Not getting your clients to sign a contract is setting yourself up for trouble.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find free templates on the internet. Like this florist wedding contract template by Curate.
But how will you know if the contract is good enough? To help you out, we created this checklist: 10 things a florist business contract must include. We also included a few bonus tips. Now go get them tiger (lily).
Legal Disclaimer: We’re not lawyers. We’re a team devoted to helping SMBs grow their business in a professional, sustainable and effective manner. The information in this post is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The author and company are not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failure to act related to the content in this article. If you need specific legal advice, consult with an attorney.
10 Things Your Florist Business Contract Must Include
Here, in words anyone can understand, are the 10 elements your contract must include:
- Exact dates, times and addresses of the event: Your contract must include the location, venue, date and time of the event. Remember that weddings and events involve many suppliers. That’s why punctuality is crucial. A breach of the exact time might be cause for dispute, so make sure you have all the accurate details.
- Detailed flowers and rentals: The contract must include a detailed and itemized list of
A) All the flower arrangements you’ll be supplying; bouquets, centerpieces, and decor. In the contract, these elements must appear with their accurate names, their exact amounts and exact colors. Like you agreed in the proposal.
B) All rentals, such as vases, trellises and other accessories.
- Substitution Policy: Your florist contract should specify the Substituts you agreed upon. In case a specific flower you agreed on is unavailable on the day of the event. It’s important that your customer knows that sometimes a specific flower can’t be guaranteed. And that they are completely happy with the alternatives you agreed upon. Make sure the substituents match their style, their color scheme and their budget. And of course, it’s advisable to only use substitutes when you have to. Keeping a happy customer and a good reputation should always be your first priority.
- Payments and Terms: Make sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s when it comes to your payments and terms. You must state your terms on all the following:
Deposit: State the deposit amount and its due date. Make sure to state that it is non-refundable and that it will be deducted from the total price of the event.
- Payment and fees: Which types of payments do you accept? (Example: cash, check, credit, debit) and which not. Make sure to mention if your fees will include sales tax, delivery fees and setup fees. In the case of rentals, you must also specify any security deposits and possible fees for damaged goods.
Balance: State the balance amount and its due date.
- Additional work: If your fees don’t cover everything, like taking the decor apart after the event or any last-minute changes, be sure to say so.
- Cancellations and Reimbursements: Mention under which terms you might cancel the contract. Specify what should happen in the event that the customer doesn’t pay the balance in due time or all together. Be sure to state that your vendor obligations will be canceled in such a case. State under which conditions you will agree to continue. How much extra will the customer have to pay and what would be the latest date possible for such a transaction. In case of reimbursement, specify which sums will be deduced.
- Venue Policy Clause: Your contract must include this standard clause. Here’s what this means: Each venue has its own set of rules. Like what you’re allowed to place where and other do’s and don’ts that could affect your work. The Venue Policy Clause means your customer accepts, that you’re obligated by the “house rules”.
- Limited Liability Clause: A crucial clause that will save you from going bankrupt in case you’re sued for “emotional distress”. This clause will also protect you for other real damages that you might cause. The Limited Liability clause caps the total amount of money that may be awarded to a customer. The standard is that the cap is the total amount that the client pays you. It could come to any amount in a lawsuit. So be sure to cap this amount b including this clause.
- Exclusivity Clause: This is crucial for your business’s branding and reputation. You want to be the only florist at an event, because you do not want to seem responsible for someone else’s work. Flirty Fleurs has a succinct and solid exclusivity clause you can learn from.
- Disputes: We sure hope you’ll never have to use this. But you must include it in your contract. Here you’ll state who will mediate or arbitrate any dispute. And where. You don’t want to be dragged to a courthouse halfway across the country to settle a dispute.
- Force Majeure: Include this clause, because some things we don’t have control over. Make sure you won’t have to lose money because of a hurricane.
- Proposal first, contract second: Make sure you and your customers are on the same page with the proposal. It’s the best way to show your clients how their flowers will look. And to make sure you have the same aesthetics and budget in mind.
Lori Tran, of Team Flower, writes a fantastic (and short) post on how to create a floral plan. She even includes a template.
If you’re not sure what’s the difference between a proposal and a contract, don’t sweat it. Visit this helpful article by The Knot. This article was written for couples preparing for their wedding. It gives you the advantage of seeing things from your customer’s perspective.
- A personal note: Include a personal note in your contract. Let your customers feel that they are in good and loving hands. Do it before they delve into the small print of your cancellation policy.
- Get yourself insured: Your florist business contract covers anything that could go wrong between you and your customer. But other things could go wrong, from bad weather to theft. This article by Allstate clearly explains the types of insurance a florist should consider.
Get the rights to use images from the event: This is not a contract must. But getting your customers to agree to use images will do a lot for your branding and marketing.