A virtual assistant agreement enables the parties (client and virtual assistant) to define expectations for increased accountability and legal protection. Ideally, hiring virtual assistants (VAs) facilitates improved productivity without incurring the high costs associated with in-house employees. As the U.S. Small Business Administration writes, VAs enable you to put processes in place and complete tedious daily tasks so you can focus on your main duties.
Virtual assistants also benefit from working remotely due to the increased flexibility and convenience. They can work from anywhere they want, have a more flexible schedule, and set their rates, among other perks. However, an effective client-virtual assistant relationship requires an agreement to spell out the terms and ensure they agree. If you are an employer seeking to hire a virtual assistant or a freelancer contracting your services, continue reading for more information on virtual assistant agreements, why you need them, and how to create one.
A virtual assistant agreement template provides clients (hiring parties) and virtual assistants (contractors) with a quick means of creating a contract to clarify their expectations and institute the necessary legal protections. You can download this virtual assistant contract template free, available in PDF and Word formats. The virtual assistant agreement template covers the scope of work, description of services, fees and expenses, deliverables and milestones, confidentiality, and several other essential terms of service.
A virtual assistant agreement is a document that defines the contractual relationship between a client (hiring party) and a virtual assistant (contractor). It’s usually signed at the beginning of the engagement and helps set out the expectations of each party.
For instance, using our sample virtual assistant contract, you can provide a detailed description of the services and capture the essential terms needed to clarify expectations. This helps minimize disputes that would strain your relationship and derail productivity.
A virtual assistant contract exists between the client contracting the services and the service provider, who, in this case, is a virtual assistant. Any parties can initiate the virtual assistant agreement, but they must all agree to the terms by appending their signatures before commencing the relationship.
General terminologies you might come across in a virtual assistant agreement may include:
You do not necessarily have to make a virtual assistant agreement yourself. However, if you're conversant with the details you must include, you could draft it. You can create it from scratch or use a sample virtual assistant contract for inspiration. But a legal professional should check the final draft to ensure it covers all the basics needed to protect yourself and complies with the applicable laws.
Alternatively, you can use Lawrina's virtual assistant contract template, which captures all the basic terms an agreement requires. You only need to make a few edits to customize your virtual assistant agreement form for your services.
A virtual assistant contract template can be of any length, depending on the nature of services and specific task requirements. However, below are five crucial components every template must capture.
The virtual assistant contract should clearly outline the services the virtual assistant should perform for the client. This ensures they know their expectations and that the assigned tasks match their skills.
A detailed work description also eliminates the risk of scope creep. Usually, this refers to a situation whereby the client assigns the virtual assistant additional tasks outside the initially agreed scope without consulting. With the roles and expectations agreed on beforehand, it's much easier for the virtual assistant to request compensation for additional tasks.
The virtual assistant agreement should outline specific deliverables, as vague expectations can lead to misunderstandings. Each deliverable or task should have clear schedules and deadlines, e.g., 10 hours per week or three projects per week.
The virtual assistant contract should include a non-disclosure clause. This requires the virtual assistant to commit not to disclose the client's confidential information to third parties. Usually, items that must be kept private, such as client lists and business processes, are listed.
Virtual assistant contracts should also outline the expected working hours. As much as virtual assistants work under more flexible schedules than full-time workers, a client expects them to commit to a certain amount of time per week or month.
Depending on the services provided, the client might also require the virtual assistant to be available during specific business hours. This should be indicated to ensure they’re available when clients need their services. It also enables them to manage expectations and avoid conflict.
A virtual assistant agreement should indicate the terms of payment, such as:
Reimbursement for expenses incurred while performing duties;
Overtime and bonuses; and
As an independent contractor, a virtual assistant does not enjoy the same Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protection as an employee, such as minimum wage and overtime; hence, the contract must capture clear payment terms.
Virtual assistant contracts define expectations for a smooth working relationship between clients and contractors. Clients have confidence their work will be performed as expected, while virtual assistants are assured of payment for services rendered.
A virtual assistant agreement also provides legal protection in case of a dispute. For instance, termination provisions protect a client should they decide to end the engagement for non-performance. In the same way, if the virtual assistant agreement requires the client to pay penalties for delayed payment, the assistant can take action if they breach the terms.
Other benefits of virtual assistant contracts to individual parties include:
Whether you're a client seeking to hire a virtual assistant or a freelancer contracting your services, having a virtual assistant agreement is immensely beneficial. You can create the document conveniently by downloading our free virtual assistant contract in Word format and customizing it to suit your specific services.
Agreements are vital legal documents where business relationships are involved. Whether you’re a hiring party or a contractor, a virtual assistant contract is a must-have document in most cases. However, not every engagement requires signing the contract. Here is a highlight of some of the common use cases:
Similarly, there are instances where a virtual assistant agreement might not be necessary. These include:
In addition to the task deliverables, you will want to add a section to the agreement that explains exactly when or how often you expect your virtual assistant to work for you. In this section, you may want to clarify that they are responsible for managing the entire office and therefore must work five days per week, eight hours per day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Eastern Standard Time. Or, if it is a remote or part-time position, the agreement might instead stipulate that they have to work 10 hours per week, but there are no set days of the week during which time those 10 hours must be accumulated.
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Yes, as independent contractors, virtual assistants need contracts in most cases. Virtual assistant agreements serve multiple purposes, e.g., outlining project expectations for effective service delivery. They also act as a commitment from the client to pay the assistant for the services rendered at the agreed rate and schedule. Should a client breach the terms stated in the virtual assistant contract, a contractor can commence legal action.
In most cases, the clients initiate virtual assistant agreements, but virtual assistants can also prepare the agreements. It’s a gesture of professionalism and can make their business appear more credible and trustworthy.
A virtual assistant agreement can cover as much information as necessary for a smooth engagement. There's no restriction on how long a virtual assistant contract should be as long as it covers the basics.
Below are seven essential terms you may want to include:
The main benefit of using a virtual assistant contract template is that it simplifies the preparation process. It makes it easier for anyone to create the agreement fast and cost-effectively. With a virtual assistant agreement template from a credible source such as Lawrina, you’re assured of the contract’s validity as it captures all the necessary details.