Why do I need a doula contract?
Today's Guest Blog Post is by Rob Turner. Rob is a partner at 360 Venture Law as well as a very supportive husband of a doula. YourDoulaBag is excited to work with 360 Venture Law in setting up the Business Foundation Package.
Contracts serve an important role by documenting the services you, the doula, provide to your client. Contracts can also be used to limit your liability in the event of a dispute with your client.
Contracts typically include: i) a description of your services (what you will do and, possibly, some of examples of what you will not do); ii) your fee and terms of payment (like ½ at contract signing and ½ within X days after the baby is born, etc.); iii) some limitation on your liability; and iv) boilerplate terms and conditions (including terms like how notice should be sent and an agreement for venue in the event of dispute).
Many service agreements include a provision generally referred to as “limitation on liability.” For a limitation of liability, the service provider will state – and the customer agree – that the service provider’s maximum liability to the customer in the event of a dispute will not exceed $X. This provision (along with using an entity through which to render your services rather than just you personally) can help limit your financial liability (how much you could owe to your customer) in the event of a dispute with them.
For example: if one of your customer’s has not paid you and you have performed all of the services per the terms of the contract, you can also use the contract to sue the customer for breach of contract (non-payment). Although it’s certainly not preferred to have to sue your client’s for payment, if you have performed and the client is refusing to pay, it is always much easier to have a signed contract to show to the court.