" It's awesome how I have been able to build up onboarding and invoicing and client related reporting in one place using Clientvenue, it's really awesome that we've been able to cut on extra software spending for our business as well. "

Alore Sales, bengaluru
Trusted by 200+ Marketing Agencies

Signup for a full-featured trial

We will help you onboard with ease

This will be used as your dashboard url

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Thank you! You will be redirected to your dashboard, please don't close this window.
Oops! Something went wrong. Please check your entered values.
The All-In-One solution for Agencies
Start free trial

Do you want to know about retainer agreement? If so, then read on.

A retainer agreement is a long-term work-for-hire contract between a firm and a client that guarantees your services and pays you a consistent sum of money.

This blog post will guide you and teach everything you need to know about retainer agreements!

Free of Charge Creative Commons retainer agreement Image - Legal 1

Retainer Agreement:

A retainer agreement is a contract between a client and a professional that requires an upfront payment for future services.

The retainer agreement defines the scope of work, rights to intellectual property and other key points.

Retainer agreements provide a company with peace of mind and security . It is important to state retainer agreement in the contract as it build trust between you and your client. Let's discuss this in detail:

  • It ensures you get paid .

The retainer should be a fixed amount and not an hourly rate.

Retainer fees are non-refundable and additional charges would only occur if applicable tasks had been completed if you don't work on the project during that time period.

Business loan Icon  pay stock illustrations

Once these services have been provided, then your retainer fee will be prorated to reflect the actual number of days worked since inception of retainer agreement with this particular client .

This means that you won’t lose money by providing ongoing service without getting paid immediately!

  • It provides you with job security.

A retainer agreement is an excellent way to secure long-term work .

When a client has retained your services, then that means they will continue using them for the foreseeable future!

This ensures that retainer agreements are great gig if you're looking for consistent income and don't need immediate cash flow to survive.

This also allows you to plan ahead without worrying about fulfilling your basic financial needs each month until retainer fee gets paid off.

Of course, all of this is contingent on how much retainer payment is required per month/year, as well as the services committed to in the retainer contract!

  • It shows that you're a professional.

When you have retainer agreement with a client, it shows that you are reliable and can be counted on for future services!

This is an excellent way to build trust with clients and form long-lasting relationships !

  • It limits scope Creep.

Scope creep is when a client asks for additional services that were not originally agreed upon in the retainer agreement .

This can be disastrous for business, as it can quickly lead to billings above and beyond the retainer fee!

By having a retainer agreement in place, you limit the chances of this happening because any changes outside of the defined scope must be renegotiated and added to the retainer contract!

  • It establishes you as a retainer-only business.

Once you have a retainer agreement in place, it shows that your company specializes in providing long-term services and is not just a one-time project shop!

This can be great for marketing and lead generation !

Now that we've gone over the importance of retainer agreements, let's talk about how to create one!

How retainer agreements work:

Now that we understand the importance of retainer agreements, let's discuss how these contracts actually work.

Typically, a retainer agreement will have an upfront payment with subsequent payments at fixed intervals .

Businesswoman standing and thinking near big question mark isolated on white background Free Photo

This allows you to budget for the upcoming months and know exactly how much money you'll be making!

The retainer fee should also cover all services outlined in the contract - from phone support to on-site visits!

Anything outside of this agreed-upon scope must be renegotiated before any additional work is performed !

It's also important to note that retainer agreements cannot be cancelled by either party except under extreme circumstances

Types of Retainer Agreements:

1) Flat retainer fees:

This type of retainer contract provides the client with an amount that is paid at once to retain your services.

While this can be great for peace of mind, it may not offer you much security if the payment isn't enough and additional billing will need to occur!

2) Contingency:

A contingency retainer is a retainer agreement where the retainer fee will be paid only after you have successfully completed your services.

This can increase risk for both parties, so it's important to value project properly and provide an estimate of how long the task should take!

Business plan concept illustration Free Vector

3) Hourly:

Hourly retainer fee is when you are paid hourly for the retainer contract.

This has the advantage of providing quick cash flow but also a higher danger than fixed retainers because no assurance can be given that additional charges will not occur beyond what is outlined in the retainer agreement.

It's also crucial to remember that various sorts of services need varied types of contracts!

Downsides of Retainer Agreements:

  • Potentially low retainer fees:

It's important to value projects correctly and provide an estimate on how long retainer agreement services should take.

If the retainer fee is not enough, additional billing will need to occur!

This can cause problems for both parties as it increases risk!

The worst thing that could happen would be a client expecting you to perform more work than what was originally outlined in your retainer agreement .

  • Potentially Long-Term Commitment:

Retainer agreements are long term work for hire contracts that can potentially tie your business down.

This is because retainer fees provide a good source of monthly income but require you to stay in the retainer agreement .

Document With Feather line illustration Document With Feather line illustration. eps 10 long term commitment stock illustrations

If you find yourself wanting or needing to leave, it may be difficult depending on how much time has passed and if there's any remaining balance!

As retainer agreements should not be cancelled unless under extreme circumstances , this could lead to financial problems like having outstanding balances owed!

  • Potential For Conflict Of Interest:

Retainer agreements are long-term business contracts that require you to provide retainer fee services continuously .

This can cause potential conflicts of interest if the client asks for work outside of retainer agreement scope.

  • Redundant Work:

Retainer agreements can lead to retainer fee redundancies if there's already a contract in place.

For example, suppose you have a contract with another firm and they require additional retainer services; it's possible that the retainer fees will have to be renegotiated!

  • Responsibility For Additional Work:

It's possible that retainer agreement services may require additional retainer fee work outside of the retainer agreement scope.

This can lead to problems if you're not properly compensated for this extra work!

Many retainer agreements do not include price escalations, so it could further complicate your billing process .

It’s important to be upfront with clients about what is included in retainer fees and also note any additional costs before beginning retainer agreement services !


In conclusion, retainer agreements are great ways to ensure that you get compensated for providing ongoing service!

They offer job security by ensuring future work from clients in exchange for retainer fees. However , there are some downsides and things to look out for as well .

No items found.
Get started with clientvenue

One-stop-solution to manage all your clients on scale

Task & Team Management, Invoicing, Billing, Client Communications, Analytics & so much more ...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.