Working with clients on a retainer is one of the best ways to secure a steady stream of income and build a long-lasting business relationship. To kickstart that relationship you’ll need to draw up a retainer agreement.
A lot of us shy away from legal documents like retainer agreements and contracts because we’re not sure what to say or what we need to include. That’s why retainer agreement templates are so useful—someone else has done all the hard work. All you need to do is add your project details and send it to your client to sign!
In this guide we’ll explore what a retainer agreement template is and what to look for when considering different options. We’ll then share the best retainer agreement templates for contractors, freelancers, and professional service providers. 🌻
- What Is a Retainer Agreement Template?
- What Makes a Good Retainer Agreement Template?
- 10 Retainer Agreement Templates to Use in 2024
- 1. ClickUp Generic Service Agreement Template
- 2. ClickUp Work Contract Template
- 3. ClickUp Freelance Contract Template
- 4. ClickUp Legal Case Tracking Template
- 5. ClickUp Consulting Agreement Template
- 6. ClickUp Services Agreement Template
- 7. ClickUp Business Contract Template
- 8. Word Retainer Agreement Template by Signaturely
- 9. Word Retainer Agreement Template by EasyLegalDocs
- 10. Word Ad Agency Retainer Contract Template by Template.net
What Is a Retainer Agreement Template?
A retainer agreement is a contract between two parties where a service provider agrees to the type and amount of work done for a client on a monthly basis. This might be a specific number of hours, or a set number of project deliverables per month—and typically the client pays upfront. Retainer agreements are typical between agencies and corporate clients and their work-for-hire freelancers (or anyone with an independent contractor status).
Although you could write your own retainer agreement each time you need one, having a good retainer agreement template means you don’t have to. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time, you can draw on the expertise of others to create a strong contract over and over—only changing out the necessary client details.
Retainer agreement templates save you time, and your time is money. Not only that, but the right template can give you the correct protections and make sure it’s clear who owns the work products, what happens with them, limitations on the services provided, and how and when you’ll be paid. 💰
What Makes a Good Retainer Agreement Template?
There are plenty of retainer agreement templates out there, but how do you know which one you should use?
The best retainer agreement templates will include:
- Term of the agreement: What the effective date is and how long the agreement lasts
- Scope of work: The work you’ve agreed to complete every month
- Assigned work: How work will be assigned and what happens when not all the hours or deliverables are assigned by the client
- Billing: How you expect to be paid and what the amount of money involved is, e.g., an hourly rate or a monthly retainer fee
- Dispute resolution: How you’ll deal with any issues or disputes, e.g., through arbitration
- Entire agreement: A final section that confirms the scope of the agreement
- FAQs: You could include an optional section for frequently asked questions
This isn’t an exhaustive list, and every template will be slightly different. Look for a template that matches your needs and helps speed up your onboarding process. 🏃
10 Retainer Agreement Templates to Use in 2024
Retainer agreements are a must-have if you’re undertaking work for a client on a monthly basis and want the protection of getting paid on time and setting your boundaries.
The right template simplifies the process and means that all you need to do is add your client’s details, check you’re happy with it, and hit send. If the template is integrated with a project management software for freelancers, then even better.
With this in mind, here’s our guide to the best retainer agreement templates to consider using in your business this year.
1. ClickUp Generic Service Agreement Template
First up, we have the Generic Service Agreement Template by ClickUp. Like the name suggests, this template is ideal for businesses of any type or size. And because it’s a ClickUp template, it’s completely customizable to suit your needs. ✔️
This general service agreement template gives you a way to create a solid, official contract between you and your client. The template has space for you to define your services and offering, set out your payment expectations and terms, and outline your expectations around performance and delivery. You can also mention whether you use subcontractors, add a non-disclosure waiver, and include any additional terms or details that are relevant to your project.
Use this services agreement template when you’re ready to start working with a new client and want a good foundation to start from. It’s ideal for any client and service provider, contractor, or freelancer.
2. ClickUp Work Contract Template
If you’re looking for a contract template that more closely aligns with what you’d see as an employee, the Work Contract Template by ClickUp may be the best option for you. 📝
A work contract template like this is typically used between an employer and employee, and it details a wide range of topics that both parties need to be aware of. This list includes work position, benefits, worker’s compensation, probation periods, vacation time, confidential information and intellectual property handling, and severability.
For many contractors, the language used in this template and the sections included may not be relevant and could blur the lines between whether you’re an employee or a contractor. Still, it’s worth reading (and considering) as you decide how you’d like to operate your own retainer agreements.
3. ClickUp Freelance Contract Template
Although it’s called the Freelance Contract Template by ClickUp, there’s no reason that contractors can’t get use out of this great template too. As the name implies, this template is ideal for freelancers who want to sign a formal agreement with their clients. 💼
The freelance contract template has everything you need to set boundaries, payment terms, and expected deliverables for the length of your retainer agreement. The template includes sections for your project schedule, description of services, liability information, and more.
