Contracts and Leases

The Contracts Team of University Shared Services is responsible for campus review of all contracts except the following:

  1. Contracts related to the application for, or awarding of, a grant.  These are processed by the Office of Research Services.
  2. Contracts related to gifts.  These are processed by UMKC Foundation.
  3. Contracts related to construction projects.  These are processed by Campus Facilities Management and Procurement.
  4. Contracts related to the purchase of tangible goods.  These are processed by Procurement.


Only individuals with delegation of authority are permitted to sign contracts or agreements on behalf of UMKC.


  • Forms should be completed in full (describing the scope of the work as specifically as possible) and signed by the other party before the start date.
  • Enter the contract in the Missouri Contract System portal for review and execution on behalf of the university.
  • When processing a payment, include the contract and Contract ID # of the fully signed agreement to the Non-PO voucher before sending it to the Accounts Payable (AP) Shared Services Center.
  • Contracts for services costing more than $500 per occurrence or within a 12-month period require a formal signed agreement submitted through the Contract System portal.  Include any relevant supporting documentation.
  • Contracts may be utilized, but are not required, for services costing $500 or less.  The department may review and process these transactions with a letter agreement or email exchange with the other party.  Note:  any agreement that includes intellectual property rights or contains legal terms and conditions requires a contract regardless of the amount.  Examples include student clinical experience agreements, use of facilities/resources agreements, and cooperative program agreements with other educational institutions.
  • Departments utilizing Letter Agreements for transactions $500 or less should not sign the Letter Agreement.
  • AP Shared Services does not require backup documentation for transactions $500 or less. However, the purpose of the payment, including important details such as dates of service, should be clearly spelled out on the face of the voucher.

Contract Review and approval

The majority of contract processing is through the Missouri Contract System – This system helps campus departments by automating many of the steps involved.  A summary of this process is shown below:

  • The submission, review and signature process of templates submitted through the Missouri Contract System is electronic and automatic.
  • Once a proposed agreement has been received in the Contract Portal, it is reviewed by the Contracts Team for compliance with applicable university policies, ensuring all necessary information has been provided, and there are no inconsistencies or ambiguities.
  • The Contracts Team coordinates any additional reviews that may be required including, but not limited to, formal legal approval, conflict of interest, IT security, and environmental.
  • If questions about a submitted contract arise during review, members of the Contracts Team will reach out to the named department contact for assistance in resolution to ensure the remainder of the review and approval process occurs as quickly as possible and that the agreement conforms to policy and audit requirements.
  • The Contracts Team coordinates with the Office of the General Counsel when necessary to resolve issues.
  • Contract Signature authority is only for those to whom the Office of the General Counsel has specifically given delegated signature authority.  Any other signature is invalid unless a specific delegation of signature authority has been received from the Office of the General Counsel in writing.
  • Contracts executed by the Contracts Team are centrally archived in the Contract Portal. 

Common Contract Types

Appearance Agreement

The Appearance - Speaker form is used for a very short-term, one- or two-day appearance for the purpose of giving a lecture or presenting a seminar. 

Appearance-Speaker Agreement (PDF)

Performance Agreement

The Performance Agreement forms are used for musical, theatrical, or other artistic performances.

Performance Agreement $300.00 or Less (PDF)
Performance Agreement Over $300.00 (PDF)

Consulting & Personal Services Agreements

The consulting form is for companies, LLC’s or higher risk projects with individuals. The personal services form is for lower risk agreements with individuals. These forms can be used for any type of professional service such as editing, proofreading, marketing plan development, photography, or training.

Consultant Agreement (PDF)
Personal Service Low Risk Individual (PDF)

All agreements for services where the other party named on the contract is an individual rather than a company or other type of business organization must be accompanied by an Independent Contractor Checklist.

Independent Contractor Classification Document (PDF)

The checklist satisfies IRS regulations requiring clear demonstration that the individual should be treated as an independent contractor, rather than an employee, for tax purposes.

The checklist also documents the citizenship status of the independent contractor which is important in determining if non-resident alien taxation issues exist. Be aware that contracting with non-US citizens has special tax implications. Processing agreements of this type requires additional time.

All standard contract forms can be found at Please click on the ‘Go to Download Form page’ button.

Special Considerations for Independent Contractors

Special care must be taken when evaluating whether a present or former employee of the university should be hired as an independent contractor. If the individual you propose to contract with is also a university employee, that individual must comply with the university’s Conflict of Interest policy prior to the execution of the agreement. It is recommended that current and recent former university employees be paid as employees.

According to IRS guidelines, a continuing relationship is one indication of an employee/employer relationship. Any employment of present and former university employees as independent contractors must be evaluated carefully for other indications of employee status. In this situation, employee status might be required due to:
  • The worker being previously paid as an employee to perform essentially the same type of work.
  • Other workers being paid on an employee basis to perform similar tasks.

Common Errors

The following are the most common errors made in drafting and processing contracts.

  • Ex post facto contracts: "Ex post facto" means "after the fact." All contracts should be prepared, reviewed and executed BEFORE the work begins or the event occurs.
  • Vague or Non-existent Details: It is imperative to completely describe the work to be done. This provides a basis for evaluation of the quality of services provided and allows for much easier resolution of any disputes.
  • Failure to attach supporting documentation: If supporting documentation is required or referenced (classification checklist, vita, exhibits or addendums), attach it to the contracts when submitting them.
  • Signatures on the wrong line: Make sure that the other party knows where to sign.
  • Failure to have Principal Investigator (PI) approve an agreement to be paid from grant funds: The principal investigator (PI) of the grant must approve through the email link sent for any agreement paid from grant funds. By approving through the Contract Portal email link, the PI verifies that the expenditures are in accordance with the terms of the grant.

Leases/Facilities Use Agreements

All leases of real property are processed through Finance and Administration. Leases must be reviewed and approved by the UM General Counsel. In certain cases, leases require additional approval from the Board of Curators.
Short-term use agreements, such as hotel contracts or facilities use licenses should be directed to the Contracts Team for review and execution. As with contracts, signature authority rests only with the Contracts Team or those to whom the Office of the General Counsel has specifically delegated signature authority.
The Contracts Team also prepares Facilities Use Agreements with outside entities seeking to use UMKC facilities (other than the university Center) for their events.

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