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How to write your Authorization to Start Work

We include this 1 page template with IT/Software/Hardware Contract Pack and the Proposal Kit Professional. You will get more content and software automation for data merging, managing client documents, and creating proposals with line item quoting with a Contract Pack or the Professional.

The Authorization to Start Work form is used to notify the company that the contract and proposal has been accepted and they have permission to start work.
Document Length: 1 Page
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Authorization to Start Work

Streamlining Project Commencement: The Authorization to Start Work

Navigating the intricacies of business contracts can often be daunting, especially when it comes to formalizing the start of a project. An essential component in this process is the Authorization to Start Work letter. This document is crucial in transitioning from the negotiation phase to the actual project commencement. But what exactly is an Authorization to Start Work letter, and how is it best crafted to ensure clarity and compliance? Moreover, at what project stage is this letter most appropriately utilized?

What Is an Authorization to Start Work Letter?

An Authorization to Start Work letter or work authorization form, is a document that signifies a client's formal consent for a company to begin work on a specific project. This letter serves as a green light, confirming that all parties have agreed to the terms outlined in the contract and proposal and that the company has the client's permission to initiate the outlined tasks.

When Is the Authorization to Start Work Letter Used?

This document comes into play after the contract and proposal have been accepted but before any work has commenced. It's a crucial step in ensuring that both parties are aligned on the project's scope, terms, and expectations, mitigating potential misunderstandings or disputes.

Crafting the Authorization to Start Work Letter

Proposal Kit offers an invaluable resource for those seeking a quick, cost-effective solution to draft an Authorization to Start Work letter. With its template and software system, Proposal Kit simplifies the creation of this document, incorporating features such as data merging to customize the letter for multiple clients easily. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency across all project commencements.

Situations Requiring an Authorization to Start Work Letter

This letter finds its utility across a broad spectrum of scenarios, including but not limited to:

  • Commencing a construction project.
  • Initiating a software development lifecycle.
  • Starting a consulting engagement.
  • Beginning creative design services.
  • Launching a marketing campaign.
  • Kicking off an event planning service.
  • Embarking on a research project.
  • Initiating architectural design work.
  • Starting a landscaping project.
  • Launching a website development project.


Legal Implications of the Authorization to Start Work Letter

The Authorization to Start Work letter is not merely a procedural document; it serves as a critical legal foundation for the commencement of any project. This letter formalizes the client's approval for starting work, establishing a clear contractual obligation between the service provider and the client. Legally, this authorization helps protect both parties by ensuring mutual agreement on the scope of work, the payment terms, and the project timeline before any work begins.

This authorization is necessary for service providers to be compensated for their work if they lack formal proof of the client's agreement to commence. Conversely, clients could face unsolicited work or expenses, as no documented agreement outlines the project's specifics. Moreover, beginning work without this letter can lead to disputes over the scope of work, deliverables, and additional charges, complicating legal proceedings if disagreements escalate. Therefore, this letter acts as a safeguard, minimizing the risk of misunderstandings and providing a solid basis for legal action should any disputes arise regarding the agreed-upon work.

Integration with Project Management

Incorporating the Authorization to Start Work letter into the project management lifecycle enhances clarity and efficiency from inception to completion. During the planning phase, this letter sets clear expectations and outlines the project's scope, guiding the project team in their preparations. As a formal go-ahead, it signifies the transition from planning to execution, allowing project managers to allocate resources, schedule tasks, and formally kick off project activities confidently.

The Authorization to Start Work letter is a reference point for evaluating progress against the agreed terms throughout the project. It ensures that deviations from the initial scope are addressed promptly, with necessary adjustments documented and approved. Finally, during the closure phase, this letter helps assess whether all contractual obligations were met before finalizing the project and processing final payments. Integrating this authorization letter into the project management process thus provides a structured approach, ensuring projects remain aligned with client expectations and contractual agreements.

Case Studies

Case Study 1: Construction Industry

In a major city redevelopment project, a construction company received an Authorization to Start Work letter from the local government. This letter detailed the project scope, including timelines and environmental considerations. Midway through, unexpected archaeological findings necessitated project adjustments. Thanks to the initial authorization letter, both parties had a clear framework to negotiate changes, avoiding potential legal disputes and ensuring the project's completion within the new parameters.

Case Study 2: IT Sector

An IT service provider was contracted to develop a custom software solution for a retail chain. The Authorization to Start Work letter outlined specific deliverables, including a detailed project timeline and payment schedule based on milestones. When the project scope expanded due to the client's additional feature requests, the letter facilitated transparent negotiations for scope adjustment and additional compensation, preventing misunderstandings and fostering a positive client-provider relationship.

