A contract is often created as a result of a bidding or quote process. The customer requests a quote and states what they need, under what conditions. Sometimes the client only knows that they need a translator or interpreter but does not know how to specify their needs very closely and does not know the practices of our industry – after all, language services are expert services, which people working in other fields often do not know much about. So the translator/interpreter must ask questions, advise the client and offer options so that they can then give an appropriate quote that meets the client’s needs. When the required/offered service has been determined together, the translator/interpreter can submit their quote. The quote must state the conditions of the service and delivery. The customer can either reject the quote, make a counteroffer or accept the quote. 

If the customer rejects the offer, it expires and is no longer binding.

The customer can also make a counteroffer, i.e. they can propose changes to the price or other delivery terms. The seller can of course reject the counteroffer, which releases them from their original quote, or they can continue the negotiation process. Finally, the detailed offer is either accepted and becomes binding, or rejected and expires.

When the customer accepts the offer with its terms, a contract is created: the customer commits to purchasing the work in accordance with the offer and the seller commits to delivering the service in accordance with the stated terms. At this stage, withdrawal from the project may create responsibilities for both parties. For example, if the client cancels the order after confirming it, the seller may be entitled to compensation for any eventual damages. 

It is important that all terms are expressed precisely in the quote, as terms that are not mentioned in the quote will not be a part of the contract. The typical terms include price, delivery time and number of comment rounds. So the terms must be carefully reviewed, issues that may cause disagreements should be anticipated and unclear details clarified before an agreement is reached.

It is always a good idea to prepare a quote and contract template for yourself, listing the order-specific issues that are usually reviewed in the quote (e.g. language combinations, schedules, proofreading, comments) as well as the general terms and conditions (e.g. mentions of accepting the outcome and terms of complaint, prices, invoicing and payment terms, responsibilities ). The offer may contain a clear mention that acceptance of the offer leads to the creation of a contract with its content.