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Please poke holes in this contract

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Thirdpete, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 236

    Hey, what's up.

    So I'm looking to move into some commercial work next year, and I know that the only way to do this is with contracts.

    What I did was come up with a list of things, ground rules almost, that I would like to have included, as well as the basics. So, if some of you with some experience could tell me some weaknesses or other parts that of the contract that may come back to bite me, that would be greatly appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  2. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156


    Looks like a good contract, presently I don't have much to add to it. But, I have a few suggestions:

    1) Possibly state that "after this writing Green Pete's Lawn Care will be referred to as the contractor/company/whatever", just gives it more flow in my mind!

    2) I think the sentence "no more frequent than weekly" should be removed completely. Why restrict yourself, if you need to cut more than once a week and do so, and the customer becomes upset about something else they can say you broke contract.

    3) "all paved areas to be edged". This may be good, and frankly I like it, but sometimes the people you're servicing don't even know what this is, or want it.... So you could be making more work for yourself?

    4) Writing complaints...May add more paperwork.

    5) Clean-up is spelled "cleen-up"...you probably noticed this already

    I want to say that I love the rest of the contract: the business license number, workers in uniforms, acts of nature, property damage....EXCELLENT!

    Hopefully this helps! An additional note you may want to have a lawyer look over your contract, they'd be your best bet for solid legal advice! Looks good, good luck with it!
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Not to offend you, and if written is the way you want to go then certainly you should do that, but not all commercial accounts require contracts, it all depends on the owner of the business being serviced.
    In my case since I'm still very new at this (only 4th year) I only have 2 commercial contracts but both are verbal and pay-per-job. Soon I want to check into possibly turning in a bid or two on a SMALL government contract but here again, the contract is theirs not mine, all I have to do is bid it and if I win it, then fulfill it...
    just my worthless three cents (yeah cuz inflation)
  4. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 236

    Thanks for the feed back.

    Good thing someone caught that "cleen" mistake. Woops.

    Regarding the "no more than once weekly," i don't want the grass hitting 4.5 inches and getting a phone call "cut the grass you're breaking contract, its over 4.5 inches tall." If nobody has had that problem, then i don't see why the sentence is necessary. But, just covering my bases.

    As far as the edging goes, it's more of my standard practice to edge every property, period. I want to walk away from that house smiling, I dont want to slip out while nobody is looking so they dont see who did it. The properties should look good. On top of that, most commercial accounts already have a clean edge, so running over them with a trimmer once a month or once every two weeks is all this entails, maybe walk behind every other month. If they don't know what it is, then they'll be happy when they find out theyre getting an extra service that their previous guy didn't do, even though its a generally accepted industry standard.

    As far as writing complaints, i don't want someone to leave a message and it accidentally get deleted, or for them to tell me while i'm working and maybe have it misheard. A simple little note that says "please blow off paved areas better" would suffice as written.

    I plan on explaining things to them in more friendly terms so as not to sound like a coniving con artist when proposing the contract. That being said, though, it was written to cover my ass more than anything else.

    Thank's for the feedback thus far, keep it coming.
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    I agree the bi-weekly frequency thing should be dropped. I would change pet droppings to animal waste and charge more than just an equipment fee, charge them to pick it up too. (For 5 extra bucks a lazy indivdual will pay it.)
    Also disclose mulch or bag, fall leaf clean up, fert. program etc, what about adjsutments for fuel, disposal etc.?
    I'd stick in an automatic renewal if they don't respond by a ceratin date.
    No fee for returned check? Here I'll upload changes I thought would make it sound better. Blue stuff I'd remove, Red are changes I made.

    Attached Files:

  6. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    I just thought of this...

    If you're doing commercial property and you're stipulating "animal waste" or "dog crap" or whatever, I can't remember the word! Chances are the company doesn't have a pet, does this mean they have to pay to have someone else's dog's mess cleaned up? Just thought I'd play devil's advocate and ask what the company may ask...

    Also, if you're drawing up a contract, and you're gonna hit all the bases, and do it really well....why not use it for residential customers too?

    We use contracts similar to yours for residential and draw up really long, very detailed contracts for commercial customers. Some company's will even draw up the contract for you and you basically have to agree to what they say...PITA! Terms are ambiguous and misleading...but you want the money right payup
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Bullet Proof just made me realize that you are going for a commercial account. I was thinking resi. I was trying to tone it down a bit as to not legalneese the customer out of there. Yep, he's right you better swallow a dictionary if going commercial to the effect of " after said weather has subsided we will immediately commence implementing the implementation procedure" Get a lawyer for this one. Fine print is an art form. :dizzy:
  8. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    my contracts have a minimum of 90 days notice for a client to cancel.
  9. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 236

    I don't do waste removal, i run it over and let the blades handle it. I was thinking of removing that anyway, since they wont have a janitor out picking up goose crap and whatnot, just let the mower handle that.

    I might leave it in there and use the contract for residential as well. I'm not looking to getting huge chains or anything, but i will be targeting a lot of franchises in the area. BP Amoco, Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, Burger King, etc. A dunkin donuts wont have excessive amounts of dog dung, so it wont be a problem.

    Thanks for the feedback thus far.

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