What Documents will I get?

Right, today's post is all about the formalities. 

Any decent VA will be direct with you and have standard documentation to send you that is legally binding.  If they don’t then ask why before going any further.  It’s in your interests, and in the VA’s, to have documentation in place that details what the nature of your working relationship is, what their remit is, what will be paid etc.  Start off on the right foot with these things in place and a lot of aggro down the line can be saved.  Whilst no-one wants to start things off presuming that in the future they will sour, it really is best to be prepared just in case it does, and if you start of like this it doesn’t become a taboo subject which can also make things unnecessarily complicated.


You may have been asked to complete one of these, or part of one, early on so the VA had some information about you.  Or they may leave it until now to get some of that information.  It’s important the VA has the key contact and business information from you, and from this other documentation like the contract can be raised.


It may be called an engagement agreement or something similar but in essence it’s a legally binding document that outlines key aspects of your working arrangement such as pay rates, notice periods, copyright etc. Basically all the terms and conditions you both agree to comply with.


Again, this maybe called a few different things but it’s an outline of what work it is agreed the VA will do, how long it will take and what the agreed fee for each element is. This will differ from VA to VA and role to role depending on the type of tasks being done etc but bottom line is it’s key to have something, in writing and agreed by both parties, that details what the VA’s remit is.


You may require the VA to sign a NDA, so this would be the point to exchange that.  You may also wish to have evidence that they are GDPR compliant and/or have the relevant insurance documentation to fulfil their role. Again, it’ll change from VA to VA and be role/task dependent, but this is the stage to get those formalities sorted and noted on record for everyone’s reassurance.


The first invoice may be a little different but in order for them to get started along with the contract being received back they’ll also need to have received your first payment.  No payment means you’ve not secured them and their valuable time. 


Formal documentation can seem a bit scary and it’ll likely suddenly bring home the realisation of what you’re getting involved in.  The fear of handing over some of your business tasks to someone might crop up again and suddenly you’re feeling daunted and wondering if you’re doing the right thing.  And that’s all totally understandable.  The formal stuff is to make sure you start off on the right foot, that boundaries are set and agreed to be respected, and that there is clarity for things in future.  Don’t put off the formal stuff – eat that frog, as they say.  Open the documents straight away, read them through thoroughly, ask any questions (not matter how silly you think they might be) and then feel proud about the bold decision you’ve taken to prioritise growing your business!

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