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Updated 23.05.2024

Contract for consultant at hourly rate

A private or professional consultant provides services on a regular basis or on request, and charges an hourly rate.

Use this contract:

  • To provide intangible services and advice of all kinds, either face-to-face or remotely.
  • When the services are performed with complete flexibility and independence, subject to the customer’s general instructions and requests.
  • Where the services relate to a specific project or are to be provided on a repetitive or ongoing basis.
  • If you wish to invoice the services at the standard hourly rate or according to staff seniority.
  • Whether the customer is based in Switzerland or abroad, and whether they are a private individual or a company.

10€/document

TRY BEFORE BUY

This agreement is governed by Swiss law and complies with the Code of Obligations

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Protect yourself legally as a consultant with the following options: 

  • Invoicing of fees according to staff seniority, annual indexation, and advance guarantee retainer. 
  • Indication of costs to be invoiced in addition, on an actual basis, at a flat rate or as a percentage of fees. 
  • Limitation of liability to the amount of fees paid and imposition of a short claims period for the client. 
  • Authorisation to delegate, represent and sign on behalf of the client. 
  • Reservation of the intellectual property created and the right to use it, even by assigning it to the client. 

Safeguard your interests as a customer by using the following clauses: 

  • Clear indication of how fees are calculated, billing period and due dates. 
  • Capping of charges that may be invoiced in addition to fees, and clear indication of VAT to be invoiced. 
  • Clear deadlines for the consultant’s reports and an extended period for acceptance and inspection of services. 
  • Firm prohibition on subcontracting, non-disclosure, non-poaching and non-competition, even after the contract has ended. 
  • Unequivocal treatment of the transfer and use of intellectual property created and protection of confidential information. 

Contract for consulting services 

A consultant agreement template allows you to draft a legal document signed between a client and a consultant to outline the scope of services, remuneration, and respective liabilities of parties. With this sample, it’s possible to provide one-off or recurring advisory services while mitigating liability and guaranteeing the payment of the fees.

A service company uses a consulting contract template: 

  • To provide consulting services of any kind (for example: accounting, advisory, technical expertise, or marketing research).
  • To provide services in view of a defined project or on an ongoing recurrent basis.
  • To create a legal agreement outlining all services, duties, responsibilities, and liability of the consultant.

Key aspects of a contract for consulting services 

  • This template is principally used by a company or registered business to provide immaterial services, on premises or remotely. 
  • The document should openly lay out the scope of services, the calculation of hourly fees and costs, as well as the start and termination of the agreement. 
  • In particular cases, clients expect a restriction on any act of solicitation or competition, non-delegation, and non-disclosure of confidential information. 
  • In others, the consultant is free to perform their duties without limitations, subject to diligent accomplishment of assignments. 

Eight tips on a contract for consulting services 

To protect your legal interests as a professional consultant, we recommend that you select from the following possibilities: 

  • Unambiguous definition of ancillary costs, VAT, and how the hourly fees shall be calculated. 
  • Additional rights to represent the client and act on their behalf, to outsource all or part of services, to compete, and to use created intellectual property. 
  • Strict limitations on the amount of liability, shortened review, and acceptance periods. 
  • Retainer guarantee, default interest, reminder fee, and termination of agreement for default of payment. 

The consulting services agreement may protect and give advantages to the client as well, for example: 

  • Prohibition of competition, solicitation, or any other act that could cause a conflict of interest or be damaging to the client. 
  • Option to include all costs and taxes in the fees for services. 
  • Exclusive rights to any created intellectual property without additional remuneration. 
  • Implementation of specific technical or organisational measures to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information. 

Create a contract for consulting services with AdminTech 

With AdminTech’s online document builder and a contract for consulting services, simply fill in the fields with the required information, and the document shall automatically adjust to your specific needs. 

A professional consulting services contract template includes the following information:  

  • Parties’ name and identification 
  • Scope of services, responsibilities, and review periods 
  • Term of agreement and notice of termination 
  • Rebilling of taxes, expenses, and ancillary costs 
  • Retainer guarantee, termination for default, and limitations of liability 
  • Restrictive covenants and non-disclosure provisions 
  • Transfer and ownership of intellectual property. 

FAQ on a contract for consulting services 

What’s an independent consulting contract?  

An hourly consulting agreement from AdminTech offers parties the opportunity to create a professional document for collaboration with consultants, providing greater flexibility compared to hiring employees. This simple consulting agreement template is made by a lawyer and complies with Swiss law. 

Should a consultant contract be made in written form? 

While consulting may be legally binding even through an oral agreement, we recommend that you draft a professional consulting contract template for the following reasons: 

  • To document the parties’ terms, scope, purpose, and intentions 
  • To establish clear legal titles determining all fees, expenses, and taxes for reporting purposes. 
  • To avoid ambiguity in long-lasting consulting agreements. 

How many weekly hours can a consultant work? 

In Swiss legislation, there is no legal limitation on the amount of working hours for an independent consultant. Despite a commitment of minimum or estimated weekly hours being possible in the consultant agreement template, the consultant is free to define their timetable. 

How is the consultant remunerated?  

In a consulting services agreement, the consultant is remunerated at an hourly fee, which may be fixed or depend on the seniority of staff employed to act under the consultant’s supervision. 

What is the indexation of fees?  

In some types of consulting business such as, for example, professional tax advisory, the hourly fee is increased by a fixed percentage every year, to offset inflation and accommodate the gradually increasing complexity of work. This practice, generally accepted as indexation fees, can be selected in our consultant agreement template. 

What is the difference between an employee and a consultant? 

A consultant may not necessarily be a business or a company, but self-employed. The main distinction from an employment contract lies in the absence of direct subordination and economic dependency. A self-employed consultant would usually: 

  • Service multiple customers at a time 
  • Define the working timetable without restrictions 
  • Employ staff, hire subcontractors, and assume fixed costs.  

Is the consultant liable for outsourced services? 

Violation of restriction to outsource is a sufficient motive for damage claims. In the consulting agreement example, the client may restrict or allow this, in which case the consultant is liable for any negligence of employees or subcontractors as if they were that of the consultant. 

How can a consultant agreement be terminated? 

In our consulting contract template, you may select a permanent option, subject to a termination notice, or a fixed-term option, in which case the agreement expires automatically. All work done up to termination should be remunerated. 

What compensation is the client entitled to? 

A consultant must perform services in a professional and diligent manner, to the best of their ability. Although there is no guarantee for the result, the client may claim damages in case of fault or negligence in the accomplishment of the consulting services. 

How can consultants ensure a successful cooperation experience? 

To ensure a successful consulting experience, it is generally advisable to: 

  • Outline the start and termination notices of consulting cooperation. 
  • Clarify responsibilities and rights for representation, outsourcing, and competition. 
  • Define the calculation of the fees, indexation, rebilling of taxes and costs, as well as a retainer amount. 
  • Create a professional consulting agreement based on our sample. 
  • Specify limitations on liability, submission, and review notice, as well as penalties for violation. 
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Draft your legally binding contract for consulting services with the AdminTech online document builder.