Case Study 3: Event Planning

An event planning company received authorization to start work on a high-profile corporate gala. The letter specified the budget, the event's scope, and the client's expectations. When the venue suddenly became unavailable, the event planner could quickly pivot to a new location, with the letter serving as a guide to managing the change smoothly, ensuring the event's success and client satisfaction.

These industry case studies illustrate the Authorization to Start Work letter's value in establishing an explicit, legally binding agreement that guides project management decisions, facilitates adjustments, and protects both parties throughout the project lifecycle.

Best Practices for Writing and Issuing the Letter

Creating and issuing an Authorization to Start Work letter requires careful attention to detail to ensure clarity and legal protection. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Clear Identification of Parties: Identify all parties involved, including full legal names and contact information. This sets a formal tone and ensures no ambiguity about who the agreement is between.
  • Detailed Project Description: Include a comprehensive project description outlining the scope of work, deliverables, and any specific requirements or expectations. This clarity helps prevent misunderstandings about the project's extent.
  • Timeline and Milestones: Specify the project's start date, estimated completion date, and critical milestones. Clear timelines help manage expectations and provide a schedule against which progress can be measured.
  • Payment Terms: Clearly outline the payment schedule, including amounts, due dates, and conditions for payment. This is crucial for financial planning and avoids disputes over fees and services rendered.
  • Legal and Compliance Requirements: Mention any legal or compliance requirements specific to the project or industry to ensure both parties are aware of and agree to adhere to relevant regulations.
  • Formal Issuance: Once the letter is complete, issue it formally to the client, preferably with a request for a signed acknowledgment. This can be done via email with a read receipt or certified mail for a physical record.


Dispute Resolution

The Authorization to Start Work letter is pivotal in dispute resolution. While it may be a short document, it is a binding agreement that can be referred to if disagreements arise. When there's a conflict regarding project scope, timelines, or payments, this document provides a clear reference point that outlines what was agreed upon at the project's commencement.

  • Project Scope Disputes: If there's a disagreement over the work scope, the letter can remind both parties of the specific tasks and deliverables initially agreed upon.
  • Timeline Conflicts: When disputes arise over deadlines or project duration, the letter's detailed timeline serves as a benchmark for what was reasonably expected by both parties.
  • Payment Issues: In cases where payment terms are contested, the letter outlines the agreed-upon amounts, schedules, and conditions, providing a clear basis for resolution.


Having this letter as evidence often facilitates quicker dispute resolution, as it represents a mutual agreement that was acknowledged by both parties.

Amendments and Revisions

Projects can evolve, requiring changes to the original agreement. The process for amending the Authorization to Start Work letter should be clear and straightforward to ensure all parties remain informed and agreeable to the adjustments.

  • Initiate a Discussion: As soon as the need for changes becomes apparent, initiate a discussion with the other party to outline proposed amendments. This can involve scope changes, timeline adjustments, or payment term alterations.
  • Document the Changes: Once both parties agree, document the changes in writing. Depending on the extent of the changes, this can be an addendum to the original Authorization to Start Work letter or a completely new document.
  • Formal Approval: Formal approval of the amendments is required from all parties, ideally through signatures. This reaffirms each party's commitment to the updated terms.
  • Issue Updated Documentation: Distribute the updated documentation to all relevant stakeholders, ensuring everyone can access the most current information regarding the project's terms.


By following these steps, you can efficiently manage amendments and revisions, keeping the project on track and maintaining positive relations between all involved parties. This process underscores the importance of flexibility and communication in project management, ensuring that all parties are aligned as the project progresses.

Client Communication and Follow-Up

After issuing an Authorization to Start Work letter, maintaining open and effective communication with the client is crucial for the project's success. Here are strategies to ensure this:

  • Set Clear Communication Expectations: Establish how often and through what channels communication will occur early in the project. Whether it be weekly emails, bi-weekly calls, or monthly meetings, setting these expectations helps keep both parties informed and engaged.
  • Regular Updates: Commit to regular updates on project progress, challenges, and any deviations from the planned schedule or scope. These updates can help preempt any concerns or questions from the client and demonstrate your proactive management.
  • Feedback Loops: Create opportunities for feedback from the client at key project milestones. This ensures the project aligns with the client's expectations and fosters a collaborative working relationship.
  • Transparent Issue Resolution: Should issues arise, communicate them promptly, along with potential solutions. Transparency in facing challenges can build trust and lead to more effective problem-solving.
  • Documentation: Record all communications and decisions made throughout the project. This documentation can be invaluable for reference, especially if disputes arise later.


