Creativity and legality do not get along well. Often designers and other productive professionals find it distasteful for their creativity-buds to go for bland legal procedures and contracts. They see it as baggage and a waste of time. However, the fact remains that the need for legal documents for web design and marketing agencies is undeniable.
In the profession of design and creativity, legal documents and contracts become all the more important. Many times, while delivering a project to the client and even during the development process, there might arise a conflict between the developer and the client.
The client might ask for added features and functions which were not part of the deal at the time of commitment. Sometimes there can be payment issues, non-cooperation from the client, and other such issues which might take your focus from doing creative work to resolving petty issues. And all these hassles made you realize that you could have avoided these issues with the help of a simple legal document which gives details of what both parties agreed to at the time of commitment.
11 Legal Docs for Web Design & Marketing Agencies
A contract helps your client-developer relationship stay smooth. Moreover, a thing in black and white helps when there arise any confusion or disagreement between a client and developer over the agreed upon terms.
Keeping all this in view, we are here to save you from the above mentioned hassles. This guide is to facilitate you for compiling a list of legal documents like web design contracts and web design agreements. It goes as:
(Open Source) “Killer” Contract by Andy Clarke
Killer Contract is one of the most popular legal document for web designers and developers. It is open-source and is written in the basic and simple language. It avoids usage of techie legal terms which are too hard to understand by a layman or non-lawyer. If you are is not into legalese and who finds it difficult to comprehend the text of legal documents, then this contract will be ideal for striking a deal in black and white.
Nonetheless; it IS a contract, and it is binding on all parties of that deal. The framework of this contract loosely binds the parties to reasonable terms. It includes clauses about browser testing, changes and revisions, and SEO.
Project Acceptance Form
This form gives a clear and crisp statement of what the designer is going to deliver and what is not part of the deal. Project acceptance form facilitates like a check-list. It tells if details about design and development, copywriting and content population, support, and maintenance agreement, etc. are part of the contract.
The AIGA Standard form of agreement for Web Design services
This document is quite elaborated and thorough. It comprises two main modules: i) basic terms and conditions ii) intellectual property rights. AIGA provides the flexibility of adding supplementary modules, to the main modules, for specific design disciplines.
It helps derive an elaborated and detailed binding agreement which lists down
- Terms and conditions
- The rights and responsibilities of all contracting parties
It does not restrict you to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. And it also doesn’t act like a template which you can edit as per needs and requirements. AIGA guides the designers and firms in deriving and preparing of their legal documents while they can choose their terms and conditions as they find appropriate. We require this legal document for web design to avoid any friction among contracting parties.
Web Design Questionnaire
Another way of getting a client’s clear-cut requirements is to provide them with an elaborate and comprehensive questionnaire. The questionnaire should comprise of all the extra features which a client would want to have included in his web. By telling the requirements objectively, you will be able to eliminate the element of ambiguity. It will bring in more clarity and will reduce the chances of conflict with the client. However, the questionnaire should be done before the development of the project so that the designer has a clear idea about his framework. A list of possible questions is:
- Why do you want this site?
- What are the demographics of users who will benefit from the website?
- Features you would like to add (give him a checklist to pick)
And so on…
Webdesignlaw’s Design Contracts for Freelance Web Designers
It is mainly for outsourcing work and contains two sets of terms and conditions: a detailed one and the other abridged one. Webdesignlaw contract comes with a sample letter of agreement, a sample project proposal, and an invoice template.
Other than this template, as a freelancer or agency, you might want to have a legal document for outsourcing work. Therefore, it should define the rate per hour or project charges so that it specifies the rate for add-ons too.
Andy Rutledge Design Project Contracts
This bundle of legal documents for web design contains templates for ‘terms and conditions’ and ‘Authorization to Proceed.’ It is quite detailed and includes project details like the scope of work, budget, payments, deliverables, etc. it provides the flexibility to change the text as per your requirements as well. It provides a baseline for your contracts.
BidSketch’s Web Design Contract
For web developers, the ideal legal document is BidSketch’s Web Design Contract. It covers all details about a project. BidSketch contract includes project design as well as legal aspects and covers details like site coding, testing, iterations, project management, acceptance tests per phase, and other details about the project.
Penning down a legal document or contract with a retainer on board could be relieving for both parties. It mentions retainer fee, hours per month and charges for add-ons, this is to avoid any undesirable confrontation between the two parties.
This agreement is mandatory when it comes to legal documents for web design and marketing agencies. It is to protect your unique and promising business idea from getting leaked out, lest it provides a breakthrough to someone else. Therefore, you have a novel idea which can be highly fruitful and successful for you; you would want to keep it discreet. Thus, this agreement extends the relief of having your idea protected. NDA binds both parties from disclosing any information.
A similar policy should be available for mobile apps as well.
We are doing all of this for earning. Invoices show us what services have been undertaken, what are payments terms, contact details and stuff like this. However, there is a possibility that a conflict might arise over invoice because of the agreement you signed. You require this legal document to avoid such conflicts.
It is far better to give your deal a touch in black and white. A written contract or legal document saves you from a lot of hassles down the lane. In this article, we have talked about required legal documents for web designers and marketing agencies to strike a deal with other parties.