Let’s say you’ve hired someone to design a website for your business. It’s an exciting next step for your business venture, but you want to consider the following things:

  • How much should I charge?
  • Should I charge a fixed fee, or by the hour?
  • What is the scope of the work to be done?
  • When do I want it to be done by?
  • How can I make sure I own the IP?
  • How can I make sure that any information I provide the developer is safe?

These questions are common considerations when it comes to website development. This is where you would need a Website Development Agreement.

What Is A Website Development Agreement?

A Website Development Agreement sets out the key details in the relationship between you and your website developer. As one party is agreeing to provide a service in exchange for money, there should be some ground rules around the expected standards of work and relevant deadlines. 

What Should The Agreement Include?

Like other agreements, a Website Development Agreement may vary depending on your specific needs. Generally, the following points should be covered in the contract:

  • Payment – how will the developer be compensated for their services? Will there be a schedule for payment?
  • Scope – what kind of work will they be providing?
  • Deadlines – when should the work be completed?
  • Reimbursements – will the designer/developer be reimbursed for any relevant fees that need to be paid to complete the service (for example, membership for a particular platform)?
  • Intellectual Property – how will the IP ownership rights remain with the business?
  • Confidentiality – how can you ensure that the website developer does not disclose inside information to third parties?

Protect Your Intellectual Property

When it comes to having products created by other parties outside of your business, there are several risks. After all, you’re allowing another party to access and use inside information. 

You want to make sure that you have well drafted confidentiality clauses in your Agreement to limit their disclosure of any information they accessed during their project with you. 

You also want to make sure that the final product that is created legally belongs to you. So, even if the developer created it, you both want to agree to transfer the ownership of that IP to you as soon as the project is complete. It’s important that you make this clear from the beginning of your business relationship, otherwise there is a risk that the final product will not be yours to keep and distribute as you wish. 

Let’s say you are hiring a web development agency to rebuild your website and write the website content for you. You tell them exactly what you want it to look like, and you share with them some notes, sketches and some confidential business strategy documents to understand what you are trying to achieve.

Once you’ve given the agency this information, you’ll want to be sure that the agency doesn’t share this information with your competitors or anyone else. Furthermore, you might want to make sure that they won’t go and take the website design, or another content they write for you, and use it with other clients.

A well written Web Development Agreement can help address these issues. It will contain a confidentiality clause, which states that any information you provide the agency cannot be shared with any third parties without your consent. It can also contain an intellectual property clause, which restricts the web development agency from reusing your designs or your website code with any other client without your permission.

Need Help?

Working with website developers and other external parties is a great way to spark new ideas and collaborative ventures, but it also carries risks of losing confidential information and IP. 

So, it’s essential that your Website Development Agreement covers all your bases. If you need a lawyer to draft a Website Development Agreement for your business, Sprintlaw has a team of lawyers who can help you out. Our package includes:

  • A Website Development Agreement tailored to your business
  • Phone consultations with a Sprintlaw lawyer who can answer your legal questions
  • A complimentary amendment to the final draft we provide to you

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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