Retainer Agreement & Contract

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Retainer Agreement is a document used in hiring a one-time or recurring service provider for future services. A Retainer Agreement Template includes all the important information to make it a legal document. Moreover, this document establishes a legal contract between both parties to fulfill their duties.

Retainer Agreements are often termed Contracts because of their legally binding nature. 

What is a Retainer Agreement?

A retainer agreement is a type of offer-to-work document that lets you pay someone in advance for their services in the future. The main reason behind submitting this fee is that the employer confirms that they want the service on a specified date. Another way to look at a retainer agreement is a recurring service that does not offer permanent employment.

It is beneficial for both parties as the employer does not need to treat them as permanent employees and the service provider can get confirmation with the advanced payment or fee. 

A retainer agreement includes all the service details along with the charges. Also, it specifies the time and date when the service will be provided along with the payment terms for future services. Employers use it to keep proof that they have made the payments for the services and they are to receive the receipt on the provided time and date.

Type of Retainer Agreements

There are two main types of retainer agreements- (Ongoing and Time-specified) that can be signed between two parties. Both the parties can discuss the type of agreement they want to proceed with. This page provides a retainer agreement template for both types of agreements.

Ongoing Retainer Agreement

An Ongoing Retainer Agreement is signed when the parties agree to the continuous services by the service provider. In return, the client pays the advance fee at the beginning of a fixed time period. The agreement does not require any legal requirements to renew the services. However, it can be canceled with mutual understanding when both parties agree to terminate the services.

Time-Specified Retainer Agreement

These types of agreements are usually weekly or monthly based on services. They do not need to cancel as they get terminated after a fixed period of time. The hirer needs to pay the amount at the time of signing the agreement. Additionally, it works with the contingency fee that protects the employer from getting charged for the service they do not receive.

How to Write a Retainer Agreement?

Writing a retainer agreement requires a retainer agreement template that you can download from this website. 

Click on the Get Form button to fill in the information of both parties along with the service details. The form covers all the important terms of a retainer agreement. That is why you can simply mention some basic details instead of worrying about the legal aspects of the document.

The last step includes mentioning the amount paid by the employer and the starting and ending date of the services. 

Payment terms and service terms can also be included to minimize disputes between both parties. It protects an employer from paying for the services if the other party fails to provide them. Similarly, the other party gets a payment guarantee with a fraction advanced fee. 


Retainer Agreement template helps in getting someone’s services with legal interference. Most clients pay for hourly-based services by signing a Retainer Agreement online. It is most common in cases of accountants, attorneys, and other hourly-based services.

We recommend checking out the templates to understand more about how you can use these agreements.

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