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Agreements/Contracts & Invoice Samples.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by osmann_lawn, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I have an agreement for mowing. My mowing agreement includes language stating that spring and fall cleanups are part of the agreement. For other maintenance type jobs for regular customers I will often just go off a verbal estimate and approval. For one timers I have estimate forms I buy at Staples if it's something I can figure out quickly while at the estimate meeting. I can also generate an estimate on Quickbooks and mail or e-mail it. For jobs that fall in the home improvement category (landscaping) they get a full written contract, as required by state law, including all the required language and a 72 hour cancellation clause. I don't do contracts for plowing but instead include the details of my terms on the invoice. With the exception of one factory lot, all of my plowing accounts are residential so a contract isn't required.
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,657

    That's 10 responses and not one has posted his contract and I sure as hell am not going to break that trend. That info its very valuable and it has evolved from the simple contract I was given from my former boss 10 years ago to what it is now. As things become issues you will find your self rewriting clauses. But the basic contract has all payment rules and obligations on the back and what it is we provide on the front. Ours allows them to check of boxes for fall or spring clean ups we include our hourly rates on the contract and I do about 100 fall clean ups per year so 60 per man hour doesn't scare them.

    For the basic outline since its a mowing contract you would have your name and mailing address at the top followed by your License #s. Then a paragraph or 2 on your mowing (you might want to lay down the law early as to scheduling and point out you not they pick the days) Then a few options weekly bi weekly if you offer it bagged if you offer it Other is also good so you can fill in special requests an example might be blowing off a parking lot once a month or mowing the back 3 acres of a horse farm on request on one of ours. Then spring and fall clean up descriptions with boxes or lines to check off. You may want to allow them to check off for mulch of seeding that's your call then comes the important part their name their signature there address their billing address if different their phone number there cell or work number.

    We type ours up on the computer save the file and go to our print shop and he opens it and makes the new contracts and in the last 9 years we have probably altered the contract 7 times.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah, my terms and conditions on the back of mine keep getting longer, lol. There's language in there now relating to us not being responsible for personal items left in the lawn after a customer wanted me to pay for their prescription sunglasses they left in the grass next to their lawn chair that I found with my mower...what the hell was that....

    For the OP, I also include the right to charge an excessive growth surcharge if the lawn gets out of control for reasons beyond our control. There's language that we do not guarantee appearance on a particular day after I had a customer refuse payment because the lawn wasn't mowed before the weekend, lol. An important one is that the price is based on the current state of the turf and landscape and that changes may affect price.

    It's important to make your agreement balanced. Include both what the customer can expect of you and what you expect of the customer. I'll share a little of my language from the front. I don't have that document on this puter so I'll retype it quik

    All turf areas will be mowed on average every 7 days during the growing season from April 15th thru Oct 15th (up to 26 mowings). The mowing frequency may change depending on the growth rate of your particular lawn and weather conditions throughout the season. The cutting height of the turf is to be determined by us according to the turf species and local condtions during the growing season. Mowing height may be adjusted upon request. Note: bold added for emphasis here only...it's not in my agreement.

    In conjunction with each mowing, yada yada yada....All driveways sidewalks, streets and patio areas will be cleared of any debris resulting from any contracted services. ​

    The most common problems I have with customers is that some want to control when you mow and at what height. I think it's important to state that those are things that YOU, not they control, but to include language indicating that you will try to accomodate their preferences.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  4. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    My general terms section keeps getting longer too. It has clauses about cutting height, frequency, people leaving things in the lawn, low limbs, billing procedure, overdue terms, etc. As you get more customers they will do things you don't like and you will add that to your agreement. It took a long time to make mine as well, I found a few general examples online, a couple more specific ones, and just put all that together how I wanted and added the things I knew I wanted. Just start making notes when you think of something and before long you will have enough to get started.
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  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    One quick note: You have to make sure that anything in your terms is legal in your state...for instance you can't charge people a $500 late fee or 35% interest.

    I also have a clause in mine that says "If any provisions of this Agreement shall be held invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable.

    Be sure to include some language on cancellation, withholding service for overdue balances and your billing terms. I have a $25 return check fee in there too (for any and all reasons).

    Might wanna budget some money for an attorney and an accountant to look things over.

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