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?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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