If I my company offers web design, development and marketing services, should our clients sign 1 contract for all 3 services or 3 separate contracts?

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If I my company offers web design, development and marketing services, should our clients sign 1 contract for all 3 services or 3 separate contracts?

Our services can be purchased independently (ie. someone can buy just a web design) or they can buy 2 or more of our services. For example someone may want us to create them a website, as well as a custom design for the site, and do their marketing for that site. Should we be giving them a contract for each service? Or 1 contract that covers all 3 services?

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no right or wrong answers: there are advantages to both approaches. Separate contracts provides more flexibility in terms of offering different rates or terms for each service; it also makes it easier, if there is a problem with one leg of your business or relationship with the client to carry on with the other two. A single contract means that if the client defaults on its obligations (e.g. payment) in regard to one service, you could potentially sue for all amounts due under the whole contract, and/or cease rendering all your services until the arrears is cleared up; but is also means that if you breach in regard to one service, the client may be able to withhold payment for the other services, too. Thus, there are pros and cons to both approaches, and you simply need to decide which seems to suit your needs and your personality (how you like to work) better.


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