Business Contracts and Sales Proposals (with Templates)

Research: Risk and Benefits of Contracts

According to IACCM almost 9% of all contracts result in a dispute!

Some industries, like Engineering and Construction, have as much as 21% of their contracts experience some form of legal problem.

With all that to lose, why would anyone do business without a proposal (or contract)?

Most of the reasons fall under one of these categories:

  • Fear of scaring away clients
  • Don't want to seem too formal
  • Fear of signaling mistrust of the other party
  • Fear of signaling mistrust of the other party
  • Don't want to complicate business dealings

The reality is that, if you're strategic about it, you can easily avoid all of these potential downsides.

The first step is ensuring you have the right contract (more on this later).

Next, you'll want to ensure you follow some best practices around contracts and sales proposals.

Luckily, we have some great data-driven insights that can help you.

With Docsketch customers earning over $2 Billion in sales, we have access to lots of interesting data around sales proposals and contracts.

Our research of 25,000 proposals (and sales contracts) worth $270M revealed the following takeaways:

  • Sales proposals have a higher win rate (43%) than invoice style estimates (35%)
  • Proposals with 5 pages or less are 31% more likely to win
  • Making contracts and proposals viewable online increases win rates by 18% and turnaround time by 40%
  • Winning contracts and proposals are sent 26% sooner
  • Bundling fees into a single line item (instead of itemizing) increases win rates by 36%
  • Adding one or two price options increases revenue by 32%

This leads us to the need for using effective templates...

Over the next few weeks we're putting together the ultimate list of business contract templates. Not just any templates, but ones that use all of the learnings from the data above.

Marketing Agreement

Description: A document, signed by all parties involved, that lists the scope of work to be undertaken, and any duties and expectations that the business has of the marketing agency.  

Best for: Marketing professionals looking to engage with clients on one-off projects or ongoing retainer relationships.

Includes: Service fees, timeline, services, and payment terms.

Simple Web Design Contract

Description: This simple website contract clearly provides terms of service for web design projects. It’s a contract that clearly lists what the designer and clients are responsible for, pricing, and timelines relating to the project.

Best for: Those looking for a simple, straightforward, easy-to-digest contract template to build off of.

Includes: A breakdown of services, cost and payment information, timeline, and legal rights of each party.

Painting Contract Template

Description: A contract for use by painting contracts to set customer expectations, clarify scope of the job, and list payment details. This is an easy to customize painting contract that can be used for any type of painting project.

Best For: Anyone in the home services industry that provides painting as a service. 

Includes: Sections detailing payment terms, service details, contract termination, and more.

Coaching Contract

Description: A legally binding document that  will not only help you to easily and professionally negotiate the legal parameters for every agreement, but will establish the expectations and ground rules for both parties, leaving you protected legally.

Best for: Any business professional looking to enter into a coaching relationship over an extended period of time.

Includes: Expenses, timeline, services, and payment terms

    Photography Release Form

    Description: A contract (and photo release) between a photographer and client regarding the services that the photographer will provide in the shoot, as well as the responsibilities the photographer and client agree upon performing. This contract is easily adjustable to fit the needs of the person interested in using the contract.

    Best For: Photographers wanting to inform their clients on what's expected for a photo shoot to gain a successful photographer/client relationship.

    Includes: Scope of work, fees, model release, and more.

    Consulting Agreement

    Description: A contract in which the consultant provides services for a business. It explains the service process as well as goes over the work product license and more. This contract sets up the business relationship between the consultant and business.

    Best For: Those searching for a thorough contract that can be customized to your liking. The information available allows for one to easily send a detailed contract with little to no adjustments needed.

    Includes: Insurance, consultancy fees and expenses, and more.

    Graphic Design Contract

    Description: This contract is between a Graphic Designer and a client. It maps out the work the designer will provide that's been agreed upon from both the designer and the client. It holds detailed information regarding the number of revisions available for the client to make, along with copyrights.

    Best For: Any graphic designer who wants to cover all of the bases information-wise when it comes to creating a graphic design contract. It's easily changeable to fit your content needs.

    Includes: XHTML/CSS layout template offers, text content, photographs, and legal stuff.

    Brokerage Agreement

    Description: An agreement with terms and conditions by the company, providing incentives and stipulations set for the broker to abide by. The contract gives guidelines on what the broker is responsible for in terms of vigorously selling products given by the company.

    Best For: Anyone wanting to close a deal that also protects the rights between the buyer and the broker, ensuring both are in agreement of what is entailed through this contract.

    Includes: A scope of agreement, stipulations, territory limitations, and more.

    Rent To Own Contract

    Description: This contract is an agreement between a renter and owner. The owner agrees to allow the renter to rent the owner's property for "x" amount of time before allowing the renter to make a decision to buy the property from the owner. This simple contract carries flexibility in adjusting the content, as well as including detailed information and expectations of the renter.

    Best For: Anyone looking to lease their home. Anyone in need of a template to cover the basis for what's expected of the renter and what the owner is capable of doing in case of payment complications.

    Includes: A thorough written understanding of how the process of renting to owning works.

    Standard Services Agreement

    Description: This is a contract between a buyer and a service provider that involves an understanding of what the service provider is responsible for in delivering to the provider. This contract covers the maintenance associated with the service in a given time period.

    Best For: For any freelancers, contractors, and for those wanting a detailed contract covering the general terms and warranties.

    Includes: Term and termination, limitation of liability, key terms and more.

    Bookkeeping Contract

    Description: An extremely simple, short and sweet contract that explains the role of the bookkeeper, and acknowledging that they are responsible for the duties entailed.

