Contracts for Services


Childcare, grounds maintenance, tire changes… Without realizing it, you regularly enter into contracts for services in your day-to-day life. Are you familiar with the rules that apply to these everyday agreements?

What is a contract for services?

A contract for services is a contract by which a provider agrees to offer specific services to a client in exchange for payment. For example, the hairdresser who cuts your hair is the supplier of the hairdressing service for which you are the client. The same logic applies to your children’s daycare service, the landscaping of your backyard, the changing of your car tires, etc.

You can enter into a service contract verbally or in writing. However, it’s a good idea to confirm everything in writing. That way, if a problem arises, it will be much easier to prove the details of your agreement: the type of service to be provided, deadlines, price, permission for the service provider to subcontract the work, etc.

You will not be able to prove a verbal agreement worth more than $1,500 unless there is “a commencement of proof” that the contract exists, such as an admission by the opposing party, an e-mail exchange, a bank transfer, etc. Evidence in Small Claims Cases | Éducaloi (

The Consumer Protection Act applies to certain types of contracts for services , including

  • contracts for telecommunications services (telephone, Internet, etc.), 
  • classes and recreational activities, 
  • language classes and other types of training,  
  • memberships in a gym or weight-loss clinic,  
  • contracts involving repair services for household appliances, automobiles or motorcycles.

Contracts covered by the Consumer Protection Act are still contracts for services, but certain additional protections are provided, particularly with regard to price labelling and accuracy, prohibited statements and advertising. See our page: The Consumer Protection Act: What It Covers | Éducaloi (

How should you choose your service provider?

If the service you are looking for is regulated by a professional order, you can check whether the person you want to do business with is in good standing to practise this profession. To do this, consult the search tools provided on the website of the professional order concerned. For example, for lawyers, notaries, accountants or psychologists, you can refer to the Barreau du Québec, the Chambre des notaires, the Ordre des comptables agréés or the Ordre des psychologues websites.

For construction work, you can check whether your provider holds a contractor’s licence.

It’s always a good idea to ask around to see if anyone you know has done business with the type of service provider you need. Ask for their recommendations and opinions on the service they received.