Skip to main content

Master Services Agreement

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was published in 2010, when we were still Shane & Peter. Since then, we’ve experienced a lot of growth, and our contract has evolved. You can check out a more recent version in our 2019 Contractor Master Services Agreement post.

While 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.