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Topic: Proposals vs. Contracts
Message: Posted by: johnobryant (Feb 5, 2007 11:10PM)
I am working with another magician on a corporate event. He told me to write a proposal. I normally just write contracts that state the obvious and have the organization and me sign it, and I keep a copy and they keep one. He basically drew an outline to follow (on the side he is a business owner, so he does them all the time). The proposal looked very similar to the contract.

I guess my question is...Why a proposal and not a contract? We already know the company wants to close the deal. Can you close it with a proposal, or should I just "slap" the word contract on the top of it?


Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Feb 5, 2007 11:41PM)

I'm not a lawyer; so this this may not be totally accurate, but it will be about 6,000 less words. It is how I've used them in the past, both as a contract administrator and drafter of proposals for the government (California and local).

A contract is a formal document which expressly states the terms and conditions of the work/services to be provided. A proposal is, usually, just that; a proposal on what is to be done. It is usually less formal and, in my experience, less specific. I have seen proposals work independently. I have seen contracts work independently. I have seen proposals as a component of a contract.

Secondly, a proposal is usually a result of an initial meeting or the beginning of a negotiation, while a contract is usually the result of the completion of meetings or negotiations.

In the end, it really depends on the industry and specific company as to what is done as business. My advice to you is to be at least as professional as the company you are going to work for. Anything less and you will be perceived as non-professional. Hope this helps you out.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 6, 2007 07:28AM)
Think of a wedding. You "propose" the idea of marriage. When she says yes (hopefully), then the contract, marriage license, and ceremony happen. That is the broad strokes.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Feb 6, 2007 09:07AM)
It is also quite possible that the corporation is the type of company that likes to generate the contracts. Plenty of companies, fairs, and state and government agencies wish to use their own contracts. Thus, the proposal is to be given to them, and then they generate the contract.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Feb 6, 2007 11:08AM)
As stated above, a proposal is basically an offer. If your offer is accepted, you have a contract. Generally once you make an offer, it can be accepted at any reasonable time afterward unless you have withdrawn it.

So you might also want to provide in your proposal that your price/availability/whatever is only good for so many days/weeks/months, if not accepted by that date. SETH