The client service agreement, or CSA, is a written contract between parties outlining the terms of the relationship, scope of work, payment schedule, and other provisions or clauses specific to the working partnership.
One of the purposes of the CSA is to create shared understandings and expectations of the project so that everyone is on the same page about how the work will roll out. The service agreement also protects your business from potential legal action by creating an enforceable and signed contract between partners.
How to Enforce Your CSA
Before starting any work, you should be sure your CSA is signed, dated, and reviewed by a small business attorney. It’s far better to retain legal services upfront than to later find yourself in a deep hole of legal troubles and fees.
As a legally binding contract, your signed CSA is your go-to document for enforcing any kind of violation in the working relationship. If you find your client failing to abide by its terms and conditions, here are some steps you can take:
First, talk to your client. Sometimes clients are managing multiple projects at once and may not realize they are breaching your contract. Or, they simply forgot certain terms or are running behind schedule. Maintain communication with them throughout the project and don’t be afraid to be forthcoming with reminders if they are falling short of their commitment. Many times a reminder is all it takes to get them back on track or make a payment.
If needed, consult an attorney. If disputes arise or your client fails to uphold their end of the agreement, talk to a small business lawyer about your rights and next steps. They will review your contract and advise you on the best ways to proceed.
Pursue legal action if necessary. As a last resort, you may need to take legal action or move forward with arbitration. This is just one reason why it is so crucial to include an attorney fee provision in your contracts and why some generic contracts just don’t cut it. If legal action is something you need to pursue, make sure to talk with an attorney who focuses on your area of business as you prepare to take action.
Client contracts are important agreements to establish trust, expectations, and protections for your business. If you need help drafting a CSA or enforcing one for your Florida business, don’t hesitate to reach out to our commercial law team at Silverberg|Brito, PLLC.