There are many things you need to consider before signing a contract. So next time you’re about to enter into a new contract agreement, make sure follow this contract compliance checklist:
Know your status
Establish whether you are considered an ‘employee’ or ‘independent contractor’ for a particular job. Ensure that the arrangement is in accordance with employment and taxation law. Knowing your status is also important for tax, superannuation and insurance purposes.
Is the contract in writing?
Verbal contracts can be risky, so it’s always best to get your contract in writing. However, if a written contract isn’t possible, make sure you have some documentation that will help you identify what was agreed: emails, quotes, specifications and even notes about your discussions are all effective documentation to support the agreed arrangement.
Do you understand all the terms?
If possible, make sure the contract terms are written in a way that is clearly understood. Get advice before you sign a contract that you don’t understand. Be careful with standard form contracts where you are expected to simply agree with what’s already written and just fill in the blanks: read the fine print in any contract carefully.
Does it include important basic information?
The contract should identify each party to the contract (including Australian Business Numbers), state that the contractor is not an employee and be signed and dated by all the parties.
Does it contain a detailed description of services or the result to be achieved?
The contract should state, in as much detail as possible, what work will be done, when the work will be done and where the work will be done.
Does it set out how and when payments will be made?
The contract should outline whether payment will be by fixed fee or hourly/daily rate. Be careful of terms that provide for payment only on full completion of the contract unless the contract is for a short duration. Consider payments for completion of each stage—progress payments.
Is there an arrangement for settling disputes?
A contract should outline a process to assist in resolving disputes quickly without going to court. The process might require informal discussion and negotiation first, followed by alternative dispute resolution procedures if necessary.
We hope you found this contract review checklist helpful. For further information please don’t hesitate to contact us, book an appointment or reach us at [email protected] or 02 9407 8700 where one of our Australian team members will gladly help you.
All information is sourced from the Australian Government Website.