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Welcome to our Work at Home Newsletter. Here you will find helpful articles, tips and advise on working from home as a Virtual Assistant. Plus some work at home job leads too!
Starting Your Own Virtual Assistant Business
Creating a Virtual Assistant Contract
By Cindy Coulter 

You've just landed your first virtual assistant gig, and you're excited to get started.  Before you do, make sure you have a contract.  You do not need a law degree to create your own contract (aka services agreement), but you should have one to protect both you and your client.
There are many sample freelance contracts available online.  Research several to find one that suits your needs. has a great example of a Services Agreement (Members Only Area, Your Cool Tools) to use as a starting point.  Be sure to read the entire document and make appropriate revisions to tailor it to your specific situation.
Items Every Contract Should Include:

At a minimum, include the following items in your contract to ensure both you and your client are clear on the scope of the project and payment terms.
-  Your contact information (name, address, telephone, email)
-  Client contact information (company name, contact person, address, telephone, email)
-  Effective date and length of contract
-  Description of services (be as detailed as necessary)
-  Payment terms (include per project or hourly rate, reimbursable expenses, surcharges for late payment and/or rush requests)
-  Term and termination
-  Relationship of parties
-  Confidentiality
-  Signature lines for you and client to execute contract
Billing and Payment Terms
For projects billed on an hourly basis, the contract should include an estimate of how long the project will take, as well as how to handle overages.  For example, you may include a line in the contract stating that you will notify the client if you suspect the project may take longer than initially anticipated.  Your client should have the option to accept or reject the change, only paying for work already completed.
Contract for Content Creation
Virtual assistants who create content that may or may not eventually be published, may want to include a "kill fee" in the payment terms. This ensures you will be paid for work completed even if the client decides later not to publish your material.
Statement of ownership and rights.  When virtual assistants accept work-for-hire projects, the intellectual property you create typically becomes the property of the client, and you hold no rights.  Be clear upfront as to which rights you are giving up and which you will retain.  For example, freelance writers must be cognizant of publishing rights (exclusive, non-exclusive, or limited).
Exclusive rights comprise original content that you, the author, may not re-publish elsewhere.  You are basically giving up all rights and ownership to this content in exchange for a one-time, upfront payment.  Non-exclusive or limited rights may cover original content that you may publish elsewhere. In this case, you retain ownership of the content, but the client is permitted to publish or copy the work at their discretion at any time.
Engagement Letter in Lieu of Contract
A slightly less formal approach is to use an engagement letter instead of a contract. An engagement letter is usually a shorter document, in letter format, that spells out the main points of the project without much of the "legalese."  Individuals or small business owners may be more comfortable with an engagement letter than a formal contract.
The decision to use a contract or an engagement letter is yours.  Just be sure to have something in writing that details the scope of the project(s) and payment terms, to avoid confusion or disagreement later.
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Here are some free job leads from our site: - Hires Legal Transcriptionists.
Emerging Cast - Hires Article and Video Script Writers.
Electro Tank - Hires Flash Game Developers
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