We're a small software consulting shop. We're close to signing a deal with a client. We also have an independent subcontractor looking to join us.

The independent contractor is getting anxious about waiting, so we're planning to give them a payment to keep them on hold for 2 weeks. If our contract from client works out, independent contract will have to join us. Else, they can walk with the money we already paid them.

What would such a document be called?

  • I think that you are paying for an "Option". If the deal doesn't close, the contractor has the option of leaving. If the deal does close, the contractor has the Option of working for you on terms already agreed to, or leaving, and re-paying the upfront payment (and probably a penalty as well). – abelenky Jan 4 '18 at 21:27

Offer them to sign the contract straight away — with a special clause/condition accommodating your situation. There is no need for a separate document.

For example, you can call the first two-three weeks "provisional period", during which you will be allowed to terminate the contract with giving them a one-off payment.


Why not call it "Alice"?

What a document is called rarely matters, what matters is what it "is". Just write a document that sets out each parties rights and obligations and don't call it anything.

  • Sorry I meant, I am looking for a document template for this. I'm not sure if there is a popular template already for it, and I need to find out how I can search for it. – Dee Jan 4 '18 at 23:53
  • You don't need a template: just redraft your question and use that. – Dale M Jan 4 '18 at 23:55
  • I'm not sure I can draft and be sufficiently safe. I reached out to an attorney for help but haven't heard back. Trying to look for templates to adapt online and I'm not exactly sure what to look for – Dee Jan 5 '18 at 0:10
  • 1
    What a document is regularly called matters when you're trying to find examples and other material about it. This is a very poor response to a reasonable question. – Nij Jan 5 '18 at 11:50

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