Master Services Agreement (MSA)

Learn about what a Master Services Agreement (MSA) is and how it could benefit your organization.

Signatures Required:

  • Company Signatory (agent with authority to form contractual relationship)
  • Contracting Party


Master Services Agreements (MSA) are contracts which spell out most, but not all, terms in a contractual relationship. Smaller, more specific contracts are made after and in relation to the MSA which spell out those additional terms, therefore "modifying" the original contract. 

MSAs are beneficial for a few reasons. One reason is that a majority of the negotiations involved in forming a contractual relationship is front loaded into the MSA, and there are less negotiation costs with each following contract. Negotiations are often some of the highest costs and burdens associated with forming a contractual relationship, so to be able to get a bulk of the negotiations out of the way instead of reinitiating the negotiation process with each succeeding contract saves contracting parties the brunt of those costs.

Another reason why MSAs are favorable is because sometimes, it is impossible to negotiate every specific term without knowing more information that can only be known in the future. These terms are typically dependent on job conditions that may change in the future and affect the needs of the contracting parties such as work schedules. 

Terms typically included in MSAs are IP rights, dispute resolution, jurisdiction and geographic relation, work standards, confidentiality, and other terms which describe the general business relationship between the parties. Subsequent contracts may expound upon these terms, within their confines.

Related Workflows:

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