If you search online for "landscaper subcontractor agreement," you can find dozens of examples and sample contracts. Before you rush off to use one of these templates, remember that it's always best to consult with a lawyer first. Generic contracts are just that: generic. They might not actually offer protection for the exposures your business has.
Let's go over common items landscapers put in their contracts to protect their company from expensive lawsuits.
6 Things Your Lawn Care Subcontractor Agreements Should Have
While every landscaping business is unique and each subcontractor will require different contracts, you can find these six components in nearly all subcontractor agreements:
- Name of subcontractor and name of business. This is self-explanatory, but make sure you have the correct name of the business or subcontractor.
- Scope of project. The "scope" of a project is what your subcontractors' work will and will not include. Sounds simple, right? Well, actually, many lawsuits come up because of miscommunications about scope. Is your sprinkler installation guy supposed to clean up the landscaping after finishing his installation or is that your responsibility? Defining everyone's tasks can go a long way to preventing lawsuits.
- Insurance requirements. Lawn care companies often require subcontractors to have General Liability Insurance (typically $1 million in coverage). List these requirements in your contract and check your sub's Certificate of Liability Insurance to make sure they're covered.
- Payment details. If you're going to pay your sub in installments or a lump sum, make this crystal clear in your agreements and avoid any conflicts over money.
- Hold harmless language. As we discussed in "A Lawn Care Business Owner's Guide to Subcontractors, Part 2," your insurance company may require you to include a hold harmless provision in your subcontractor contracts. By signing off, your subcontractor agrees not to sue your business over problems that may come up while they're working for you.
- Safety requirements. Some contracts include a provision that makes it clear that subcontractors cannot work while impaired by medicine, drugs, or alcohol. While this should be fairly obvious, it clears up any ambiguity that might exist about prescription or over-the-counter medication your subcontractor might be taking.
3 Sample Landscaping Subcontractor Agreements
There's a reason why businesses use contracts: a good contract may protect you from lawsuits and make it explicitly clear what you expect from your subcontractors.
These three contracts are good examples of agreements you can use with your subcontractors:
Remember, these sample contracts are only starting places. It's usually best to work with a lawyer to write a contract to protect your company from the risks you may have.