If your company provides services to other companies, or if you are thinking of contracting services from a company that does, you’ll need a specific Agreement Template called a service-level agreement to make sure everyone is agreeing on the same terms. This is especially necessary when you are dealing in services. A service is not a tangible product where what you see is what you get. A service-level contract will explicitly state the terms under which the service will be considered satisfactorily delivered, and if not, what the penalties are.
These free downloadable Word and PDF templates should help either party. Contractors will naturally want this contract for legal protection and to make sure they get what they pay for. As for service providers, you will know exactly what is expected of you, if you want to be paid.
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract signed between a service provider and a contractor or client. This agreement will state what level of service is expected from the provider, since a service is a vague term that cannot be otherwise measured.
So when will clients know they are not being cheated out of mediocre service and how do service providers know when they have provided the service according to agreement and thus deserve to be paid?
To address this, the terms in the SLA will be output-based. It will define the exact metrics of what service the client or contractor will receive. When these metrics are met, the contract is fulfilled.
You will want to draw up a Service Agreement Template when hiring services either externally or internally (e.g., with a department within a larger organization). The most common example of SLA is with Internet service providers (ISP). Any time your company is outsourcing some task to another company, you will need SLAs.
Like any Legal Agreement Template, the SLA will only hold to its actual purposes if the appropriate metrics are included in the contract.
Your SLA should explicitly state and define these basic elements:
Each element should be specific and measurable. This way, the quality of service given or received can be estimated and consequently rewarded.