Whether you are a start-up or have been in the business game for years, the right business contracts are vital and can, quite frankly, make or break your business.
Contracts are there to protect your interests, although some may dispute the need for them, thread carefully and get things in writing.
When it comes to contracts, it’s safe to say most entrepreneurs would far prefer spending their time doing something different.
Contracts always seem to get in the way of getting on with daily business. It is, however, incredibly vital that one dedicates enough time to preparing their contracts. By making the necessary preparations in advance, you will be able to determine the rules of your engagement and ensure that these rules fall in your favour. Additionally, you can avoid ambiguity and prevent future fall outs as all parties entering into the agreement will have a clear idea of what is required of them.
At Hello Contract, we deliver high-quality contracts through our automated document platform at highly reduced costs when compared with traditional law firms. As contracts are at the core of our business, we want our customers to fully understand the risks and obligations arising from them.
Below, you will find the 6 most essential contracts that all businesses should have in place from the very beginning.
Table of Contents:
Terms and Conditions
Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Independent Contractor Agreement
1. Terms and Conditions
Regardless of the kind of business you run, every entrepreneur will need to pull together a set of Terms and Conditions.
The stipulated terms and conditions are essentially your rules – your way of doing business. From quotation to termination, you determine how you provide your products and/or services whilst being strict but fair. By laying down the terms and conditions, you make it clear to your customers how you conduct business and specify the details regarding what you charge, price increases, delivery times, limitations of liability and the like.
A comprehensive, well-written Terms and Conditions provides clarity between you and your potential clients while also preventing disputes. In the event that a dispute does arise concerning a subject which is clearly outlined in your Terms and Conditions, the dispute can be settled immediately as the subject and its contents have been recorded and agreed to in black and white.
You can view our Website Terms of Service here.
2. Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Before setting out with your epic world-changing product or service, you will naturally want to be able to talk to your customers, partners or suppliers in confidence – without fear of your confidential information being used by them and especially, without gaining your permission first.
The legal instrument used to help enforce and protect this is known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement or an NDA for short. An NDA prevents confidential details of your conversation being used or leaked. This includes preventing parties from sharing confidential information with other persons who they have been introduced to in confidence during the business endeavour.
You can view our Mutual NDA here
Take a look at ours here.
4. Employment Agreements
Congratulations, you have employed staff! You trust them completely, and can only hold thumbs that it won’t come back to bite.
Often, this is the thought process that one goes through when hiring someone, however, setting clear expectations of salary, leave, duties, notice periods and the like is absolutely vital and should not be overlooked.
Below are a few employment agreements to help you get started:
5. Copyright Assignments
Over the lifespan of your business, you will most likely outsource hundreds of tasks to independent parties and freelancers. These tasks could include anything from software development and blog content to logo creations.
Outsourcing tasks of your business to external individuals who are not employed by you has one main unintended consequence – Despite paying the outside party for the work done, you do not own the work that they create. This is because the works created are all owned by the person who authored them and thus, the external party.
A Copyright Assignment Agreement is a legal document which is required to transfer the above ownership to you. For an assignment of copyright to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by, or on behalf of, the external party.
Feel free to purchase one here.
6. Independent Contractor Agreement
In today’s interconnected world, where freelancers are available from all corners of the globe, bringing together expertise on a vast array of topics has never been easier. In this regard, you will – throughout the duration of your company – engage with external service providers that you do not employ. These relationships are typically regulated by an Independent Contractor Agreement.
An independent contractor differs from an employee in that when you employ an employee, you have control over their day-to-day services. However, if and when an independent contractor is required, you generally do not have much control over their day-to-day service renderings.
It is important to regulate the relationship between you and your independent contractor by recording obligations, expectations, time for delivery, payment guidelines, intellectual property ownership and the like.
You can purchase our fully automated Independent Contractor Agreement here.