Estimates & deposits

Before any work can commence a signed contract will be issued detailing the requirements of the project, the expected completion date (where applicable) and an acknowledgement of the terms and conditions.

If the client wishes to change the project requirements – for any reason – The Cottage Office Ltd reserves the right to re-negotiate the original terms and conditions.

A 50% deposit is due before work commences

For new clients, The Cottage Office Ltd reserves the right to request the full amount before the project commences.

Rates & charges

The hourly rate will be billed in increments of 15 minutes, rounded to the nearest quarter hour.

The hourly charge is subject to a minimum charge of 1 hour.

All stationery, telephone, fax, postage, CDs, disks, printing costs and other expenses will be charged separately at cost price.  The total sum of charges may be required before work commences on your project.

All time spent working on your project, including time spent communicating by telephone, email, fax etc, will be chargeable at the applicable hourly rate

For telephone and internet research, all telephone costs will be charged at the cost price, as necessary.

Any time taken to carry out experimental work, as requested by the client, will be charged at the applicable hourly rate.

Time spent discussing a project with the client will also be subject to the applicable hourly rate.

All work carried out between the hours of 6pm and 8am (Monday to Friday) will be subject to an additional charge of 15%.

All work carried out on Saturday, Sunday or holiday periods will be subject to an additional charge of 30%.


Invoices are due for payment within 7 days of invoice date.

The Cottage Office Ltd reserves the right to charge interest at a rate of 3% per month as long as the overdue amount remains unpaid.

If required a timesheet will be provided with every invoice.

The minimum invoice amount is 1 hour at the applicable hourly rate.

If for any reason work must be suspended or delayed through any default of the client, The Cottage Office Ltd is entitled to immediate payment for work carried out and any expenses incurred.

Invoices for pay as you go services are raised twice per month on 15th and 30th of each month.

Retainer invoices are raised on the 1st of each month.

Invoices for blocks of hours are raised on the day of hours being requested.


Payment is to be made by bank transfer, cheque or Paypal as indicated on invoices issued.

All payments must be made within the agreed payment terms.

Retainer packages (on-going projects)

Clients wishing to cancel a retainer package are asked to provide a minimum of 2 months notice.

Clients wishing to change band of retainer package are asked to give a minimum of 1 months notice.

Project cancellation

If a project is cancelled by The Cottage Office a refund will be paid to the client, equal to total amount paid to date for the project, less any out of pocket expenses.

If a project is cancelled by the client, for whatever reason, an assessment will be made of total work completed against the original project scope, and the balance or any fees due will be payable by the client, plus any out of pocket expenses.

Intellectual property ownership

Any work produced by The Cottage Office remains the property of The Cottage Office until payment is received in full.

Loss / damage of client property

The Cottage Office Ltd cannot be held responsible for any loss, damage, theft etc of any data, materials, projects, equipment or any items relating to the assignment during delivery from / to the office premises.

For insurance and safety reasons personal visits to The Cottage Office Ltd premises are not permitted.

Proof reading & errors

Final proof reading is the responsibility of the client.

All errors returned within 48 hours will be corrected free of charge.

Confidentiality & security

The Cottage Office Ltd believes that security and confidentiality is of paramount importance and is happy to sign confidentiality agreements if the client requires.

All incoming emails and attachments, files and disks are scanned for viruses.  Any ‘suspect’ documents or emails – from an unrecognised sender – with no subject heading or containing no message will remain unopened and will be deleted.

The Cottage Office Ltd scans all outgoing emails and attachments for viruses but does not accept any responsibility for viruses transmitted

Our computer system is virus and password protected.

We encourage all clients to use a secure method to transport any documents to The Cottage Office Ltd, for example, courier and recorded delivery methods.

The Cottage Office Ltd endeavours to avoid any system failure and cannot be held responsible for any loss whatsoever due to computer, broadband, power or telephone failure.

The Cottage Office Ltd is not responsible for the content of the work supplied to us.  We reserve the right to refuse anything considered to be illegal or immoral.

The Cottage Office Ltd accepts no responsibility for the end use of any documents produced by them – this remains solely the responsibility of the client .

Backing up files

The Cottage Office Ltd will retain back up files of clients work for a period of 1 year, after which all files will be deleted (unless the client specifically requests otherwise).  We encourage all clients to retain their own back up of all work completed.

Copies of all files can be provided to the client prior to being deleted by The Cottage Office Ltd.