    Best For: People looking to easily and quickly print/email out an agreement.

    Includes: Signature and date.

    Video Release Form

    Description: This is a summarized form issuing that the undersigned gives their consent to be used in the video for advertising, publicity, public displays, and exhibitions. It is an understanding that the producer has rights to own, utilize, or alter the Released Subject Matter.

    Best For: Anyone looking for a straight forward release form that covers rights between the producer and undersigned.

    Includes: Info that the undersigned is at least 18 years of age, a signature, and release authorization.

    Agency Agreement Template

    Description: An agreement template between an agent and principal that explains the services that the agent must provide for the principal between the start and end date provided. This form is easy to fill in with the necessary content that's needed between the two parties while also including the important information that's required to cover liability, termination, appointment, payment, and more.

    Best For: Those seeking to find a short and sweet agreement that's still detail oriented.

    Includes: Scope of authority, insurance, taxes, competition, and other additions.

    Wedding Photography Contract

    About: This is a contract agreement between a photographer and client. The proposal provides information on what the photographer will deliver in terms of their services, along with what the client will provide for the photographer when it comes to scheduling, cooperation, and pre-wedding consultation. This contract includes areas that require info on where the event will take place (ceremony, reception and their addresses), when, and contact's information along with an additional contact.

    Best For: Photographers searching for a simple contract that covers an assortment of information/liabilities. This contract gives knowledgeable info and will leave a positive understanding between the photographer and client. It ensures the services are met from the photographer, as well as cooperation and guidance from the client.

    Includes: This contract includes lability on if a photographer becomes ill/injured and has to find a replacement, or if the data was wiped and how it'd be handled with a refund. There's also a model release for the photographer to be able to use the photos taken for editorial, competition, or other purposes with no restrictions. What's also found in the contract are a copyright law, confirmation, and paparazzi wedding guests. The paparazzi wedding guests is intended for a situation where certain guests don't want their photo taken. In this case, the photographer isn't liable for lack of photos of said guests.

    Sales Contract Template

    About: This is a simple Sales Contract template directed between between two parties that covers a variety of agreements for the seller and buyer to comply with in order to proceed. These contract templates are typically used when you want to sell new goods, services, or items that require delivery. It's a way to go over and finalize between both parties before accepting the contract.

    Best for: This template is best for anyone selling goods as a business and/or to unknown parties. It has an understanding of the warranties regarding the goods sold as is from the seller, as well as the buyer having an opportunity to view the goods before accepting.

    Includes: It determines the payment details, the delivery of the product, cancellations, and more.

    Business Contract Template

    About: A Business Contract template that covers the performance of services from the provider for the client. It goes into further detail regarding the payment, time spent, acceptance, and confidentiality.

    Best for: Anyone wanting a quick and easy Business Contract template. Contracts such as these provide the wants/needs expected between parties as well as information on how to handle any disagreements or unfavorable situations. These contracts are also a safeguard for businesses in case of said disagreements.  

    Includes: A variety of agreements containing intellectual property, limitation of liability, termination, and more.

    Subcontractor Agreement Template

    About: A simple Subcontractor Agreement between a subcontractor and a contractor. This agreement is used when a contractor (usually called "General Contractor") uses a subcontractor on a construction project. These type of contracts serve to protect the general contractor and sets working expectations with subcontractors. It explains what labor the subcontractor will provide for the contractor, along with the description of equipment and materials.

    Best For: Anyone in the construction industry looking for a simple subcontractor agreement template. This comprehensive template protects all parties in a professional project. It provides structure on the guidelines as well as in depth information regarding the process, structure of the agreement, and scope of work in one neat little contract package.

    Includes: Sections explaining the insurance, duration of work, warranty, termination, and more.

    Independent Contractor Agreement

    About: This template is between an independent contractor and a client. It covers an assortment of categories in reference to qualifications, experience, and abilities that the independent contractor will provide to the client in their services.

    Best For: Those wanting an easy to work with and informative proposal. The written approach is flexible and easily customizable for those who want to use it more than once.

    Includes: It goes over the services, compensation, legal expenses, and more.

    Partnership Agreement 

    About: This contract provides an agreement of partnership between partners/party members involved. It goes through the process on what the partners agree upon regarding work flow, and what happens if needs aren't met which would then lead to termination.

    Best For: It's a quick and accessible partnership template that anyone wanting to start a partnered for-profit business to use and edit to their liking. This template offers important information needed in a proposal to accurately explain what is part of the deal in a sufficient manner.

    Includes: A collection of categories with descriptions all pertaining to the contract.

    Employment Contract 

    About: This is a contract templet agreement between an employer and an employee. This contract provides information on what tasks and responsibilities the employee is being hired to do for work. The employer will train the employee for the job. Having a contract as this helps keep things fair for both the employer and employee in case disagreements arise.

    Best for: Parties looking to hire employees. This informative template includes succinct intentions and expectations, along with responsibilities, that are to be fairly agreed to by the employee.

    Includes: The hiring date, termination, reimbursements, confidentiality, and more.

    Mobile App Development Agreement

    About: This mobile app development agreement is between freelancer/consultant/agency and client. The vendor will provide mobile app development hosting services and software to the marketing/social media client. With that, the vendor will keep the software fresh and up to date, along with conditions for functionality.

    Best for: The template can be reused and customized to your liking, and packs informative information needed to keep things fair and concise between the vendor and client. It provides instruction on how to handle things in case of disagreements amidst the vendor and client.

    Includes: Maintenance, secure hosting, terms and conditions, and as well as other project overview/objectives.