Sunday, September 23, 2012

Drafting a Solid Web Design Contract

These important web development contract clauses will protect your business and ensure full understanding between the parties.

IP Ownership
Who owns the copyright to the work product? Can the developer use the same template for other clients’ websites? Can the developer display credit on the website?

Specifications and Client Revisions
Outline the exact scope of work and the number of client amends and revisions the developer is supposed to provide for free. To prevent client delays and ensure prompt payment, it is a good practice to include milestones with “sign offs” and payments at every stage, as well as penalties for late payment.

Early Termination
Sometimes the parties have wrong expectations and the work does not progress smoothly. It is important to outline on what terms can the parties get out of the contract early and how much is to be paid for work completed.

Limitation of Liability
Lawyer representing a developer should negotiate limitation of liability, disclaimer of warranty clauses, and state that the work product is provided “as is” and is not guaranteed to be completely error-free. Lawyer drafting a contract on behalf of the client would avoid or downplay those clauses.

Developer must be protected from liability for materials provided by client. This often arises in the context of client-provided photos that later turn out to be somebody else’s.

Maintenance and Site Modifications
Lawyer working for the developer should make sure the contract states that maintenance/tech support or site modifications after the work is completed are not included in the scope of work and will be billed extra.

Binding Arbitration
Often, the developer and client are in different states or countries, so it’s important to prevent getting sued in a far-off jurisdiction and ensure that all disputes are resolved quickly, inexpensively and confidentially in your hometown or close by.