Termination Clauses

Termination clauses within the Authorization to Start Work letter provide a structured way for either party to exit the project under predefined conditions. Including these clauses ensures that both parties clearly understand the circumstances under which the project can be terminated, minimizing potential conflicts. Here's how to handle termination clauses:

  • Clear Conditions for Termination: Specify conditions under which the project can be terminated, such as breach of contract, failure to meet deadlines, or financial insolvency.
  • Notice Period: Define the required notice period for termination, allowing both parties sufficient time to prepare for the project's end and to mitigate any adverse effects.
  • Financial Obligations: Outline any financial obligations upon termination, including payments for work completed, compensation for early termination, or penalties for breach of contract.
  • Return of Property: If applicable, include terms for returning any property or materials provided during the project.
  • Dispute Resolution: Detail how disputes related to the termination will be resolved, potentially including mediation or arbitration processes.


Compliance with Local Laws and Regulations

Ensuring that the Authorization to Start Work letter complies with local laws and industry-specific regulations is vital to avoid legal pitfalls and ensure the project's smooth execution. Here's how to ensure compliance:

  • Research Relevant Laws: Understand the laws and regulations that apply to your industry and the specific type of work being conducted. This might include labor laws, safety standards, and environmental regulations.
  • Customize the Letter: Tailor the Authorization to Start Work letter to reflect these legal requirements, ensuring both parties know and agree to comply.
  • Consult a Legal Professional: Before finalizing the letter, consulting with a legal professional can provide additional security. A lawyer can help identify potential legal issues and ensure the letter meets all local and industry-specific requirements.
  • Regular Reviews: Laws and regulations can change, so it's essential to periodically review and update your standard Authorization to Start Work letter to ensure ongoing compliance.


Implementing these strategies can help you maintain effective communication with clients, incorporate clear termination clauses, and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. This will facilitate smoother project execution and minimize the risk of disputes or legal issues.

Comprehensive Solutions with Proposal Kit

Proposal Kit goes beyond offering just a single template; it provides a suite of related documents that, when used together, offer a more comprehensive solution. For instance, the Engagement Letter, Engagement Letter with Services Agreement, and Engagement Welcome Letter (Verbose) can provide a thorough and professional kickoff to any project. These documents help establish clear expectations, outline the scope of services, and welcome the client to the engagement, creating a solid foundation for a successful project.

Success Stories

Tara's Tale: A Small Business Owner's Journey

Tara, a small business owner in the digital marketing industry, needed a contract to start work on an extensive campaign formally. Utilizing the Proposal Kit, she customized the Authorization to Start Work template to fit her needs, ensuring that all project details and terms were clearly outlined. This proactive approach facilitated a smooth project kickoff and reinforced her professional image to her new client.

Jamie's Race Against Time

Jamie, an employee with a tight deadline, was tasked with drafting an Authorization to Start Work letter. Leveraging the Proposal Kit's template, Jamie efficiently created a document that met all the requirements, earning praise from the boss and setting the project on a path to success without any delays.

Alex's Industry Shift

Working in the IT industry, Alex faced the challenge of compiling a work authorization form for a new venture. Proposal Kit's versatility allowed Alex to tailor the template to the unique aspects of this project, ensuring all contractual bases were covered and facilitating a smooth transition to project execution.


The Authorization to Start Work letter is critical in transitioning from planning to executing any project. Proposal Kit offers a user-friendly, efficient solution for crafting this document, ensuring clarity and compliance while saving time. Proposal Kit is adaptable across various industries and scenarios and meets a wide range of business needs. Remember, while Proposal Kit templates offer a strong foundation for business documents, it's essential for users to have any contracts reviewed by their local attorney to ensure compliance with legal standards.

The complete Authorization to Start Work - with the actual formatting and layout - is available as a single template or as part of a library of related templates in a Contract Pack or the Professional Bundle.
Authorization to Start Work
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Authorization to Start Work
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$19 USD
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Alternate documents are those which may be used instead of this document depending on your situation. Alternate documents may be better suited for projects of different sizes, more specialized projects, and variations on rights.

Alternate Documents:
Related documents may be used in conjunction with this document depending on your situation. Many related documents are intended for use as part of a contract management system.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Authorization to Start Work is available as a ready-to-edit template.
  • The Contract Packs and Professional Bundle include many related agreements and documents.
  • You can automate financials and data merging into contracts using a Contract Pack or Professional Bundle.
  • You can also create business proposals and integrate your contracts using the Professional Bundle.
  • There are no ongoing subscription fees. You get lifetime unlimited use.

How to Build a Legal Contract with Proposal Kit

This video illustrates how to create a legal contract using the Proposal Pack Wizard software. It also shows how to create a proposal with an invoice and contract at the same time.

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