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The Legal Paige - How to Use a Contract Addendum

How to Use a Contract Addendum

If you’re a service provider in the wedding and events world, oftentimes situations will come up where the original contract you signed with your clients needs to be modified or adapted due to new circumstances. One powerful legal tool in achieving this flexibility is the contract addendum. This one-pager document serves as an extension to an existing agreement, allowing for you to add on additional terms to an existing contract. Using an addendum allows for an easy way to deal with changes and is an important document to have in your business toolbox!

 

 

Understanding the Purpose of Contract Addendums:

A contract addendum is a legal document used when there is a need to introduce changes to the original agreement. For event professionals, scenarios such as adding on hours of coverage or rescheduling your client’s service date come to mind. The addendum, typically attached to the original contract (or at least referencing it), ensures clarity and transparency in conveying the updated terms to both parties involved.

 

An addendum often gets confused with an amendment but they are different documents used for different purposes. While an addendum serves to supplement or add additional terms to an existing contract without altering the original terms, an amendment involves the modification, alteration, or adjustment of existing terms within the original contract itself. While both addendums and amendments address changes to contractual arrangements, the key difference lies in whether the modifications are changed externally (addendum) or integrated directly into the original document (amendment). 

 

Incorporating Contract Addendums in CRM Systems:

So how do you use an addendum with contracts already signed in your CRM systems? For professionals using popular CRM systems such as Honeybook, 17 Hats, Dubsado, Hello Sign, and ShootQ, integrating contract addendums is easy! Here are some routes you can take depending on your CRM system.

 

1) Editing in CRM Systems that Allow Modifications:

  • If your CRM system allows you to edit a signed contract, attach the Rescheduling Addendum at the bottom of the original document. This creates a clear chronological order with the original contract taking precedence.
  • Have clients sign the addendum, acknowledging the changes to the original contract above it which are now introduced by the addendum.

2) Creating a New Contract with No Edit Options:

  • If your CRM system doesn't permit editing of signed contracts, consider sending the Rescheduling Addendum as a new document.
  • Adjust the language to reflect that the addendum modifies the original agreement, specifying the date both parties initially signed that original contract. The key here is to be very clear what that original contract was, who the parties were, and when it was signed.
  • Clients then sign the new addendum, solidifying the modifications to the original contract.


Types of commonly used addendums for Creatives: 

  • Rescheduling Addendum
    • A Rescheduling Addendum is a specialized document designed for instances where clients need to reschedule the event date, and the client HAS decided on a new date. This means you can now change the date to the existing contractual terms. This addendum ensures that the new date is noted by all parties, payment terms stay the same (but maybe payment dates change depending on your policies for changing the event date), and acts as a bridge between the initial contract and the revised event details. This addendum can be added to any event service agreement. [Note: A Rescheduling Contract is different from an addendum because an agreement is used when the client DOES NOT know the new rescheduled date and instead you as the service provider are allowing for a grace period for them to decide on a new date and transfer their fees paid over.]

 

  • General Addendums for General Purposes
    • This is an addendum template that you can use for any scenario when you need to add on something to the original contract. So if you need to add service hours to a package, or add on a second shooter if you’re a photographer, or add on travel fees due to the location changing, you use this!

 

  • Third Party Payor Addendum
    • If any third party beyond your clients is paying for your services (i.e. someone who is not the client you are servicing such as a family member), then you would use this type of addendum. It’s an easy attachment to your existing contract that you will have the third-party payor sign when they pay for your services. It ensures that the third-party payor agrees to assume responsibility for payment, that they are not the client you are servicing, and that the non-refundable retainer applies to them. You will also have the client(s) sign this addendum so they are aware and understand that they are still liable for payment under the original contract if the third party fails to pay.

 

  • Addendum for Rescheduling and Adding an Associate
    • If you're a photographer faced with the necessity to reschedule a wedding/event date due to personal reasons or an emergency, and you've decided to designate an associate photographer as the primary photographer for the rescheduled wedding date to take your place under your company, you need to use this specific addendum to change the contract and inform your clients about the nuisances surrounding the new associate taking your place.  



 

Using contract addendums is crucial for business owners in order to provide clients flexibility regarding additional services. And understanding the when and how of contract addendums empowers you to efficiently manage contractual changes while maintaining transparency and professionalism in your client relationships. Make sure you have the addendum templates you need with The Legal Paige!



 

 

THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract. See our full disclaimer here.

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