Master Services Agreement

Published on: November 18, 2010 |Tags: ,,,, | Categories: Articles

2009 Shane & Peter Contract TemplateWhile looking at Master Services Agreement, I was shocked to see it has been three years since we shared it with our community. A LOT has changed in that sweet little document since then. We’ve had huge companies like TIVO adopt it (pretty cool). Of course, we started by stealing someone else’s MSA (thank you Smart Design) and growing it to suit our culture and company. I hope our template serves you well.

DOWNLOAD: S&P’s Contractor MSA

What is this document? It is a representation of the understandings between ourselves and an independent contractor. It used to be written in lawyer-ese. That was until the day we realized that even those who read it didn’t understand what they were signing. The point of a contract is to keep you out of court (and protect you should you end up there). The best way to do that is to have a clear understanding you can refer back to. The contract is meant for you.

After some though, we boiled our MSA doing to a few key points:

1. Who we are
2. Who you are
3. You are your own boss
4. You are a good person
5. You will keep everything secret
6. You are responsible
7. You respect copyright
8. We will pay you
9. We own the results
10. Bragging rights
11. If things go wrong
12. If things go REALLY wrong
13. Read this contract
Schedule A: Scope of work
Schedule B: Proof of business status

We built everything into it. We used to send 4 different files (contract, tax docs, nda, proof of business). Now we send one single PDF. It is a delight to work with compared to our prior setup.

Please note that this is being offered out of the goodness of our hearts. Consult with your accountant and lawyer on the right document for your needs and organization. Don’t sue us if you have problems, we are just trying to figure this out ourselves and share what we are learning.

4 Responses to Master Services Agreement

  1. Rajeev says


    I must appreciate your honesty for coming out with the background on your blog here.


    Don’t you think one document does not suit every situation or every client…may NDA should be shared first and MSA later as terms of MSA (commercial may be) are supposed to be confidential…but hey your MSA is already public…from public to public…so no breach…

    It was nice reading the article…above comments are just intended to be comment…isn’t it


  2. Pingback: Quora

  3. Chris says

    publically == publicly?

  4. CatherinaLucy says

    Thank You for providing the key points on master service agreement.