Retainer Fee

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Retainer Fee'

An upfront cost incurred by an individual in order to ensure the services of a consultant, freelancer, etc. A retainer fee is paid most commonly to individual third-parties who have been engaged by the payer to perform a service for them or on their behalf. These fees are almost always paid upfront and only ensure the commitment of the receiver, but does not guarantee an outcome or final product.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Retainer Fee'

The most common form of retainer fees apply to lawyers, who in most cases require those seeking services to provide an upfront retainer fee, for example $500. As mentioned however, this retainer fee only ensures that services will be rendered and does not equate to other hourly or trial fees which the lawyer or firm may charge during the course of a trial or court proceedings.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Secondary Liability

    A type of legal obligation where one party assumes legal responsibility ...
  2. Common Law

    In the United States, a body of unwritten laws based on precedents ...
  3. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  4. Community Property

    A U.S. state-level legal distinction of a married individual's ...
  5. Collection-Proof

    A debtor who doesn’t have any assets that a creditor can collect ...
  6. Judgment Proof

    Someone who doesn’t have enough assets for a creditor to seize ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How To Pick The Right Lawyer

    Find out what factors to consider before hiring an attorney.
  2. Budgeting

    Get Through Divorce With Your Finances Intact

    Find out how to split your finances without coming up short.
  3. Taxes

    Tax Court: Your Last Resort

    Appealing an unfavorable or unfair tax ruling may be your last chance to save your finances.
  4. Investing

    What's a Debit Note?

    A debit note is a document used by a seller to inform a purchaser of a dollar amount owed. As the name indicates, it is a note from the seller that a debit has been made to the purchaser’s account. ...
  5. Investing

    What's Capitalization?

    Capitalization has different meanings depending on the context.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    The Best 5 Online Accounting Systems For Small Business

    Running a small business can be difficult, but thanks to these online accounting services, taking care of payroll doesn't have to be.
  7. Investing

    Understanding Cost Accounting

    Cost accounting is the method of financially allocating expenses to goods that are manufactured for resale. Cost accounting is also referred to as managerial accounting, because managers use ...
  8. Investing

    What are Prepaid Expenses?

    A prepaid expense is an asset on the balance sheet. Due to accounting principles, expenses are often accrued on the balance sheet and expensed in a later period.
  9. Investing

    What's a Sunk Cost?

    A sunk cost was incurred in the past, is independent of future events and cannot be recouped. Economists teach that sunk costs should not be considered when making a financial decision. Rather, ...
  10. Investing

    What are Fixed Costs?

    Fixed costs are business expenses that do not change as the level of production goes up or down. They are one of two types of business expense, the other being variable costs. Variable costs ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Subsidy

    A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy ...
  2. Sunk Cost

    A cost that has already been incurred and thus cannot be recovered. A sunk cost differs from other, future costs that a business ...
  3. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  4. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
  5. Gordon Growth Model

    A model for determining the intrinsic value of a stock, based on a future series of dividends that grow at a constant rate. ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center