3 Common Legal Agreements Used By Landscaping Businesses

Legal Agreements Used By Landscaping Businesses

Something you might not immediately associate with landscapers would be legal documents, however, for landscaping businesses,  to protect their interests and to operate within certain regulations, they often need to use them. The specific documents landscapers use will be influenced by the size of the business, what services it offers, and what state it is located in.

In particular, there are three formal agreement documents that you will find, not just landscaping businesses use,  but businesses of all kinds. These three agreements are Service Level Agreement, Employment Agreement, and Partnership Agreement. Read on and you will discover exactly what these agreements are and when they should be used by a landscaping business.

Service Level Agreement

What Is It?

A service level agreement, or SLA, is the contract that is created between a client and the landscaping business about their landscape design. It outlines in detail what work the landscapers have agreed to undertake and the expectations related to the services provided. It is created so that both parties are fully aware of their respective obligations so that no misunderstandings occur. Specific details that should be included in an SLA are:

  • Services provided and service requirements
  • Standards, terms, and conditions of the service
  • Timescales
  • Responsibilities of both parties
  • Dispute resolution procedures
  • Respective stakeholders
  • External service providers
  • Penalties and indemnities for a breach of service
  • Terms relating to subsequent amendments being made to the SLA

When Should You Use It?

There are several circumstances in which an SLA is appropriate and recommended. These include:

  • Management of a project’s progress
  • Setting measurable and clear objectives
  • Defining the expectations and obligations of each party
  • To reward or penalise performance and targets being met or not
  • Contracting external service providers

Employment Agreement

What Is It?

For those landscapers, whose business employs other workers whether they be part of the landscaping team, or administrative and support staff, an employment agreement should be used. An employee agreement will set out what the employee’s obligations and rights are and will include specifics such as the duties they are required to perform in their role, holiday entitlement, policies related to sickness, and it may also include their remuneration details.

Given that a degree of flexibility can be required by landscaping businesses, there are three types of employment agreements that they can use, which are full-time, part-time, and casual employment agreements.

When Should You Use It?

Quite simply, whenever you take on a new employee, an employment agreement for that individual should be created. It should be printed and signed by both the employee and the employer prior to the individual’s first day of work.

Partnership Agreement

What Is It?

This is the rarest of the three agreements that we are looking at. A partnership agreement is used when two parties agree to work together on a business venture and it is the legally binding contract that forms that partnership. It outlines the rights, duties, obligations, and responsibilities of each partner so that their respective interests are protected. Examples are two landscaping businesses joining forces to form a single business, or working as one business entity on a large project.

When Should You Use It?

A partnership agreement should be completed and signed by both parties before the partnership is confirmed as a legal entity. This ensures that both are clear on their rights and that no disputes occur thereafter.