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Internship Contract Template: Essential Elements Included

An internship contract is NOT another HR paperwork. They’re important documents for your growing business offering an internship program. 

Let’s use this case to prove its worth:

An intern sues an employer after complaining about having worked beyond the agreed internship hours. After carefully assessing the internship agreement, the presiding court ruled in favor of the organization and thus rejected the intern’s claim. Moreover, the complainant was ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Does this validate the contract’s worth?

So in this article, let’s talk about internship contracts. That also means going over the essential parts to include when drafting this contract. 

Alternatively, jump quickly to this free internship contract template and start drafting right away!

What is an internship contract?

An internship contract is a legal agreement between an employer and an intern. It outlines the duties of both parties during the internship. It clarifies their respective roles preventing misunderstandings or miscommunication.

This kind of contract is usually managed by the HR department responsible for recruiting talent. Having an internship agreement helps to build trust, laying the foundation for a productive partnership.

Here are other reasons why internship contracts are worth having:

  • Keeping things organized while setting expectations for both the intern and your company.
  • Protecting your company from any potential legal liabilities associated with the internship.
  • Helping to ensure your compliance with labor laws.

Essential elements of an internship contract

While you can incorporate many provisions into an internship contract, a few essential terms should always be included. Here are nine essential elements every intern contract should address:

Information about the parties

The contract should indicate the name of the host company or organization offering the internship. This also means detailing the name and contact information of the direct supervisor or mentors who will be working with the intern. Likewise, the contract should indicate the intern’s name, contact information, and the school the intern attends.

The nature of the work 

The internship contract should specify what kind of work the intern is going to do. It includes a detailed description of the duties that the intern is responsible for. So that there’s a shared understanding of what is expected from the intern. Duties may include research, analysis, writing reports, attending meetings, and assisting with projects.

The compensation

Firstly, it’s important to determine whether the intern will be paid for their work. If they’re to be paid, the internship agreements should spell out details on how compensation will be given. On the other hand, unpaid internships are often part of a formal educational program offered to students (or sometimes even post-graduates) getting academic credit for their work. Also, it’s worth noting that in some countries, interns are entitled to minimum wage.

Working hours

Internships are typically part-time but they can be full-time as well. When that’s the case, you can expect interns to work anywhere from 35 to 40 hours per week. However, part-time interns work different amounts of hours. That’s why the contract should indicate the number of hours that the intern is expected to work each week. It will help both parties be aware of the time commitment involved, and thus plan accordingly. 

The duration of the Internship 

In most cases, internships last between 10 and 12 weeks. Still, the HR document for new employees should specify the length of the internship — the start and end dates. This ensures that both the intern and the employer know how long the arrangement will last.


Many internships involve working with confidential information. Be sure that that intern contract includes a clause stating that the intern will not disclose any confidential information and trade secrets without prior approval from your employer.

Policies and procedures 

The contract should include a section on policies and procedures. This should cover topics such as attendance, dress code, and termination (at-will employment). It can also specify that the internship contract isn’t an HR document for new employees and thus doesn’t create an employment relationship between the parties.

Contractual penalties

This clause serves to deter interns from breaking the terms of their agreement, and it also provides a measure of protection for the employer if an intern does breach the contract.

Governing law

This section of the contract should specify which jurisdiction’s laws will govern the intern-employer relationship. This is important because it will determine which laws will be used to interpret and enforce the contract.

How do you write an internship contract in Avokaado?

Before we go on, this needs your attention — the thing is, you can always create a contract from the ground up. One such method is using MS Word, that’s where you can draft and eventually manage the internship contract. 

However, there’s this disadvantage that contracts made in Word are almost impossible to delegate solely to non-lawyers — even the basic NDAs are for the legal team to sit through. 

👉 Read this article to know more about why automated contract drafting is winning against MS Word contract creation.

Instead, CLM can be used to create a customized internship contract that meets the specific needs of your business. Avokaado, for example, is a CLM software that offers a solution for HR document management. With Avokaado, writing the HR contract is quick and easy, and yet you can be sure that all the essential terms of the agreement are clearly outlined.

Let us show you the steps for its contract automation. We‘ll take the internship agreement template as an example.

Step 1: Draft based on the template 

Don’t start from scratch — just use the internship contract template from Avokaado’s store of automated templates. It’s free and authored by the team’s legal engineers so rest assured that it includes all the important parts to make it legally binding. Click the template and simply answer the generated questionnaire so the actual document reflects your specific information.

Internship contract
Internship contract

Step 2: Invite the intern to review (or even edit)

In case you need some feedback or any additional input from your intern or co-worker, add them as collaborators on your draft. Assign them with editing or viewing rights so they can either edit the draft directly or just open a discussion to add content. 

Step 3: Approve and sign with the intern, hiring manager, and top management

Avokaado automates the entire HR documentation process. The approval process works like adding collaborators but granting them different rights — approver of the document or/and signer. Interns to stakeholders can review the draft and give their signatures if approved. 

There’s no need to switch apps though. You can use the signing options available on the platform: SignNow or Dokobit. Both eIDAS-compliant digital signature providers. We recommend using SignNow’s e-signature when you aren’t sure whether your collaborator will be able to use an eIDAS signature.

Step 4: Store in the contract repository

When everything’s done, store the internship electronic contract in a secure but accessible contract repository. You or your intern can access the HR document storage 24/7 and the rest of the documents are guaranteed to be of the latest version.

Organizing interns with an internship contract

Internship contracts can sometimes appear unnecessary, but they’re important HR documents to have in place. They let you organize your legal relationship with interns and serve as a guideline of how both of you should work together in good faith.

You must make sure that your contracts for interns contain the following elements:

  • Employer and intern contact information
  • Description of the intern’s duties
  • An internship’s start and end dates
  • The number of hours that the intern will be expected to work 
  • Compensation, if any
  • A confidentiality agreement, if required by the employer
  • A policy like termination grounds
  • Contractual penalties
  • Governing law

If you’re looking for a modern and easy-to-use solution to draft and manage your internship contracts, try Avokaado CLM software for free. Start drafting with this internship contract template and use Avokaado’s approval and signing functionality to get the agreements done faster!

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  • internship contract
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