Our corporate policy is that we hate lawyers and legaleze. Generally speaking, a contract is not required on hourly or even weekly consulting work. However, on complex Client projects involving many aspects, and the submission of a bid (Proposal) by the Consultant to the Request for Proposal (RFP) made by the Client, a clear and concise description of the scope of work to be performed, and measurable milestones defining when the work is “done”… is in order. It also spells out how much the Consultant is to be paid, and when.
The purpose of such agreements is to make sure both parties fully understand their part in such endeavors that may span many days, weeks, months, or even years. Ideally, if both parties understand and do their part in a well written agreement, nobody get screwed.
That said, below is a link to one of the forms we use to base our agreements on. Much of it gets deleted as unneeded,and what’s left is rewritten to fit the project.
Click to see the IT Consultant Agreement.