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help with drawing up contract papers!

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by ScnicExcellence, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Ok as the title states i need help making up my contract papers i got my basic ideas of what to put in there my insurance lady is giving me some clauses to put in for protection against slip and fall and other fancy things like that.

    I need some help in explaining the blizzard clause and maybe throw me a few other clauses that could help me out. i am just starting to write it so i got some basic stuff like the time limits and the trigger set of how many inches also got the payment terms somewhat, just need to know a few things that you guys put in these things to help you out in case of fault or things that protect you. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Just dont get silly with clauses an a lengthy confusing spooky contract.

    You protect yourself and your client by purchasing and maintaining quality Liability and vehicle Insurance. Workers comp too if you have employees.

    Tell them where, when, how much, and how long. Tell them you'll fix and handle stuff you break thats your fault.

    Your main concern is getting them to sign and agree to pay you for services rendered, for a set price, for specific work..

    To this day I dont know a snow contractor thats been sued for slip and fall and thats because they rarely win those cases against snow and ice, and there are far far fewer cases than you think and are rumoured.

    Dont worry about slips and falls. Worry about getting paid.
  3. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    so i should focus on the payment terms and the services i provide and how i will provide those services and how i will collect the payment.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  5. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Grandviews deal is nice and simple.

    Heres the body of my contract. Below this is pricing for 1.5 to 6, and 6.1 to 12. Followed by salt application price and an acceptance area for authorized signatures.

    I dont put a payment schedule on there since I already know the payment schedule for the people I work with.

    We propose to perform the service of Snow, and Ice Management at the above address for the prices stated below, in a timely, safe fashion, for the effective dates listed. By submitting this proposal, if it is accepted, we will be responsible for all damages caused by us while executing the services requested and agreed upon. Previous / Existing damage will be noted below. We will or have provided you with our Insurance Certificates. Owner(s) of service property are carrying necessary insurance. The below prices are for a complete job to include driveways, parking lots, walkways, entrances and exits unless otherwise specified. Return post storm cleanup visits are also included. All services are guaranteed, but we are not responsible for delays beyond our control, or excessive weather causing a delay in service. Snow removal will be performed only after an accumulation of 1.5” Ice Management, if ordered will be performed as needed and at the discretion of XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX, or as specified. Snowfall amounts will be measured by us, on site, and will not be determined by weather or news broadcasts. We of course will be fair, and reasonable in determining these snowfall amounts. Thank you for choosing XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX as your Snow Service Provider!
  6. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    This is my copy of what i have come up with
    i had to delete my header of my company name to get it into the correct size.

    Let me know what you guys think.

    Attached Files:

  7. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Im sorry brother, but thats a confusing agreement you have there.
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    yeah i have 10 page contracts that are easier to follow
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Some of that looks familiar.:D Keep it simple,either your seasonal and everything is included or everything you do is billable. In snowplowing you really don't need to offer discounts people will pay for it.

    PD payed is spelled paid.
  10. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    +1, my head is still spinning.

    Ok, time for the contrarian view.
    for snow or pasture work:

    Estimates from me are written, in paragraph form, with some list items (if they have more than one property). How we do places may vary from client to client for their needs. Or, I meet with them and we discuss.

    Acceptance is via a phone call or a handshake.

    The billing goes out with invoices, the invoices have the details of how payment should be made. (net 10, 3%penalty/30)

    That's it.

    In 6 years in business, I've had one person not pay (for $150, pissed me off but what are you going to do?)

    I don't want to do business with people who require thousands of pages of legalese BS. Every time I've done business with someone who wants a contract they turn out to be a total PITA.

    If I break something, I tell the customer and I fix it. When I'm done with something I send a bill, they mail a check.

    When I get up to a couple million a year, this may not work. But right now at a couple hundred thousand in billings a year, it works fine.

    Many of you guys are overthinking this IMHO
  11. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    thank you for the input. The reason why i am going to use a contract and not do things on word of mouth, this way i am covered if something happens. If they decide to cancel me because someone offered a cheaper rate, i am still budgeted off of their deposit.

    Also this contract will help me keep things organized, i am not very organized and with this it will help me keep track of what has come in and what i need to do for it.
  12. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    I was talking with my insurance agent a while back i believe she had some contracts that i had to pick one of them from her as well to go along with what i draw up. i will contact her tomorrow to see these contracts, they are for the slip and fall and accidents and damage to property and such things. once i talk to her i will put up here what i have decided to go with.
  13. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    this is something I WOULD NOT give to a customer and sign.
    It looks more likely to hurt you than help yo u snow.
    the damages clause seems like it could be written more in your favor rather than complelty in the customers best interest..
    did you run this by a lawyer before you started using it?
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    not sure about over thinking but i do think people need to realize having a contract can also HURT you and not just help you.
  15. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i kind of like it. you need some protect your ass lingo added in now../
  16. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Yeah i am going to the insurance agent tomorrow for her to add what she needs to add. The extra pages of legal lingo will be added and the customer will have to sign off on each paper used.
  17. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Ok so any help on this protection lingo legal cr@p if someone could add some for me or give me some pointers.
    I am going to write some up and post them but the help would be greatly appreciated.
  18. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Remember the more you put in the more documentation you need so you have to have records of everything you do . If you go to court the judge will want to look at the contract first.
  19. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    No. How can it hurt me. The bottom line is you can put all the disclaimers you want in your contracts, and it doesn't mean bumpkis.

    If someones disatisfied....you're going to make it right and work it out like reasonable people. If something goes wrong there and they want to or you want to sue....fine. Thats wha=ere it goes. Then a judge figures it out.

    If theres a damage claim beyond my folding money then it goes to my insurance man.

    I just need to know you want the serviced performed, and this is what it
    will cost, and thats all.

    The rest is either implied, understood, or we'll figure it out if something goes wrong.

    It may seem like these simple agreements leave you open, and bvulnerable, but I just dont see it. Im as legal as a beagel, insured up the ying yang, and work for established reasonable management companies, etc.
  20. Double C

    Double C Member
    from Montana
    Messages: 41

    A simple indemnification may not be a bad idea

    Indemnification: xxxThemxxx shall indemnify and hold xxxyouxxx, and the property of the xxxyouxxx, free and harmless from any and all claims, liability, loss, damage, or expenses resulting from occupation during the snow removal and use of the Property.