Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by nboeger4, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. nboeger4

    nboeger4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    so im going to get everyone on a signed contract this year. however i dont know what is needed to be a legal document. i was going to see if anyone didnt mind to share with me there contract so i can start getting things signed for this year.

    TREEGUARD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    just make up a list of services that your company performs as well as you terms of service. price it up & have the customer sign it that's all you need.
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    And, the week after getting it signed, hang out your shingle announcing legal services, work as a lawyer on the side, create contracts and get them signed for all manner of service offerings and financial transactions. When any problem arises, simply go to court to defend your client. I hear the financial rewards for legal work is much better than mowing grass.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Contracts mean very little, the only time they hold water is IF you have to take someone to cort.... then you can't make them pay.....
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    no offense meant, but you have no clue what you are talking about.

    Contracts can cover YOUR arse as well as the customers b/c it shows the customer:
    1. scope of work - what u are & hence what you aren't going to do (If mrs. smith says why didn't you trim my hedges you can say..look at the contract).

    2. start & completion dates - When Mrs. Smith asks why you haven't showed up yet you can say...look at the contract

    3. cost of work - When Mrs. Smith asks why she got charged so much you can say...look at the contract.

    4. additional costs - When Mrs. Smith asks why she got charged to perform a leaf cleanup you can say...look at the contract.

    5. payments terms - This provides Mrs. Smith with payment information like deposits, when she should expect a bill, and how long she has to pay the invoice. It also spells out what happens if she doesn't pay (i.e. work stoppage, late/finance fees)

    6. Contact info - Mrs. Smith can't claim she tried getting a hold of you and couldn't b/c your physical address, phone, fax, and email are all plainly visible.

    I have yet had to take someone to court. Once I showed up at the guys doorstep as he was loading the moving van...he paid on the spot. Another one owed a balance on the bill and refused to pay b/c they claimed we weren't done. I sent them a certified letter and cc'd my attorney threatening to take them to court...I provided another copy of the contract in which their initials and signatures were all over it and highlighted what we were supposed to do and did...we were paid in less than a week. The third and final one was this year. We stopped showing up because the guy owed us more than 500 dollars AND he was over 45 days past due. He said he wasn't paying b/c he had to go get someone else to do the work and that cost him money. I immediately got on the phone with my attorney and we sent a copy of the contract and highlighted the section that says there will be a work stoppage if the overdue balance exceeds $500.00 OR he is more than 45 days past due...he was both. After a few letters we were paid within a few weeks.

    I have YET to have to walk into a courtroom. However, I spent $300.00 to have my attorney write up a contract that was specific to what my needs are. I also spoke/speak with my attorney to verify what the maximum fees that I could legally charge my customers.


    I HIGHLY advise speaking with a reputably attorney and accountant. Some of the advise on this site regarding the matter of contracts is just plain ol' silly!!!
  6. nboeger4

    nboeger4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    ya i think thats what im going to have to do. but thanks for everyones help.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    If your putting all that info in a contract, you need help my friend,
    that goes on the bid... No point in doubleing your work load and making things confussing.

    the contract states per accepted bid.
    I'm sorry to say if You paid 300.00 for an attrney I hope you took lub with you.
    that was Just dumb.
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    First, I'm not your friend.

    Second, in NJ its requried by law to have a lot of the information (and more) that I stated in the contract for any type of home improvement work over the value of $500.00. Now, it is NOT required to have that for lawn maintenance work but if you already have it for one why not use it for another?

    Third...I need to try and understand your logic, cause its not adding up. I type up one contract. You type up a "bid" and proceed to follow that up with a "contract". So let me get this straight; I send one document and you send two but I'm the one that is, and I quote "...doubling your workload and making things confussing."?? Please explain, I have to hear about this one:laugh:

    Fourth, how the heck is spending $300 for an attorney dumb? I spent close to a grand for each of my closing on my homes and then 500 or so on my wife and I's living wills, is that dumb also? Again, I need an explanation. Could I have gotten it a little cheaper, ya probablly closer to $200. Heck, I probablly could have went to staples and bought a contract form packet for ten bucks. However, with the commercial plowing/salting and landscape/hardscape installs with warranties I felt a lot more comfortable getting my legal advice from someone who does it for a living and has the resources to answer all the questions I had when drafting my contract for him to review/revise.
  9. Scgentlman1

    Scgentlman1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

  10. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I used to do some consulting in Jersey,,,,,,,, most of us are NOT there, and there's a reason for that....:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

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