5 Estimate Terms and Conditions for Your Small Business
An estimate is a document that provides approximate costs for a project to a potential client. An estimate isn’t binding, but you should still include terms and conditions to clarify details like payment terms and project requirements. This will ensure that the client is fully informed, and there will be no surprises down the road.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- General Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
- Detailed Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
- Payment Terms and Conditions Sample
- Construction Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
- Design Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
- Copywriting Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
- Reasons To Include Estimate Terms & Conditions
- Estimate Terms and Conditions: How to Write Them
General Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
This is an example of a general terms and conditions document that a company may share with a client:
This project estimate is an approximation based on information and requirements provided by the client and is not guaranteed. Actual costs and terms may change once all project elements are discussed, negotiated, and finalized. Prior to any change in costs, the client will be notified. This estimate is valid for 30 days.
Detailed Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
Many firms offer a detailed list of terms and conditions they can shape and change according to the client and the project. Below are samples of some detailed terms and conditions for estimate disclaimers:
Services: Upon acceptance, our company will perform the services described in the estimate. Any additional services requested by the client not discussed are not covered by the estimate and will incur additional charges.
Schedule: The services will be completed, and/or delivery of products will be made according to the estimated schedule. Both parties, in writing, will approve the schedule.
Changes: Changes to the delivery and performance of any products or services, including quantity, specifications, and scheduling, do not become binding until approved in writing by both parties. Any changes may result in additional or increased charges.
Payment Terms and Conditions Sample
It’s often helpful to discuss payment and the final price in your list of terms and conditions. This is important so both you and your client know the actual cost and exactly how and when to pay. Below is an example of payment terms and conditions:
Unless agreed upon prior to commencement of work, delivery, or services, payment will be due in full upon completion. Where a quotation has been given, the full amount due, less any payments made, is payable. Where a quotation has not been provided, The Company’s agent will advise the customer of the amount due and will provide a detailed invoice within 72 hours.
All prices include sales tax at the appropriate rate.
Acceptable methods of payment are:
- Electronic Payment (insert method)
- Cash (a 2.5% surcharge will be payable on amounts in excess of $100)
All materials and goods supplied by The Company shall remain the property of The Company until the full invoice has been paid.
Payment terms can also include detailed instructions on taxes, due dates, and additional charges:
Taxes: The client will be responsible for payment of all applicable federal, state, and local taxes and assessments (including sales, use, and similar) levied on the transaction. No tax exemption will be recognized unless a valid exemption certificate is provided.
Payment Terms: All invoices for services described in the estimate are payable within fifteen (15) days of the invoice date (i.e., net 15). We have no discount for early payment.
Late Charges & Interest: Any invoices unpaid on or before the due date will begin to accrue interest after the due date until the invoice is paid at the lesser of twelve (12%) percent per annum or the highest lawful rate.
Payment terms and conditions can be simplified by using FreshBooks payments. You can set up online payments easily and track your accounts with just a few clicks. Click here to get started and learn more about FreshBooks payment features.
Construction Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
Here’s an example of estimate terms and conditions for the construction industry:
Estimates are provided on a best endeavors basis only. Unless a fixed price quotation has been given to the customer, work will be charged based upon an agreed-upon hourly labor rate plus the price of parts provided by The Company. This project may include the time taken to research, source, and purchase any materials provided.
Also included are important details about liability:
The Company can only be held liable for the extent of works carried out by The Company. No liability shall be accepted for defects in existing installations or with respect to parts not manufactured by The Company. The Company can not be held responsible for any loss or damage to property, materials, or personal injuries to individuals caused by the personal actions of the customer or other household members or guests before, during, or after such works have been completed.
Design Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
Here are sample terms and conditions from an estimate template for graphic design work:
The costs given here are estimated and do not constitute a firm quote. The price is based on the information provided and may be inappropriate if additional information is forthcoming or specifications change. This estimate does not include copywriting, animation, video, third-party artwork, advanced programming functions, or web server charges. It is valid for 30 days.
