Define: Retainer

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Retainer



What is the dictionary definition of Retainer?

Dictionary Definition


  1. Any thing or person that retains.
  2. A dependent or follower of someone of rank.
  3. A paid servant, especially one who has been employed for many years.

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Full Definition of Retainer


A retainer is a payment made in advance of receiving a service. A retainer acts as a down payment, ensuring delivery of service and payment for providing a service. Frequently, a lawyer, consultant or counsellor will request a retainer in order to secure their services. A lawyer is often referred to as being placed “on retainer.” As a lawyer works on a case, he/she will bill time against the retainer. Expenses such as travel time and phone calls are not considered part of a retainer and are usually billed separately. A retainer is often a part or percentage of a total contractual sum. A retainer period refers to a pre-determined period of time in which services will be provided. A retainer is also referred to as a deposit, advance payment or advance.


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Page URL
https://payrollheaven.com/define/retainer/
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Retainer. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. March 28, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/retainer/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Retainer. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/retainer/ (accessed: March 28, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Retainer. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/retainer/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Retainer are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th February 2020.