Lets see what some of your contract papers look like

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bigmudder77, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    If you don't want to go to an attorney and have him/her draw up a contract go to staples or another office supply store and look for a legal contract program. I have one and it has just about every kind of contract you will ever need and then some. These contracts are drawn up by a lawyer and are legal in just about any state. I have been using mine for everything I need for several years and its what I used to draw up my contracts, collection letters and they are very proffesional looking. I doubt any lawyer could do any better and the best part is that the program only costs $39.95
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Just like LCOs want to be paid to provide lawn care services to others, so too those who have been trained and have experience in writing contracts, service agreements (or whatever you wish to call them), want to be paid for their work too! Their legal education and experience in exercising their craft is worth far more than anybody following a lawn mower. Why shouldn't they be paid?
  3. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    You know Carolina Cuts contract would hold up small claims most likely believe it or not...I think some of you should sit in on small claims one time to see why NOT to pay big bucks for a lawn mowing contract...

    Or just get paid upfront each month so you're never behind...why pay a lawyer for a contract and then bill 4 weeks after services and wait another 4 weeks for your money???

    Small claims judges, they just look to see if you have some sort of paperwork...they don't try to pick it apart and look for technical loopholes....it's not a murder trial...you don't have to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt". Not the same type of court. Heck you can win without any sort of contract so long as you have some route sheets, payment stubs, etc.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I agree with it being simple but I don't want my snow plow and salting contracts to be 'simple'. I have one page that is dedicated to what we are are not responsible for.

    My lawyer added one line which I think is great, especially for commercial accounts. It basically states that whoever is signing is legally allowed to and the event anything happens they are responsible. I can't tell you how many times I've heard read about someone getting a contract with a local chain only finding themselves SOL b/c the person who signed didn't have the legal authority to do so. And I'm not sure of many commercial establishments that would allow for upfront payments...deposits yes...full payments I don't think so.
  6. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    No it wouldn't. There is no consideration (i.e. money) mentioned.
  7. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    I work for free. :cool2: cause' I like the hours.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Actually it would...and just bring along a copy of the customer's history from whatever database you are using, which would show what they pay. Whereabouts in VA are you??

    You're right LB1234 with your scenarios...that's a different ballgame entirely. But for regular residential mowing you don't need much.

    My old customers that I have 'grandfathered' in under my old billing procedures, I never let anyone get more than 2 months behind. So typically the most they would owe would be under $300, so really I see no need to have anything drawn up by a lawyer. I'm never sure what guys mean by 'contract'??? Do they want something to ensure they will get paid, or to make sure a customer can't cancel...'contract' means different things to different people.
  9. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    Wrong. A contract needs the following:

    • A meeting of the minds between the parties demonstrating they both understand and agree to the essentials of the deal
    • Consideration (something of value exchanged by each of the parties, such as cash, goods or a promise to do something)
    • An agreement to enter into the contract (typically evidenced by both parties signing a written contract, although oral contracts can be valid too in some situations)
    • The legal competence of each party, meaning the parties are not minors and are of sound mind.

    Without these things there is no written legal contract. Now you may try to convince the court that you had a verbal contract but good luck with that.
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    So for instance, if a customer signs such a contract on April 8th, and later disputes a mowing on July 26th, how do you go about proving that? See my point? The contract typically establishes that there was an agreement between both parties, and little else. And many other thing establish that same relationship...records from your database, bill stubs, phone logs, etc. I'm not implying that it's bad to have a signed agreement/contract...but a deadbeat is a deadbeat...you still will have to jump through all the hoops to get your money in the end.

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