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How Much Does a Service Agreement Cost?

Based on ContractsCounsel’s pricing data, the average cost of a service agreement is $660.00 [1].

Average Cost Data from Lawyers on ContractsCounsel

All Service Agreement Projects:
Drafting a Service Agreement:
Reviewing a Service Agreement:

Based on 53 recent projects completed by lawyers on ContractsCounsel.

Last updated: 5 July, 2024

Breakdown of Service Agreement Costs

A service agreement is a key legal document outlining the provisions under which a service provider presents their assistance to a client. Also, whether it is a simple consulting contract, a software development agreement, or a detailed retainer agreement, preparing a well-defined service agreement is necessary to determine the scope of work, obligations, payment duration, and other vital aspects of the business association. Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand the costs of developing a compliant and legally sound service agreement. Below are the various costs incurred while drafting a service agreement.

  • Attorney Costs: Hiring a legal expert is often the most essential cost of drafting a service agreement. A professional attorney ensures that the service agreement is lawfully binding, compliant with relevant laws, and effectively protects the client's and service provider's interests. Furthermore, charges an attorney levy for drafting and enforcing a service agreement can range from $500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the nature of legal assistance and the complexity of the service required.
  • Template or Document Creation Software: Many organizations use service agreement templates or document creation software to facilitate agreement drafting. These online tools offer pre-built templates that can be tailored to fit the parties' needs and cost between $50 to $300 or more.
  • Review and Modifications: After the initial draft is prepared, there is usually a review and revision process to ensure accuracy and clarity. This could involve multiple edits and communications between the parties and their legal representatives. The time and effort required for revisions can influence the overall cost. And the average cost of modifications can add another $300 to $1,000 to the total expenses.
  • Negotiation Costs: In situations where the parties usually have varying interests or requirements to negotiate specific provisions, additional expenses might be associated with negotiation. It could comprise continuous communication, legal discussions to implement changes, and possible adjustments to the agreement. Hence, depending on the complexity of the negotiations, these costs could vary from $500 to $2,000 or more.
  • Notary and Witness Fees: Some service agreements may require notarization or witness signatures to enhance their legal validity. Notary fees and the expenses related to arranging for witnesses can vary based on location and local regulations. Notary fees typically range from $5 to $50 per document, depending on the jurisdiction.
  • Translation Costs: Translation costs can arise if the service agreement needs to be prepared in different languages for parties in various nations or areas. Translation assistance could cost anywhere from $0.10 to $0.30 per word, depending on the complexity of the content and the terminologies involved.

Approaches Employed by Attorneys to Determine Service Agreement Costs

Legal professionals usually charge clients in several ways when creating a service agreement. Some of them are as follows:

  • Hourly Payments: Hourly billing is one of the most prevalent approaches attorneys use to charge for service agreement assistance. With this method, lawyers can track the time they spend working on a client's lawsuit and charge the client based on the hours worked. Moreover, for service agreement-related assistance, attorneys might estimate the hours needed to prepare or examine the agreement, negotiate provisions, and offer necessary legal guidance.
  • Flat Fees: Some attorneys offer flat-fee deals for specific legal services, including service agreements. A flat fee is a predetermined, fixed charge the client agrees to settle for a specific task. This method provides clients with clarity regarding the cost of the service agreement assistance upfront. Moreover, for a service agreement, the flat fee might encompass various tasks, such as initial consultation, drafting the agreement, and a certain number of revisions. However, additional charges may apply if the scope of the work changes or requires more revisions than initially anticipated.
  • Retainers: Retainer arrangements involve clients paying a lump sum upfront, which the lawyer then uses to cover the costs of their services as they are rendered. Lawyers will bill against the retainer based on their time on the case. This method is particularly common for ongoing legal matters or when clients anticipate needing legal assistance periodically. In service agreements, a retainer arrangement might be suitable when businesses require regular legal counsel for multiple agreements or for handling various legal aspects of their operations.
  • Contingency Fees: Contingency fees are generally associated with litigation rather than service agreements. This billing method involves the lawyer obtaining a percentage of the payment recovered if the client wins a case. However, it's less likely to be used for preparing or reviewing service agreements, as the outcome is based on something other than monetary recovery.
  • Hybrid Approaches: In some cases, lawyers might use a combination of billing methods to accommodate the client's needs and the nature of the work. For instance, they might charge a flat fee for drafting a service agreement and then switch to an hourly billing structure if the client requests extensive revisions or negotiations.
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Key Terms for Service Agreement Costs

  • Liability Limitations: Clearly states the extent of liability each party bears in case of service-related issues.
  • Governing Law : Specifies the legal jurisdiction and laws that will govern the interpretation and enforcement of the agreement.
  • Amendment Process: Outlines the procedure for making changes or amendments to the service agreement.
  • Notice Period: States the advance notice required for any changes, termination, or other essential actions.
  • Performance Metrics: Set benchmarks or criteria to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the services rendered.
  • Insurance Coverage: Addresses whether either party needs to carry specific insurance related to the services being provided.
  • Data Protection : Ensures compliance with privacy laws and specifies how client data will be handled and protected.
  • Subcontracting: Addresses whether the service provider can delegate specific tasks to subcontractors.
  • Exclusivity: Specifies if the service provider will exclusively provide certain services to the client within a defined scope.
  • Term Length: Specifies the duration of the service agreement, including start and end dates.
  • Renewal Clause: Outlines the process for extending the agreement beyond its initial term.
  • Performance Guarantees: Promises made by the service provider regarding the quality or outcomes of the services delivered.

Final Thoughts on Service Agreement Costs

To summarize, service agreement costs can differ based on multiple aspects, including the kind of service, scope, expertise needed, and industry standards. Also, being informed about these elements and engaging in reflective negotiation can help you prepare a service agreement that aligns with your requirements and budget. Remember that while evaluating costs is essential, the quality and value of the service offered should also be a top consideration.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.


  1. ^ Data based on recent service agreement projects on ContractsCounsel's platform. Updated daily.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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