A contract consultant is a professional who contractually advises companies in a particular area. Basically, they sign contracts with several companies, helping them in a particular area of their specialty. A consulting agreement is a legally binding document that confirms a client's request for consultant assistance. It is a contract that details the terms of service between a consultant who works as an independent contractor and a customer.
A consultant is an outside professional who provides experience and advice to improve a company's operations in some way. They analyze current business behavior, identify areas for improvement, and develop a plan to improve that aspect of the company. Consultants can also train other staff members and oversee the implementation of new business tactics, evaluate results, and make necessary adjustments. Information file C5-84, a model consulting agreement, provides for the consultant to dedicate a specific number of hours per month to the provision of services.
It is critical that the consulting agreement specifically states what services the consultant should provide. For legal purposes, a consulting agreement should clarify that the consultant will operate as an independent contractor. Your company may be flexible in some aspects of the consulting relationship, but it's important to know in advance what requirements you're not going to meet. As the name suggests, a non-compete clause prevents a consultant from competing with the client, for example, starting a competing business or working with a direct competitor.
Without this right to terminate the contract, the client engages with the consultant even if the consultant has taken steps contrary to the client's interests. During the provision of the Consulting Services, the parties acknowledge that the Consultant may come into contact or become familiar with information that the Company or its subsidiaries or affiliates may consider confidential. Not all consulting contracts need all of these sections, but they provide a solid overview of the type of information needed to obtain a contract with a consultant. Agreeing on deadlines is one of the key functions of a consulting agreement, so it's important to set a reasonable start date, entry date, and project end date before contacting consultants.
Generally, the rights and obligations cannot be transferred, since the client hires the consultant because of the consultant's specific experience and the consultant undertakes to provide the services only for the client. For example, a digital marketing consulting firm might have consultants who specialize in coordinating SEO, social media advertising, affiliate marketing, and more. Some consulting agreements include non-compete or non-solicited clauses that prevent the consultant from collaborating with other companies in the client's market or hiring employees of the client's company, respectively, during the term of the contract. Most consulting agreements also include a statement that the consultant will not hire the client's employees for at least the term of the agreement.
If you, as a client, don't set clear conditions for a consulting contract, your consultant could end up working with confusing objectives, operating with incorrect deadlines, or doing any other activity that could undermine your goals or principles.