my contract or theirs

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Buffalo1, May 20, 2002.

  1. Buffalo1

    Buffalo1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I work alone as a sole proprietor, I serviced a commercial property on a handshake instead of a written contract (my mistake) 6 weeks ago; I gave the site manager an invoice for the job with terms of net 10. I still haven't been paid and received a call today from the main office (after I filed complaints) stating that they require contracts for all services and I must sign a contract with them for the services I performed, with their terms in order to get paid.
    And, oh by the way, the person who hired me was relieved for making numerous handshake deals and creating an unpaid invoice backlog.
    This sounds fishy.....shouldn't I be the one dictating the terms for my services? I no it's after the fact now and they have me in a predicament of "our terms or no pay".
  2. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    How much cheese are we talkin about?
  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Will they sign your contract? How different is your contract from theirs? Depends on whether you're willing to live with their terms or not as to whether you could accept their contract. Sometimes their limitation of liability is more than you'll want to swallow, or their terms are not favorable. If you don't like their contract, walk away. You always have the choice of not doing business with them.
  4. Buffalo1

    Buffalo1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    the total invoice is $575 for 4 showcase homes.......I'm not looking to do any future business with these guys, just get whats due me.......actually I don't think I should have to sign a contract for services already performed just to get paid....and why would they want a copy of my drivers license and social security card?....I've been in this business for 4 years and I only seem to have problems like this with real estate wanted me to wait until the closing to get paid
  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    If you're a corporation... then you don't need to give them your social. However, if you're a SP, then the company wants to make sure they list you as a subcontractor/vendor and have you fill out appropriate paperwork. Their contract most likely will stipulate that you're responsible for taxes and other business expenses, that you are not an employee of theirs etc. This can be avoided if you give them your Federal Tax ID # or Employer's Identification Number (EIN). You still may have contract issues, but you won't need to give them your social security number.
  6. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    You need to have a contract of your own. Period. It's your business. It's not complicated to do one.
    I've run into a few that had contracts for ME to sign. Sorry!
    I show them mine and politely tell them that I'M the one that needs MY contract reviewed and signed.
    THEY are not providing service,YOU are. There are too many things that can go wrong when you sign off on someone elses "agreement".
    Been there before. Never again.:eek: :rolleyes: ;)
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Fairly and accurately written it should be your contract or walk. I've never, ever signed anyone else's contract in 31 years of work. The other guys are right on abou8t it being YOUR business. Darn right it is.

    Their management problem should not be yours either. Real estate people and builders beware. I used to call the subcontractors and ask them how they were getting paid, how long they worked for them etc. before I took any work.
  8. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    Sounds like SOP to me.
    Sign it, and get your money.
    Most large organizations are not trying to screw you, they just have some self imposed rules to follow. Most of the time they are not being unreasonable.
    Stop being arrogant and understand that this is part of doing business in the "bigs".
  9. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I agree with John. Large corporations do have their own contract language to follow and they may include your contract as an attachment to theirs. Since they want positive ID, I think they will pay you if you co-operate with their system which may seem cumbersome to you but works for them. We sign contracts for much more money that have been written by others. Some of our contracts fill several notebooks apiece.
  10. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    Strongly disagree with you on that one. Big C's won't screw you over? They will in a heartbeat if you give em' the chance.
    I had a group of 5 apt. complexes in the Tampa area some years back. All owned by a "National" company out of Orlando.
    They refused to pay invoices multiple times for me not providing services that were not even in the "contract",(mine),signed by both parties.After having my lawyer remind them of the terms of the contract,they paid.
    I had a clause that required a 30 day WRITTEN notice for both parties to stop service. One of the locations gave a 3 day notice to me that someone else had given them a better price and they were stopping service. I brought out the contract which stated that they were still liable for a months billing for dropping service without proper notice. "Go ahead and try to collect it" was what I was told.
    My lawyer said it would cost me more than what it was worth to get them to pay. A nice 4 figure sum I might add.
    I've had some other problems with a nation wide fast food chain also. No names but they are well known. Told them to take a hike.Literally.
    Big does not mean a damn thing. It has to be CYA. ALWAYS!

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