Loring Weisenberger
March 1, 2022

Rent the Gear You Need with an Equipment Rental Agreement (Free Download)

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If you’re planning to shoot a movie, you’re probably planning to rent equipment, which means you’ll also need to know the ins and outs of an equipment rental agreement or, said another way, a vendor agreement contract.

In this post, we’ll tell you what a vendor contract form is, why you should use one, and break down the details of our very own free vendor agreement template. 

Let’s get to it.

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Download a free equipment rental agreement

Before we dig into the details of these contracts, take a moment to download our free vendor agreement template here or by clicking below.

Equipment Rental Agreement - Vendor Agreement Download - Wrapbook

Our vendor template contract covers the basics. Referencing it while reading this post will give you a more comprehensive understanding of how they work.

Now, with our vendor agreement template in hand, let’s dive in.

We’ll start with an important question:

What is an equipment rental agreement?

An equipment rental agreement, also known as a vendor contract form, is a specific form or contract that details the relationship between an equipment vendor and any entity (usually a production company) that is renting equipment from them. 

Like submitting COIs to prove that your production company has equipment insurance, vendor or equipment rental agreement forms are a standard element of the equipment rental process. 

They’re necessary for everyone involved. 

A good equipment rental contract does exactly what its name suggests. It ensures that both parties in an equipment rental exchange are reasonably protected against fraud, theft, and other acts of malicious intent from the opposite party in the agreement. 

But how exactly does an equipment rental agreement form accomplish this?

A standard vendor agreement example will stipulate at least three fundamental things: 

1. It details what equipment is to be rented, keeping everyone honest about the inventory.

2. It certifies that the rentals are in good working order, protecting producers from potential liability associated with defective equipment and vendors from fraudulent claims of defective equipment.

3. It defines the compensation provided to the vendor for rental of the noted equipment, preventing anyone from unethical renegotiations.

Equipment rental contracts are so common that most full-time equipment vendors will have their own paper or electronic equipment rental agreement available for review by any customer either online or in-person at the rental house. 

However, in the event that your production needs to rent gear from a smaller or less experienced vendor, you’ll want to keep a copy of your own equipment rental agreement template on file. 

But whether you’re reviewing a vendor’s equipment rental agreement form or building your own, it’s helpful to understand both the content of equipment rental contracts and the protections that they afford.

Speaking of which, let’s move on to our next question:

When and why would I need an equipment rental agreement?

Like production insurance, equipment rental agreements afford a basic layer of legal protection to producers and vendors alike. As such, a vendor agreement should come into play each and every time that a piece of equipment is rented. 

To illustrate, let’s take a look at a hypothetical vendor agreement example. 

Let’s say that your production needs to rent a camera (because duh), but let’s say that you want to rent that camera from a smaller vendor with whom your director of photography has a personal connection (because, low budget).

You need a camera fast. Your DP can get a deal. You’re not worried about no stinkin’ equipment rental agreement, so...

You just rent the camera.  

But...

What happens if you arrive on set and the camera doesn’t work?

For one, your first day of principal photography is in the dumpster, and you’ve learned a valuable lesson about giving your camera team a prep day, but neither of those is what we want to focus on here.  

For our purposes, the major consequence of an equipment failure without an equipment rental agreement can be summed up in one word:

Liability.

Without a signed equipment rental agreement, not only will you likely have to eat the cost of the rental but you may even have to eat the cost of the camera itself. The vendor could claim that your production damaged the equipment, even if it came to you in an already damaged state. 

In this case, the equipment rental agreement would have placed a mutual burden on both the producer and vendor to have ensured that the camera was in working condition before having been officially rented. 

In other cases, the equipment rental contract could protect producers and vendors from false claims of missing items, illegal price negotiations, and other misrepresentative shifts in liability.

For their own protection, both producers and vendors should always keep an equipment rental agreement template on file.

By the way, Wrapbook is a great way to do exactly that 

Wrapbook is a production payroll platform built with filmmakers in mind. To make shoots as efficient and well-organized as possible, Wrapbook empowers its users to easily create, store, and send documents (like electronic equipment rental agreements and digital startwork) with just a few clicks. 

Equipment Rental Agreement - Vendor Agreement Product Shot - Wrapbook
Use Wrapbook to safely create, store, and send your vendor agreements and other production documents.

What’s included in an equipment rental agreement?

Now that we understand the concepts behind a standard vendor agreement, let’s talk about the individual elements inside a standard vendor agreement. 

To get the most out of this section, be sure to follow along with our free vendor agreement template, as we break down its four distinct sections. 

Let’s start from the top.

1. The agreement itself

The top section of our vendor template contract is effectively an introduction to the equipment rental contract itself. 

Equipment Rental Agreement - Contract - Wrapbook
The “Agreement” is what turns the vendor agreement template into a contract.

Critically, it specifies the parties involved in the contract and states that this contract “supersedes all prior negotiations, representations, or agreements, either written or oral.”

In essence, this top section declares that all other equipment rental agreement terms and conditions that follow together form an agreement between the two specified parties.

It’s what makes the vendor agreement template a contract.

