What is a virtual assistant contract or agreement?
A virtual assistant contract is a legally binding agreement between a client (or business) and a virtual assistant that outlines the terms of their working relationship.
The contract will typically include things like the scope of the work to be performed, the duration of the contract, compensation details, and any other relevant terms and conditions.
The contract is a way for both parties to protect their interests and to ensure that there is a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Why do you need a virtual assistant agreement?
A signed agreement is a great way to establish clear expectations, responsibilities, and terms of compensation for the VA's services. Having a written agreement in place can help to protect both the client and the VA and ensure that the working relationship runs smoothly, and it acts as a reference point for resolving any disputes that may come up.
In addition to outlining the terms of the working relationship, a virtual assistant agreement may also include provisions related to confidentiality, data protection, and intellectual property. It may also specify the terms under which the agreement can be terminated and any applicable warranties or indemnities.
What to include in a virtual assistant agreement?
Contracts and agreements can be as complex and exhaustive as you want to make them. Here are a few high level sections that you'll want to include, and you can expand as needed:
- The scope of work: This is about the specific tasks and responsibilities that the VA will be expected to handle. Be as detailed and specific as possible to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
- Compensation: An outline of how the VA will be paid, including the rate of pay, frequency of payments, and any bonuses or incentives.
- Working hours: Explicitly stating the VA's working hours and any schedule or availability requirements.
- Termination: An outline of the terms under which the agreement can be terminated, including any notice periods and any severance pay that may be due.
- Confidentiality: The VA's obligations with respect to maintaining the confidentiality of the client's business, information, and data.
- Intellectual property: Clarity on who has ownership over any intellectual property created by the VA during the course of their work.
- Data protection: The VA's obligations with respect to protecting the client's data and ensuring compliance with relevant data protection laws and regulations.
- Warranties and indemnities: This section may include provisions related to warranties and indemnities, in which the VA agrees to indemnify the client for any losses or damages resulting from their actions or omissions.
- Dispute resolution: An outline of how any disputes or disagreements will be resolved, such as through mediation or arbitration.
These are just a high level overview and starting point. This is not legal advice and would recommend consulting with an attorney for legal advice.
What is a good cancellation policy for virtual assistants?
A good cancellation policy is fair, reasonable and clear. For virtual assistants there may be a few sections you'd want to consider:
- Notice period: The amount of notice that the client or the VA must give to the other party, before terminating the agreement. A reasonable notice period could be one or two weeks, depending on the nature and duration of the working relationship.
- Termination for cause: The circumstances under which the client or VA may terminate the agreement immediately, such as if the VA or client breaches the terms of the agreement or engages in misconduct.
- Severance pay: This should specify whether the VA is entitled to any severance pay upon termination of the agreement and, if so, the amount of the severance.
- Ongoing projects: The terms under which the VA will be compensated for any ongoing projects that are not completed at the time of termination.
Not every client relationship works out, and that's okay. Having a transparent cancellation policy in place before the engagement starts, increases the likelihood that should the relationship end, it can end on a positive note.
How can you sign a contract or agreement?
There are a number of ways to sign a contract or agreement. Hare a few digital and analog options:
- Physical signature: One of the most traditional ways to sign a document is to physically sign it with a pen. This can be done in person, or the document can be mailed or faxed to the signatory.
- Electronic signature: One of the most convenient ways to sign a document — using a service like HelloSign or DocuSign. A common form of an electronic signature is the checkbox next to “I have and agree to these terms.”
- Handwritten signature: If you are unable to physically or digitally sign a document, you may be able to provide a handwritten signature by writing your name on the document and then scanning or taking a photograph of it.
The best contract template for virtual assistants
It takes time and expertise to make your own virtual assistant contract from scratch, especially when you're a business of one. To save you some time, our lawyers drafted a legally vetted contract template for any virtual assistant to use.