement for the consultant's travel and meals, which should be covered by the set fees. The consultant should periodically invoice the client for the time spent in performing services. Deduct from the payment a retainer withholding--that is, an amount of money held back until the project is complete.

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