Copywriting Estimate Terms and Conditions Sample
A copywriting firm often has to clarify an example of some of the specifics writers need to include in their terms and conditions. This includes details on how many drafts are included and how client consultation is handled:
Our current copywriting fees are $50 per hour or $400 a day. Before each project, we will provide a detailed quote. Any changes to the original brief initiated by the client may require a cost adjustment. The total price of your project will include:
- A free quote
- A maximum of 3 drafts of your specific project
- Any minor amendments to your project
- Advice and consultation by email as necessary
- Any additional work requested not covered in the original brief will be quoted separately and added to the original invoice
A brief will be supplied by the client and must clearly outline the project requirements. We suggest you download, complete, and return our briefing form to ensure that we have all the requirements before work begins.
A proposal is like an estimate but much more detailed. Proposals discuss the value your particular company can offer and include samples from past work or client testimonials. FreshBooks proposal software will help you make professional-looking proposals quickly and easily.
Reasons To Include Estimate Terms & Conditions
Terms and conditions included in an estimate make your relationship with your client clear and simple. They help both you and your client set out the services and work that are expected. The project, estimated costs, and services provided are given in a detailed breakdown, and it’s made clear how much the client can expect to pay for the particular requirements. An expiry date and time frame in the written estimate document can help small businesses plan their time.
Estimate Terms and Conditions: How to Write Them
Estimate terms and conditions can be broad or very detailed. Read articles about estimates and see some examples in the FreshBooks estimates section. Click here to start your free trial of FreshBooks Estimate software. It’s simple to use, and you can use the details from your estimate to create offers and quotes.
The documents you send your clients reflect you, your company, and, potentially, the quality of your work. It’s essential to be concise and clear in your estimates, detailing important items like payment terms, timing, and schedules. A clear estimate can stop any misunderstandings and help your business create happy customers.
People also ask:
- What Are Some Proposal Disclaimer Samples?
- What Do You Write in a Disclaimer?
- Are Disclaimers Legally Binding?
What Are Some Proposal Disclaimer Samples?
Here’s a simple proposal disclaimer:
This document is strictly private, confidential, and personal to its recipients and should not be copied, distributed, or reproduced in whole or in part, nor passed to any third party.
Some companies have extensive proposal disclaimers. Check out this sample:
Thank you for your interest in the [attached] information (the “Information”). Please note that the Information has been provided to you at your request for discussion purposes only. The Information is confidential, and you must not distribute it to any third party, in whole or part, without the company’s express written permission.
The company makes no representation, warranty, or undertaking, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy, reliability, completeness, or reasonableness. Any assumptions, opinions, and estimates expressed in the Information constitute the company’s judgment as of the date hereof and are subject to change without notice. Any projections in the Information are based on several assumptions about market conditions, and there can be no guarantee that any projected outcomes will be achieved.
The company does not accept any liability for any direct, consequential, or other loss arising from reliance on the contents of the Information.
What Do You Write in a Disclaimer?
Disclaimers should be included in all pricing documents, such as proposals, quotes, bids, and estimates.
Some documents can include restrictions regarding pricing. You can add a “subject to changes” addendum in advertisements, proposals, and estimates. This will help protect your small business against fluctuating prices.
Just remember that quotes have fixed prices once the customer accepts them, so a disclaimer saying “subject to change” will not be appropriate.
- For example, a travel agency may include the following disclaimer to avoid misunderstandings: All prices are subject to change without prior notice due to currency fluctuation, fuel prices, and/or unforeseen economic circumstances.
Also, it’s important to include how expected costs, additional work, or price variations will be charged. This is in case the job becomes more complicated than anticipated, the final cost changes or a client changes what they want.
- For example, you could say that additional work hours will be billed at $50/hour.
Are Disclaimers Legally Binding?
A disclaimer can be legally binding as long as it’s part of a document that can be considered a contract. Contracts are legal documents.
A contract must:
- Include an offer
- Receive acceptance of that offer
- Be in writing
- Include obligations
Obligations are the responsibilities of each party. For example, a service provider or supplier might provide graphic design services, and the client provides payment in return.
Bids and other pricing documents that include a disclaimer and the above elements of a contract can be considered legally binding.
However, documents like estimates don’t have offers. The purpose of an estimate is to provide approximate costs. So any estimate disclaimer will similarly not be binding.
About the author
"Michelle Alexander is a CPA and implementation consultant for Artificial Intelligence-powered financial risk discovery technology. She has worked in external audit compliance and various finance roles in Government and Big 4 environments. In her spare time you’ll find her traveling the world, shopping for antique jewelry, and painting watercolour floral arrangements. Catch up with her on linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/michelletongalexander"