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 samples will explicitly state the terms under which the service will be considered satisfactorily delivered, and if not, what the penalties are. You may also see agreement samples.
Service Level Agreement Template
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Service Level Agreement Contract Template
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.
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What Is a Service-Level Agreement?
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.
When Will I Need Service-Level Agreements?
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.
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Business Service Level Agreement Template
The Elements of a Service-Level Agreement
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:
- Service description. In the example with an ISP, this description will include network connectivity, domain name servers, protocols, etc.
- Reliability. Frame the limits of when the service is available and when it will not be.
- Protocol for reporting issues. Describe the procedure the client should take when some problem arises: who to contact and how.
- Consequences. What will come into effect if the service is not provided according to the conditions set in the service description at the agreed price. Usually, this is a refund or a termination of the contract.
- Escape clauses. These are constraints or circumstances in which the service cannot be applied. In the ISP example, they cannot be expected to provide service in the case of fires, floods, or other hazards damaging the ISP’s equipment.
Each element should be specific and measurable. This way, the quality of service given or received can be estimated and consequently rewarded.