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Should state that I am in the United Kingdom (England specifically if that makes a difference).

I have a contract I want to make for a web design job and I have created a contract that lays out the terms while the web design job is taking place which will then be finished once the web design job has been completed.

However, once the web design job has been completed, my intention would be to then offer the client web hosting services. However, as this would be an ongoing service, I have created another hosting contract for this which would then be renewed every 12 months.

I could send the two contracts separately and have the client sign both if I needed to but this would involve inconvenience in needing the client to sign two documents. So I wondered if I could either:

  • Create a hosting clause in the web design contract which would then refer to the fact that the terms of the hosting service are defined in the hosting contract (which I would then link to either a web page or another document or could I add these terms as a schedule?)
  • List the two sets of terms separately but in the same document and then have it so that there is just one place to sign at the bottom for both sets of terms.

Is this possible or would this create issues?

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Can I refer to another contract in a contract?

Yes. However, your description suggests that you might be better off by using two separate contracts.

Having your client sign two contracts instead of just one is not really an inconvenience, whereas mixing or cross-referencing contracts might needlessly convolute the task of ascertaining the parties' rights and obligations.

At most, the duration or reason of being of the web design contract is limited to the delivery (and fix of bugs) of your implementation. By contrast, you intend the hosting service to be an ongoing matter. This difference in time-frames which do not even overlap signals the pertinence of avoiding unintended/unforeseeable effects of contract cross-references.

Furthermore, the nature of hosting services is too different from designing or implementing to interrelate both types of services. Having separate contracts might be better even if instead of hosting you were to offer maintenance services upon delivery of your implementation. That is because maintenance will not necessarily be traceable to issues with the original design, but stem from changes in your customer's vision or his business rules.

  • There's tons of companies that offer both hosting and design services. The same contract is used for both on a daily basis. – Putvi Nov 27 '19 at 20:28
  • @Putvi I don't doubt it. But those companies very likely have more expertise than the OP on contract issues. Thus, it might be safer and easier for the OP to reduce his exposure to the intricacies of cross-referencing contracts that are intended for different purposes. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 27 '19 at 20:48
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    Thanks in the end we just decided that two contracts would be simpler. – DigM Nov 28 '19 at 9:58
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Technically, if you are linking to or providing another document or asking if you can combine them, you are really combining them either way.

Your best bet is to look at it and combine them in the easiest to understand, for the client, way.

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