Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Importance of Contracts to Virtual Assistants

As a virtual assistant it is important that you should secure a contract form before your first client arrives. Depending on what type of services you will offer your client, you should have the right contract for your work. Moreover it is important that a contract exists between you and your client, for your mutual protection. Yet before you pin down the terms of the contract you must know what a contract is and how it works.


A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two consenting parties. It guarantees that both parties are legally bound to fulfill the obligations or the terms stipulated in the contract.

There are three basic elements of a contract, these are the offer, consideration and acceptance. for a contract to be valid under the American law, it must at least possess these six basic criteria:

1. All parties must have capacity to enter a contract - meaning both parties are of legal age and free of any factors which may disqualify him or her from entering.

2. An offer must be made.

3. A consideration must be exchanged.

4. The parties must be in mutual agreement.

5. Both the object and the purpose must be legal.

6. The form of the contract must meet the requirements set by law.

If these six wasn’t met from the very beginning, the contract is voidable or maybe terminated in accordance with law. Furthermore these criteria can be used as basis for the determination of the existence of breach of contract.

When either party failed to meet the obligations of the contract, a breach of contract occurs. There are corresponding penalties attached to breaching of contracts. The remedy for a breach of contract in the court of laws is called damages or monetary compensation. The aggrieved party has the right to file legal actions against the one who breached the contract. For instance when your client failed to pay the required amount for your services, you can demand for damages.

In order to avoid future legal entanglements, proper communication should exist between you and your client.

3 Types of VA contracts

There are three types of contracts in the virtual assistant business - hourly agreement, per-project agreement and the retainers. In the hourly type of contract, as the name suggests, the VA is paid on an hourly basis. While in the per-project agreement the rate is determined for the project. Whereas in the retainer type the VA agrees to work for a number of hours for a specified period of time. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

It is important to have a client sign a contract before the work begins. This will ensure that terms of the contract is clear and both of you understand and are willing to abide with it. As a virtual assistant it is your duty to secure a contract.


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