A reader recently asked: “I am just getting started in the cleaning business. A company has offered me a cleaning assignment that requires me to sign a sub-contractor agreement. Is this a good deal for me?”

The short answer is that is depends on a lot of factors. Please understand I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. The following observations must be taken in context and should not be taken for more than they are worth. That said, we can look at a few points to consider, since subcontracting can be fraught with issues that can come back to haunt you later.

First of all, why is this company choosing to contract with you to provide basic custodial services that they should be able to provide with their own staff? I would not be as concerned if you were providing a specialized service such as window washing, trash hauling or even floor work in some cases. There are many companies that have a narrow focus on what they do and will oftentimes find a subcontractor to perform tasks that they are not skilled or equipped to do. This is not the case what you have shared with me thus far.

Their argument that the subcontracting agreement is a “standard contract” also concerns me since each agreement we sign is unique to us and must be evaluated closely to make sure that it is worded in our best interests. There is no such thing as a standard contract even though there may be required wording that is common in many similar type agreements. The document does clearly state their obligations and yours but you may not be aware of the full impact of some of those requirements.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net