2. Specific terms

The “Specific Terms” section of our vendor agreement template stipulates all of the details specific to the individual rental exchange for which the equipment rental contract is being used. 

Equipment Rental Agreement - Vendor Agreement Template - Specific Terms - Wrapbook
The “Specific Terms” individualize an equipment rental agreement template.

In other words, this is the part where you list everything you want to rent, who you’re renting it from, and when exactly you’re planning to rent it.

Details may vary from contract to contract, but our vendor agreement template lists four basic components:

Vendor

This is where you’ll list the legal name of your vendor. It may be an individual, a limited liability corporation, or some other business entity. 

Description of “equipment”

This is where you’ll list all of the “equipment” that you want to rent from the vendor. In filling out this section, it’s highly important that you be as thorough as possible. A single vague or missing detail could throw a massive wrench into your plans later on.

Contact name

Beside “Contact Name,” you’ll list the name of your vendor representative. This section mostly carries importance when working with large and mid-sized vendors, where your production will often be assigned a single staff member who will coordinate your rental. 

Date

The “Date” listed within the “Specific Terms” section should correspond to the dates on which you want to schedule the rental. You’ll likely negotiate this in advance before submitting the equipment rental agreement to the vendor. 

3. General terms

The “General Terms” of an equipment rental agreement form define the contractual obligations of both parties within the contract. 

The terms of a vendor agreement can be modified from contract to contract to meet the needs of a specific exchange. If you have any questions or concerns about how a contract relates to you, consider seeking the advice of a legal expert before signing.

And if you’re interested in learning more about entertainment law, check out the Wrapbook blog’s post on entertainment lawyers.

Let's take a moment to check out the details of our vendor agreement template’s general terms section. It contains five specific clauses, starting with…

Warranty

The “Warranty” section of our equipment rental agreement template ensures the quality and legality of the equipment that’s being rented.

Equipment Rental Agreement - Warranty - Wrapbook
The “Warranty” is the core of our vendor agreement’s general terms.

It stipulates that the equipment is in working order and distinguishes the various rights of ownership to the vendor. 

In short, this section declares that the equipment is rentable in the first place.

Vendor duties

In our vendor agreement template, the “Vendor Duties” section places a boundary between the vendor who is renting the equipment and the “Work” that a production creates with the equipment they’ve rented.

Equipment Rental Agreement - Vendor Duties - Wrapbook
The “Vendor Duties” clause prevents vendors from directly interfering with a production.

This section is important because it prevents a vendor from using their rented equipment to piggyback off of or interfere with a production.

Equipment use

The “Equipment Use” section of our equipment rental agreement template is perhaps the most straightforward. It simply states that the equipment will naturally undergo “wear and tear” when it’s used in production. 

Equipment Rental Agreement - Equipment Use - Wrapbook
The “Equipment Use” clause accounts for general wear and tear on equipment.

Despite its simplicity, this clause is crucial to the equipment rental contract. It’s designed to prevent vendors from seeking undue damages from production companies or producers based merely on normal use.

Indemnification

The “Indemnification” clause of our vendor agreement template stipulates that misrepresentation, negligence, or other willful misconduct on the part of the vendor will constitute a breach of the contract.

Equipment Rental Agreement - Indemnification - Wrapbook
The “Indemnification” clause ensures that vendors play fair.

If a vendor knowingly lies, cheats, or steals, your production will be released from the bonds of the contract and, perhaps, have an avenue for seeking legal recourse.

Miscellaneous

As you might guess from the name, the “Miscellaneous” clause of our vendor agreement template covers a slew of legalese intended to clarify the rules under which the contract operates. 

Equipment Rental Agreement - Misc Section - Wrapbook
The “Miscellaneous” clause clarifies the rules under which the contract operates.

In this case, it clarifies the legal status of the contract, the state by whose laws the contract is governed, and proper procedure if part of the contract is rendered “void or unenforceable.”

Before we wrap up, there’s one more, crucially important section that we need to cover.

6. Signature

Last but not least, the final section of our vendor agreement contract is the signature section.

Equipment Rental Agreement - Signatures - Wrapbook
An equipment rental agreement is meaningless without a signature.

It probably goes without saying, but an equipment rental agreement is little more than scrap paper without a signature. If no one has signed a contract, no one can be bound to it.

Be sure to get a signature from your vendor before accepting an equipment rental for your next production. 

Wrapping Up

Equipment rental agreements are a critical component of making sure that equipment rentals proceed safely. You can use our free vendor agreement template as is or modify it to better meet your own needs. 

If you’re interested in more free resources, visit the Wrapbook Resource Center or check out our in-depth breakdowns of NDAs and Crew Deal Memos.

Disclaimer

At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice.  You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.

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About the Author

Loring Weisenberger

Loring is a Los Angeles-based writer, director, and creative producer. His work has been commissioned by a diverse range of clients- from Havas Worldwide to Wisecrack, inc.- and has been screened around the world. Through a background that blends project development with physical production across multiple formats, Loring has developed a uniquely eclectic skillset as a visual storyteller.

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