It`s just good business practice to have some type of contract in place with your clients. Go to FormNet which is located on www.entrepreneur.com. It has lots of free forms to download. This will give you a great place to start.
Yes, a contract sounds like a great idea, not only for legal protection but also so that each party has the exact same copy of the specifics of the work that will be performed....and also for legal protection and let`s not forget legal protection!!
Here is something that I used when I had my other business. It was a few paragraphs that I add to the end of a proposal:
We require a XX% deposit via certified cheque or money order [or other method of payment] upon agreement for this project. Once the site is approved and uploaded to our internet servers, the balance will be paid through automatic bank debts as follows:
of the total amount paid the first day of month following the upload;
an additional XX% on the first day of the next month and;
the final XX% on the first day of the next month.
Quotations are good for 30 days and do not include any applicable taxes. Site maintenance and hosting is charged monthly, deducted via automatic debts from a designated bank account.
Authorization to Proceed
I agree to the terms in the above proposal for the following projects (check all that apply):
Project One: XXXX
Project Two: XXXX
Project Three: XXXX
Project Four: XXXX
and grant authorization to proceed in accordance with these terms.
[Client’s Name and Signature]