What is a letter of engagement?
The basics: A letter of engagement (also known as a client engagement letter or client care letter) outlines the terms of the working relationship between a services provider and its clients, typically in letter format. It is commonly used by professional services providers to set expectations for an engagement.
Its purpose: The purpose of a letter of engagement is to ensure clarity and understanding between both parties regarding the scope of work, deliverables, timelines and relevant fees associated with the services being provided.
When would you use a letter of engagement template?
Picture this: you've just secured an amazing new client who has expressed their need for your professional services. You’re excited as you envision the potential of a fruitful business relationship. But wait - before diving headfirst into providing the agreed services, you first need to establish expectations and the terms of the engagement in writing. This is where a letter of engagement becomes an important tool to safeguard your business interests.
This user-friendly letter of engagement template allows you to create a fully-customisable letter, including essential sections with lawyer-drafted guidance notes to help you formalise the agreement, laying the foundation for a successful partnership.
What are the key benefits of using Docue’s letter of engagement template?
1. Clear expectations: By documenting the agreed-upon terms in writing, you mitigate the risk of misunderstandings or disputes that may arise in the future. It acts as a reference point to ensure both parties are aligned on the objectives, responsibilities and financial aspects of the project. This helps to facilitate a smoother working relationship in the long run.
2. Enhanced legal protection by incorporating terms & conditions (T&Cs): By referring to the service provider's standard T&Cs in the letter of engagement, the service provider can rest assured that the client agrees to the legal terms stated in the T&Cs. This means that T&Cs will be incorporated into the letter of agreement without the need to insert each term and condition into the letter. These T&Cs will cover the broader legal framework between the parties, clarifying aspects like intellectual property rights, confidentiality, liability and other crucial elements. By referring to your standard T&Cs separately, you can maintain a streamlined letter while still ensuring that all necessary legal aspects are covered.
3. Can be used by all professional services industries: This versatile template can be used across various industries and professions. We understand that every industry, profession, and project is unique, so we've made it easy for you to tailor the template to your exact needs. However, please note we have not included industry-specific wording; any industry-specific wording or regulatory requirements can be easily included. It also includes an optional section requesting certain documents for verification of the client’s identity to comply with money laundering regulations.
4. Clarity on payment: The payment terms section of this letter of engagement template can clearly set out the fees payable for the services. This will ensure the parties are on the same page regarding compensation by outlining payment terms, charge rates and any other relevant details from the outset. This eliminates uncertainties and facilitates a smooth process when it comes to the financial aspects of the agreement.
5. Save time and resources: Utilising a letter of engagement template saves time and effort by providing a ready-made structure and content. This letter of engagement template includes several key sections to prompt you each time you create and send a letter for a new engagement. It eliminates the need to create a document from scratch for each engagement, allowing you to focus more on delivering the services effectively.
6.Consistency: A standardised letter of engagement template will ensure that you have consistency across your client interactions. It helps maintain uniformity in your terms and expectations, creating an authoritative and professional image for your business.
What are the key terms that a letter of engagement template should include?
Key terms: Docue’s letter of engagement template contains the following key provisions:
- Scope of the services and deliverables;
- Incorporation of terms and conditions;
- People responsible for the services;
- How the parties will communicate;
- Payment and invoices;
- Data protection;
- Levels of service and complaints handling procedure; and/or
- Money laundering regulations (if applicable).
Other relevant documents
We have answered some frequently asked questions below:
1. Is there another template I can use if I would prefer to have one document encompassing all of the terms, rather than a letter and also T&Cs?
Yes, if you prefer to have all the terms and conditions encompassed in a single document rather than a separate letter and terms and conditions, our services agreement template would be a suitable option for you.
A services agreement provides a comprehensive framework that covers all the necessary details of the engagement in one integrated document.
2. Does Docue have a similar template that I can use for professional services that isn’t in letter format?
Yes, if you're looking for a template for professional services that isn't in letter format, our order form template could be a perfect fit for you.
An order form provides a structured and concise way to outline the details of the professional services. In addition to you specifying the scope of work, pricing, timelines, etc., you can also easily incorporate your standard T&Cs.
3. What if I don’t have my own set of standard terms and conditions?
If you're using this letter of engagement template and you do not currently have your own set of T&Cs, then depending on the nature of the services that you will be providing, Docue has several templates for the supply of services that can be seamlessly integrated into your letter of engagement:
For services sold either in-store, over the phone or at some other location: our services agreement would be a suitable template to create your standard T&Cs.
If your business provides recruitment and talent acquisition services: check out our recruitment terms and conditions template.
If you will be supplying both services and goods to your clients: our supply of goods and services agreement template. You would need to ensure that full details of the goods and services are included in the letter of engagement.
Once you have created your own standard set of terms and conditions, you can use this letter of engagement each time you engage with a new client.
What could be the consequences of starting the services without a formal agreement with the client?
If a service provider fails to issue a letter of engagement or secure the client's agreement to their terms and conditions before commencing the services, it can lead to unclear positioning and undesirable consequences, including:
Unclear responsibilities and expectations: Without a written contract, the service provider and client may face ambiguity regarding each party's responsibilities, the scope of services, deliverables, timelines and fees. The absence of a formal agreement makes it challenging to hold each party accountable for their respective roles, potentially resulting in inefficiencies, delays or inadequate service delivery.
Risk of liability exposure: Operating without a formal agreement exposes the parties to potential liabilities, losses or claims. Service provider terms and conditions typically include limitations on liability, such as liability caps. However, in the absence of contractual limitations on liability, the service provider's liability may be unlimited, increasing the risk and potential financial consequences.
Difficulty enforcing your rights: Without a written agreement, enforcing rights, such as those related to intellectual property or confidentiality, can become more challenging. A written agreement is crucial for establishing each party's rights, providing a clear framework for enforcement and minimising difficulties in protecting those rights.
Why use Docue?
Dynamic: Our team of qualified lawyers has developed a fully-customisable letter of engagement template that is designed to adapt to your specific circumstances. This means that you can easily create and customise each letter according to the unique requirements of your business or client. The dynamic nature of our template ensures that you can capture all the necessary details and tailor the agreement to meet your specific needs, providing a comprehensive and personalised document with your own logo and footer.
Simpler: With Docue, drafting, e-signing, storing and managing your contracts has never been easier! Our user-friendly interface and intuitive features make it incredibly easy to create and finalise your letter of engagement template. You can quickly fill in the necessary information, add or remove clauses as needed, and make revisions effortlessly.
Great pricing: We understand the importance of transparent and cost-effective pricing. Our pricing is straightforward, without hidden costs buried in the fine print. We offer competitive rates that are designed to accommodate businesses of all sizes, from startups to larger enterprises. Our goal is to provide you with lawyer-grade templates, along with e-signature and storage at an affordable price, ensuring that you receive exceptional value without compromising on quality or service.
Tags: letter of engagement template, engagement letter, client engagement letter, client care letter, client agreement, professional services, ps contract template, business services, professional services agreement, services scope, services timeline, legal agreement