The Legal Documents Entrepreneurs ForgetApr 26, 2022
This blog post was first published on 6 January 2020
As a business owner there are some legal documents that come up time and time again that we have all heard of and know about.
There are other documents which are equally as important but that often get overlooked until its too late.
Don't worry, I've got you covered. If you're running a business right now take a look at this list and double check whether you need them for your business.
Before we get started, as with all of my posts on this site, this post is information only and does not constitute legal advice.
1. Non-Disclosure Agreement
What is it? A Non-Disclosure Agreement, often referred to as an NDA, is a document between two parties the aim of which is to keep any business discussions secret and confidential. The great thing about an NDA is that you can use them on the first date! You don’t need to be in a business relationship with someone to sign an NDA, in fact if you’ve got that far, you might be too late. This a document which both parties sign and as a result of which they agree that they won’t share each others secrets.
Why do I need it? Sometimes in business you aren’t sure if you actually want to work with someone but in order to know that you need to tell them your idea. However, you need to protect your idea - a huge asset for you and your business - and having an NDA in place means that someone can’t run off and steal your idea.
2. Intellectual Property Assignment
What is it? A document which gives you the rights to photographs, logos and designs which have been created for you and your business by someone else. The law states clearly that copyright in all design works (photography, graphics etc) lies with the person who creates them. One famous example of when this went wrong was for the smoothie company Innocent, who found (to great expense) that they didn’t own the rights to their logo. I’ve written a blog post about that here. You need to get this simple document from all designers or photographers.
Why do I need it? In order to own the copyright, which is a valuable asset, and which allows you to amend and alter images and graphics and use them as you like, you have to either be the creator or have the rights properly assigned by the creator. It isn’t simply enough to have an email from a graphic designer saying that they pass on the rights to you. You need a formal assignment document.
Need an IP Assignment - send me an email [email protected] and I can assist.
3. Separate Refund Policies
What is it? In the UK it is a statutory right for consumers that they must be offered a refund in certain circumstances. It is important that you know those circumstances, when they apply and when you must provide a refund. You can not simply state that you do not offer refunds. In addition, different refunds apply to products and services sold face-to-face and those sold on the internet. There is a further element which you need to consider if you sell electronic products, such as eBooks. The law surrounding electronic downloads protects businesses from someone purchasing, downloading, copying and then seeking a refund. However, this protection is only available if the correct warnings are given at the point of purchase.
Why do I need it? In order to comply with the law. Refunds is something which comes up for entrepreneurs a lot. They want to know where they stand when they offer their services so that they can avoid getting the requests in the first instance, or if they do get them they know immediately whether they need to provide a refund. This also helps to manage finances so that you don’t spend money during the period when a refund could be required to be provided.
The Selling into Corporates Bundle includes a checklist to cover the key requirements and two service provision contracts - one for direct services and one for services to employees or clients. Grab The Selling into Corporates Bundle here.
Did you find this helpful? If you have any questions feel free to pop me an email at [email protected]
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