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Service Contract

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A service contract is one of the least complicated and most common types of contracts in the world. It is simply an agreement between two parties for a job or service to be performed. You can find service contracts between an employer and a freelance employee (everything from a journalist to a company that performs landscaping) or between a movie studio and a movie star, although exclusive service contracts tend to be a relic of the past.

Most service contracts are painfully simple, but just like most contracts, it can be significantly more complicated if the contract is for a large amount of money or if one of the two parties feels a need to protect itself from a possible violation of said contract. The most basic service contract simply outlines both parties involved with full names and addresses, defines the service being performed, defines the dates in which the service is to be performed by, outlines the financial obligation of the payee, the location of the service and that’s it. Both parties sign and you have yourself a legally binding service contract. Of course, most service contracts aren’t quite that simple. Let’s look at some other provisions you might find in the typical service contract.

Many service contracts will have an expanded section that defines the service being offered so that there is little to no legal wrangling when it comes to the job in question. Just like in most contracts, it tends to be these types of lengthy clarifications that pads what would be an otherwise basic contract into an encyclopedic one. If the contract is for a significantly large amount of money and there are investors or third party groups that are funding the contract, they are often spelled out clearly in the details of the contract to help deflect any financial obligation from the main party. Almost all service contracts now come with a basic paragraph discussing privacy or confidentiality if the service in question requires exposure to trade secrets or to any sensitive information that can’t be disseminated to the public at large. There can also be a paragraph outlining any sort of publicity or marketing of this project. If the project is to be kept secret, publicity or advertising would be banned, or there could be an agreement that allows one type of advertising while others could be banned.

In most service agreement contracts, there is a section outlining legal responsibility in case of an accident or death while the agreement is being executed. This is often one of the longer and more complicated parts of the contract and the one part that is often protested in court. Even basic accidents like a slip and fall or a similar situation is often highlighted here and the party drawing up the contract will often purport that they carry no fault if any accident occurs. It is often up to a judge to decide if the contract covers the particular incident that ends up occurring.

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