Finding a service provider that will suit your business’ needs can be challenging as it can be a long and tedious process. To help you through this process, we have made this practical guide that outlines where you can find service providers, how to choose between service providers, and the best agreement to have in place with your service provider.
Where can I find a service provider?
There are several ways to quickly find a service provider that suits your business’ needs. Many websites and mobile apps allow you to compare prices for the same service without the fuss of ringing multiple businesses to get quotes – ultimately saving you time and money. Some useful places to find service providers include (but are not limited to):
- Gumtree (website)
- Home Improvement Pages (hipages) (mobile app)
- Airtasker (mobile app)
- Fiverr (website and mobile app)
- Thumbtack (mobile app)
How do I choose a service provider?
An obvious factor in your decision to choose between service providers will be the cost of the service. However, there are some other important issues to consider:
It is important to consider the experience the contractor will need to provide the service to your required standard. For example, if you are having your office outfitted with new desks and furniture, you would want an experienced carpenter that understands the best way to build the furniture to cater to your business’ needs. However, if you were simply needing a drawer on a desk fixed, experience would be a less important consideration.
Reviews are also a helpful tool when choosing a service provider. Reviews can be found on Gumtree, the service provider’s website, Google or by word of mouth. They can help you steer clear of providers that do not deliver on expectations. Furthermore, reviews can indicate whether the service provider is better at some aspects of their service than others.
Whether the service provider has insurance is also an important consideration for choosing between service providers. If the contractor has the required insurance, you know that they will likely be able to compensate you for any damage done during the provision of the contractor’s services. This is particularly important for building services, where there is a high risk of financial damage to your business in the event of a dispute.
What is the best type of agreement to have with a service provider?
The best type of agreement for you to have with your chosen service provider is an Independent Contractor Agreement. Please note that if you are already being contracted for a job as an independent contractor, then you may require a Subcontractor Agreement to formalise the arrangement.
An Independent Contractor Agreement (or Subcontractor Agreement) is a written contract between a customer and a service provider that outlines:
- the scope of the work to be done;
- the cost of the work (e.g. a fixed fee or dependent upon hourly rates);
- when and how the service fees are payable (and any late payment fees that may be incurred); and
- any additional clauses that are necessary for the particular agreement.
It is best to have your agreement in writing as this provides more certainty for yourself and the service provider and reduces the risk of a dispute. You, the customer, know how much the service will cost and the service provider knows that payment for their work is enforceable, subject to the terms and conditions of the Agreement.
One risk of not having a written contract is that disputes are more likely to occur where one party has misconstrued their obligations, such as the cost of the services or the exact services that are to be provided. A verbal contract is also less enforceable than a written contract as the terms can often not be explicitly proven. Furthermore, written agreements are more easily interpreted in a dispute.
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If you are unsure about entering into a formal agreement with your service provider, you should seek legal advice. If you require legal advice or have any questions about our products or services, please do not hesitate to Legal Kitz by phone (1300 988 954) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The above information has been collected from relevant government websites and is subject to change. For the latest information regarding new or amended legislation, please refer to state and federal government websites.