Retainer Agreement Template

Retainer Agreement Template

What Is a Retainer Agreement?

A Retainer Agreement is a legal document signed by a client and a professional in advance, for work or services to be specified at a later point in time. In accordance with this contract, a professional will be available to a client (usually, a legal entity) for a certain number of hours within a negotiated time frame.

Alternate Name:

  • Retainer Fee Agreement.

Many freelancers sign this agreement to guarantee the income it provides, while clients choose to sign a legal Retainer Agreement to get a certain amount of a professional's time each month or year. Download a Retainer Agreement template below or create your own document with our online form builder.


Retainer Agreement Vs. Engagement Letter

A Retainer Contract is often confused with an Engagement Letter. Both of these documents state the terms and conditions of the professionals' work, the scope of their services, and the obligations of the parties. One of these parties hires another, and they then work as an independent contractor, not as an employee. However, a Retainer Agreement is completed and signed when the parties decide in advance to secure the services of a professional who will set aside some time to perform work on a specific project or case. Instead of working together without delay, the client demonstrates a willingness to hire and cooperate with this professional in the future by paying a deposit or lump sum fee.

How to Write a Retainer Agreement?

If you want to hire a professional to perform a particular job for a certain time period or you are that professional, consider signing a Retainer Contract. It will specify the responsibilities of the parties, state which responsibilities must be delivered, provide compensation for the professional, and other clauses you negotiate with the other party. It is recommended to meet with your future counterpart in person and discuss every detail which is to be included in the agreement. Communicate and use this document to outline service limits, insurance details, and intellectual property rights.

What Terms Should a Retainer Agreement Include?

Include the following information in your Retainer Contract:

  1. State the names and addresses of the client and the professional.
  2. Describe the specifics of the services to be provided and their schedule. Add acceptable criteria for the work and service expectation.
  3. Indicate the duration of the agreement.
  4. Provide payment details. Generally, retainers contain a fee to keep an individual who will provide services and an hourly rate for them.
  5. Specify the professional's status as an independent contractor. This is not an employment contract or agency agreement so the professional must have personal insurance coverage.
  6. Mention the professional's obligation to keep any confidential and proprietary information received from the client private.
  7. Add a copyright protection provision. Traditionally, the professional retains all rights to the ideas, materials, processes, and procedures used in providing services to the client who is authorized to use them with the professional's permission.
  8. Decide the cancellation options. Either party can cancel the contract unilaterally. When terminating a Retainer Agreement, a party must provide 30-day advance written notice.
  9. Sign the contract.

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