Where can I find a proposal contract for new clients? Or what should be in it if I make my own.

I have some what of a idea, but not sure about other stuff.

-Fees -Timeline

Thanks in advance.

3 answers


My favourite contract is this one:


but if you want legalese you could try:


But really a contract is only worth having when things go wrong and when things go wrong the contract will be torn apart by lawyers, so if it's really important, get a proper bespoke contract drawn up by a legal professional specifically for the circumstances in question.

If you think that's overkill, then just write a document that says what you will do, when you will do it, what you need from the client to make that happen and what you won't do.

Then summarise with what it will cost and when you want payment. E.g. deposit, staged payments, payment on completion.

The Stuff and Nonsense one is a good starting point for that.

If none of that takes your fancy, there's a pile of stuff here:


Answered almost 9 years ago by Tony Crockford
  • +1 That sums it up nicely. I think the only thing I'd add to this is that in a Proposal or Statement of Work, it's important to also outline what you will not do as well as what you will do. As web design clients have a knack for thinking/saying "but I thought it would..." Andy Ford almost 9 years ago
Andy Ford 533

These aren't exactly proposal contracts - more like client questionnaires - but they may be insightful. These all come from very well respected agencies:






(You'll have to find the "client worksheet" [or similar] document link on each)

Answered almost 9 years ago by Andy Ford

I actually look at a contract separately from a proposal.

In the proposal, I focus on scope, timeline, and budget. What will be completed? When will it be completed? What will I charge the client? Will there be interim payments? A deposit?

I use the following sections in our proposals:

  • Executive summary
  • What will be completed, grouped into logical chunks
  • What is not included in the project
  • What is and is not included in maintenance for the project
  • Milestones: dates when each step of the project will be completed, what portion of the payment is due when.

Then I use the legal contract which our lawyer approved. We used the example contract from the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook. I highly recommend the book for a general overview of business practices and legal issues. I sent the example contract to our lawyer with some notes about things we wanted to change. She returned to us a completed document with clearly marked places where information should be updated for each client. That cost us about $300. I figure it has saved us that much in client disputes already.

Answered almost 9 years ago by DeNae Leverentz