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Suggestions for Writing a
Contractual Agreement
with an employer or sub-contractor
(consult with an attorney as I am not one!)

Having a contract with your employees or sub-contractors is a necessary business procedure.  You may think you don't need one, but often times find out the hard way that you do.  Planning ahead can reduce the stress and build better business relationships. Basically, you can make it say what you want to have as long as both parties understand everything they are agreeing to.

  1. Consult a legal professional to make sure all issues are covered and the financial agreements are favorable
  2. These are only suggestions.  The agreement can be anything you really want, keeping in mind that it remains a win/win situation and both parties are willing to work together.
  3. Even if you are going into business with a friend or someone who you highly respect, it is still necessary to spell things out so neither party is taken advantage of if things go wrong or the situation changes.
  4. Clarify the work situation.  Are you an employee or sub-contractor? See  the IRS website for more information.  Outline duties and responsibilities of each party.  Will you answer phones or do filing or make phone calls when not busy?  I also have a basic outline of contractors vs. employees that I was given in massage school a long time ago.   There is also a great book available at www.amazon.com called "Hiring Independent Contractors: The Employer's Legal Guide (Hiring Independent Contractors)"
  5. What is each party responsible for? Be exact so there is no room for confusion. Supplies, Billing, Marketing, advertising, collecting fees, linens, oil, massage table, utilities, bottled water and any other business related article or activity.
  6. Work hours, vacation times, sick days, back-up personnel, cancellation policies must be predetermined. What hours do they work or what hours do they have available for their use?  How are appointments made? ( a central booking person or does each person have their own phone/phone line).  How does one know when they have an appointment?  Are they supposed to come in when they don't have an appointment?
  7. What is the rate of pay and pay schedule? What other benefits are involved for an employee? sick pay, vacation pay, retirement, health care?
  8. What insurance is needed for liability coverage (practitioner and premise) and property loss or damage? Disability or workman's compensation? Who is responsible for paying the fees for insurance?
  9. Watch for non-compete clauses that will determine where you can practice if you leave the office for any reason.  You may not be allowed to take clients with you within a certain mileage range of the office for a certain amount of time.  I really think you should avoid signing a non-compete clause at any cost and any employer that wants you to sign one really doesn't understand the therapeutic relationship.  Clients will want to follow you because of who you are, not because you work for some company.
  10. What marketing/advertising will you do to provide clients for the employee/subcontractor?  What will the employee/sub-contractor be responsible for?
  11. If insurance billing is involved - who does that and on what timetable?  Monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, mid-month, end of month?

  12. What financial motivations will be involved?  Raises, bonuses for having so many clients?  bonuses for having a client become a repeat customer?

  13. What happens when one party wants to get out of the agreement?  You can sometimes make an agreement as to who will be responsible for getting a replacement.
  14. How long will the contract be for?  Will there be a trial period like 3-6 months where both parties can end the contract if they are not happy with the provisions or situation?
  15. Is there a renewal date? Is there an option for renewal?
  16. There are standard lease forms available at office supply stores that can be used if you are self employed and just leasing office space.  You can make additions and set financial responsibilities and have them signed and notarized just like any other contract.
  17. You really don't need fancy legal terminology.  Just write down what you want to happen.
You can also find free sample contracts at www.sohnen-moe.com.  I have downloaded one and used it as the basis for the contract (word .doc)I use at my clinic. 













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