Hey, going to start out and do in-home repair services. I'm getting all the tools, software, and all the hardware needed to get started. Right now I'm stuck on trying to find a basic liability/waiver form to have the customer sign that covers me for any damages that was most likely not my doing upon completion. Any website that contains a free or inexpensive template for this? Help is much appreciated. Thank you.
In our office we do have a liability form, but we make it simply part of the normal work order sheet. When a customer has a project begin, or bring in their computer to work on, there is the basic contact information to fill out on the paper, a place where we can assign it a reference/invoice number, an area for a description of what needs done to the computer (and we make notes of other things done, what is needed, parts required, etc.) and finally a short terms of agreement where the customer signs when they drop off their computer or begin the project. This way, it's all contained in one page for them which is a little less intimidating.
As Brett says, consult a lawyer about this though. Mine said the same thing that Brett is telling you, that even with a liability waiver it's not really going to keep them from going after you in court if something does happen.
My suggestion for you, even if this is just on the side work, is to get business insurance to protect you from damages should something happen. To protect yourself personally from any business lawsuit, you should also consider forming an LLC or similar corporation to separate you from your business entity. In the end, it's these two things that are going to give you some layer of protection over liabilities, not a terms of agreement page.
^This. Don't even bother if you aren't set up as an LLC, you also may need business permits, sales tax licenses(if you sell them a piece of hardware to fix it, e.g. a harddrive/windows) etc etc. Its not as simple as just walking into someones house.
K, since I'm doing this as a side gig that may or may not become my single source of income. I'll hold off on worrying about a form and will use a lawyer if i become more involved/bigger. Thanks
So I'm curious. Do you do a liability form since you have multiple employees servicing?
You NEED a lawyer from Day #0.
You do NOT want to do this without being in an LLC, LP or whatever business entity you decide is best for you. If you do it as a "side gig" and are 1) handling people's property and 2) entering their homes IF, for ANY reason, you are sued, your personal assets are exposed. They will sue YOU, not your company, and could, bluntly, destroy your life. Spend the $1,000 or whatever it's going to be in your state to at least do yourself that much of a favor.
You will WANT to consult an attorney about liability forms and NEVER people on the 'net. Aside from the potentially bad advice you'll get, laws vary from state to state and even potentially city to city. You will NEED an attorney who knows the local relevant laws. Don't think you can just use a generic waiver you find or draft up- if it includes provisions that are not legal in your city/state, you are totally hung out to dry. Ignorance of the law is not a defense.
Additionally, depending on your city/state, you may need various permits or insurance. Since you may be entering homes you may be required to carry insurance or be bonded. Not doing these things can result in huge fines and liability. You need a lawyer to advise you.
Also consider that a waiver is not going to prevent anyone from taking you to court. They can still sue you, and you will still lose time & money defending yourself. This is why a lot of court cases get settled. It's not about who is right a lot of the times, but how much money/time you want to spend proving who is right.
I know none of this is what you want to hear and you just want to make some $ on the side, but believe me: you could find yourself in very hot water VERY quickly.
Brett that is a great way of handling the issues that may arise through direct customer service. Very few people and companies today will go to such lengths for their customers to make things right. I know that's how I've actually gotten several of my customers so far, other businesses not stepping up to the plate to make something right, so they go elsewhere. When it comes to other companies around my area, the more they keep with their current standard of customer service and approach for handling issues, the more business and satisfied customers it means for me.