Usually your standard terms and conditions (client contract) will be a well thought out, legally prepared documents. But what happens with your project descriptions, proposals and scope of work documents (upon which your client contracts are based)?
Quite often, these documents are prepared by any number of different people in your business, who may not always fully understand the legal issues relating to the document they are preparing.
So what can you do to ensure that your staff are always preparing proposals/project descriptions that support your other contracts and documentation with your clients?
Firstly, you need to have a predefined company position on how these documents are to be prepared.
As a minimum, these are the sorts of things we suggest that consideration be given to covering the following areas:
- the work that is to be performed or services to be provided
- any relevant time frames (and a statement about things that might delay this – for example the timing of your client’s approvals or provision of information)
- details of what the work is provided for (this is particularly relevant if you want to retain the underlying copyright, and want to have some control over where and how your client uses this work – for example, is there a restriction on the geographical use of the work?)
- the client’s responsibility in helping towards achieving the timeframes and milestones. There needs to be a clear outline of what timeframe the client needs to provide approval by, for you to be able to meet your timeframe targets.
- A clear outline of any intellectual property rights that you can’t pass over to your clients (for example if you are providing work to them on the basis of an on-licensed product)
- A clear outline of extra/additional costs that your client must meet (for example stock images or licences)
- It often also makes sense to include a notice on the bottom of the document that timeframes are subject to change if there are factors outside of your control, and if the client doesn’t provide approvals by the due dates, and linking these other documents back to the terms and conditions document.
This list is not exhaustive – there are often many other areas that should be covered, but these are just a few to think about.
If you would like feedback on what items you should be including in your accompanying documents, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help. Call us at 02 8006 0830 or pop us an email: [email protected].