Use this template if you want a secure way of working with your clients and you want to look like a professional while doing it. This template is an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to take their freelancing or contracting work seriously.
4. ClickUp Legal Case Tracking Template
For the legal folk among us, having a strong retainer agreement isn’t the end of the paperwork process—you’ll want a way to track your cases too. The Legal Case Tracking Template by ClickUp is a perfect match for this. ⚖️
Our legal workflow software and template allows you to keep track of every single case, so you don’t miss any key details, deadlines, or milestones. With everything in one place, you can feel more organized and work more productively with our free project management software. The template includes features like case details, stakeholders, timelines, events, notes, and status updates, so you can review your case load at a glance.
Legal professionals should consider using this template for a better way to stay on top of their workload. When combined with a strong retainer agreement and lawyer time tracking software, this legal project management software means you’re on your way to having a beautifully organized practice.
5. ClickUp Consulting Agreement Template
If you’re a consultant and want a template that’s designed with you in mind, check out the Consulting Agreement Template by ClickUp. A consultant’s obligations are often different from those of a standard service provider, and this template makes sure you don’t miss anything important. 🏢
Inside this consulting template you’ll find features like custom statuses, fields, and views, which makes it easier than ever to turn your document into action with ClickUp tasks. The template itself allows you to streamline your process and present your clients with one document that outlines your expectations, payment schedule, and scope of work.
Use this template if you want a ready-made agreement template for consulting services, instead of a more generic option that may need some extra customization to make it match your specific needs. Pair it with time tracking software for consultants to accurately record your time, then bill for and report on your activities every month.
6. ClickUp Services Agreement Template
For contractors and freelancers who want a more open playground to start with, the Services Agreement Template by ClickUp could be your ideal match. This template is simpler than some of the others on this list, which is great if you already have your own custom wording and sections to add in. 🧰
While it’s more minimalist than other templates, this still has everything you need to get started. There’s room to share a comprehensive look at your services and offering, how much you expect to be paid and when, and what your expectations are for yourself and your client.
This template is a great option for contractors who want a clean foundation that’s legally sound. You can then customize your agreement and add your own personality with the support of AI writing tools.
7. ClickUp Business Contract Template
Specialized contracts can be great, but sometimes what you really want is a template that covers all the bases. This Business Contract Template by ClickUp has all the key sections you need to make sure you’re covered. ✨
This sample template brings all those contract must-haves into one place, giving you one organized document you can share with your clients. Not only does this save time, but it helps avoid miscommunication too. The template includes custom statuses, views, and fields to make personalization swift and easy.
Use this business contract template if you want a formal shared document for clients that outlines your services, includes data from your freelance time-tracking software, and sets out what’s expected from both parties.
8. Word Retainer Agreement Template by Signaturely
While we strongly believe ClickUp offers you the best way to create, collaborate on, and share contracts and agreements, we realize that sometimes you’re not able to switch contractor or consultancy software right away. That’s why the next few suggestions are templates you can use with Microsoft Word. 💻
First up, we have the Word Retainer Agreement Template. This template has been drafted by legal experts and includes everything you need to create a secure contract between two parties.
Outline your list of services, set your retainer fee schedule, and set expectations around claiming reimbursement for expenses incurred and other details. Like all the templates in this list, you can customize it as much as you want—or keep the wording as it is and simply add your client’s details into the blank spaces.
This retainer agreement template is ideal if you’re tied into using Microsoft Word.
9. Word Retainer Agreement Template by EasyLegalDocs
If you’re looking for a retainer agreement template that feels more traditional than others on this list, this Word Retainer Agreement Template could be the right choice. 📄
While some agreements can be detailed and multiple pages in length, this template is short and sweet at only one page. It includes sections for your company details, the duration of the retainer, scope of services, retainer fee, reimbursable expenses, and the relationship between the parties.
Since it’s short and uncomplicated, this agreement is a good option for new freelancers or contractors who don’t want to get lost in legalese—or where the value of the retainer agreement is low enough that you’re not concerned about adding in extra statements, details, or protections.
10. Word Ad Agency Retainer Contract Template by Template.net
Starting your own ad agency is a popular route forward for many talented individuals, and when you reach this milestone you’ll want agreements, contracts, and documents that match your status and style. 📣
If you run an ad agency, consider this dedicated Ad Agency Retainer Contract Template. It’s a good mix between simple and detailed, with enough space to cover your services, milestones, and expectations without being overwhelming to read.
This template is a great option if you’re looking for a Word template, or you’re an Apple Pages or Google Docs user—this template is compatible with all these popular document editing tools.
Save Time With These Retainer Agreement Templates
Retainer agreement templates are a must-have if you take your contracting business seriously. Not only do they signal to your clients that you’re trustworthy and know how to operate effectively, but they make it easier for you to stay organized and productive.
Use this guide to help you find the right free retainer agreement template for your needs, then use it to streamline your business processes and save time. With so many templates and features for project and task management, ClickUp is the best place to organize your contracting business. Try ClickUp for free today and discover how it can become your one source of truth for the way you operate your business. 👀