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    #11
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    oh, I have a thorough contract - I was just wondering about reducing it drastically for certain jobs and gigs. It can turn people off and it's not like it REALLY protects you from a "fight".

    I'd want to review with him what is specifically needed for my jurisdiciton (as well as my insurance) but what I've been increasingly wondering is the actual benefit of having so much paperwork when it comes to small agreements especially when carrying PLI.


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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by filmguy123 View Post
    oh, I have a thorough contract - I was just wondering about reducing it drastically for certain jobs and gigs. It can turn people off and it's not like it REALLY protects you from a "fight".

    I'd want to review with him what is specifically needed for my jurisdiciton (as well as my insurance) but what I've been increasingly wondering is the actual benefit of having so much paperwork when it comes to small agreements especially when carrying PLI.
    Gotcha. I think whether using a long contract actually adds expected value should be broken down case by case, because it depends on a few things that will be personal to you and the situation, e.g.

    1. How likely is it that the client relationship will be damaged by presenting them with a long contract vs. a short one, and what is the actual damage?

    2. How likely is that you'll have to go to court, and what for? Offensive (for ex. recover unpaid costs? or Defensive - getting sued?) (IMO this one changes a lot based on whether you're doing live events as those carry a lot more risk)

    3. How much do you anticipate recovering after factoring in fees, any raise in premiums, etc.

    4. Assuming it even makes $ sense to go to court, how likely is it that a longer contract will change the outcome of the legal proceeding vs. a short one?


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    #13
    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
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    Back in my day a friendlier informal contract was called a "handshake".


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    #14
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    Good thoughts dclougha. I guess that's the hard part - it can be a little tricky to know!

    David, what is your experience on handshake deals vs formal contracts and where would you draw the line?


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    #15
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    Some good discussion so far. If you want to do some background research (and find some templates for your own agreements), check out the articles and books from Nolo.com, legal and business advice written by lawyers but understandable by normal people (and also regularly updated). Books widely available, including in many public libraries. But their free articles are also quite good. Nolo's been a valuable resource for me for 25 or so years... A couple links to start:

    Use Written Service Contracts for Your Clients
    Independent contractors can avoid trouble by putting client agreements in writing.
    [brief article]
    https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...nts-29760.html

    Consultant & Independent Contractor Agreements
    Whether you're an independent contractor or a business hiring one, it's important to put your agreement in writing. Complete with templates tailored to both sides, Consultant & Independent Contractor Agreements will help you craft an agreement that:
    satisfies IRS requirements
    protects your confidential business information
    preserves your intellectual property rights
    prevents disputes
    [book]
    https://store.nolo.com/products/cons...ents-cica.html

    Self-Employed Consultants & Contractors
    Whether you're already working as an independent contractor or considering becoming an independent contractor (or freelancer or self-employed consultant), you'll find a wealth of helpful information here. Get guidance on calculating what you should charge, collecting payment, preserving your independent contractor status, and complying with legal and tax requirements.
    [links to a bunch of articles and books, as well as some apps]
    https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...ts-contractors

    Nolo doesn't replace an accountant or lawyer for me, but really helps me understand what's going on and keeps me from over-relying on accountants and lawyers...
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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