Must-Have Contracts to Protect Your Business

There are so many working parts and several details to consider when you own your own business. At the top of your list should be making sure you are doing things the right way and protecting all your ideas and hard work. Having the right contracts in place will not only ensure you have all your ducks in a row, but you’ll sleep better knowing that you aren’t putting your business at risk.

But how do you know which contracts you need? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Do you collect names, email address, and payment information? If so, then you need a Privacy Policy. Anytime you are collecting information through your website, you need to tell folks how you will use their information and reassure them that you will keep their information private.

2. Do you publish information, advice or post blogs on your website? Then you’ll definitely want a Website Disclaimer. This lets them know that you aren’t liable to them for following your advice.

3. If you sell goods or services online, you’ll want to consider having Terms and Conditions of Sale done. This tells buyers all of your terms regarding shipping, refunds, exchanges, and how disputes should be resolved.

4. Do you work with clients one on one? Client Service Agreements are non-negotiable to have if you do. This sets out your expectations for your clients and tells them what they can expect from you. Most importantly, this makes sure you get paid!

5. Have a membership site, Facebook Group, or other online forum? If you’ve created any of these online communities, you want to keep your members safe and make sure they are comfortable sharing within the community. Plus you want to make sure your members know that you can’t be held responsible for the actions of other members.

6. Do you work with a graphic designer, photographer, or copywriter? If you hire someone to create something for your business like a logo, video, website design, or write copy, you MUST have them sign a Work for Hire Agreement to ensure you will own the rights to their work. Otherwise, you’re screwed because copyrights are owned by the original creator of the work.

7. Need to hire a virtual assistant, contractor, consultant or intern to help you with your business matters? Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreements are essential because you want anyone you hire or consult with to keep your business details all to themselves. You’ll also want to have them sign an Independent Contractor Agreement if they won’t be set up as an employee of your company and you aren’t planning to pay taxes for them.

8. Having an event? Two key contracts you’ll want to consider are Consent/Release for Use of Likeness and Event Liability Waiver. The consent will ensure you can use any photos or videos taken of your guests during the event. The waiver protects you from being responsible for the injury of guests at your event.

Having these contracts in place ensure you get paid and don’t get sued!