What contracts do I need?

So you have started your business…SUCCESS!

You are over the first, and probably the largest hurdle involved in starting a business. But what now? How do we know what contracts we need to have in place? Lucky for Aisling and me, we have the whole Barrister thing going for us BUT fear not, we are here to help. After all, we are your legal & communications sidekick.

But why do you need a contract?

As a start, they legally protect you and overall make you look more professional, meaning you may attract more clients if you’re in the services and/or coaching biz.

As well as that a contract allows you to clearly set your boundaries and avoid any unnecessary conversations with your clients, consultants, and providers. It also helps you manage expectations. So now you know how important they are, you are now probably wondering what contract you need to protect yourself. Even though contracts are all unique depending upon the service/product you offer, all contracts (NO MATTER WHAT), should be:

  • Consistent (i.e. not say one thing in clause A and then contradict yourself in clause B)
  • Clear and easy to read
  • Tailored to you and your business
  • Completely your own aka – not copied and pasted from another source
  • Initiated correctly aka expressed by a valid offer and acceptance

What contracts do I need?

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

  • If you’re planning to start a business, you are likely to need a website. In light of COVID19, this is basically a requirement for anyone who wants to set up a business right now. The most common legal documents required for a website are Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Terms and Conditions are also required if your business is supplying any goods or services. This should include:
    • Outline of the goods/services that your business provides;
    • Specification of payment method;
    • All legal aspects such as guarantees, warranties, jurisdiction, IP and third party rights,
    • Refunds and returns policy.

Partnership Agreement

A Partnership Agreement is applicable where two or more individuals intend to form a partnership. This will outline items such as:

  • Decision making and voting rights;
  • Profit and loss distribution;
  • Roles and responsibilities;
  • Withdrawal and dissolution protocols.

Independent Contractor Agreement

For hiring freelancers or contractors in your business – like social media managers; virtual assistant or an accountant.

1:1 Client Contract or Group Program Contract

  • Anytime you are working privately or 1:1 with a client you need a contract. The contract should include:
    • What’s included so there is no miscommunication and you can also better manage client expectations;
    • How payment will be dealt with including what happens if someone doesn’t pay;
    • Disclaiming liability;
    • Decide in what jurisdiction conflict will be dealt with (if this arises)
    • Any policies you have so what happens if someone doesn’t show up for a training session or call. How far in advance a person must reschedule or cancel;
    • If you are running group programmes it is good practice to have a group contract in place so everyone understands your role and you can also manage expectations.

Influencer Contract

For when you decide to with Influencers to promote your products and services.  

Affiliate Contract

For when you decide to allow other people to make a commission on the sale of one of your products and/or services.  

Next steps

Sign up for the Legal Diaries Newsletter to be the first to hear about our exclusive offers & content once we launch on 24 March 2021. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Legal Diaries Business Advice Series.

Disclaimer: Please note that Legal Diaries is not a law firm. Nothing on this site, unless otherwise state should be construed as legal advice. Legal Diaries does not provide your or your company legal advice unless otherwise communicated. We simply provide legal information and education for you to customise and use on your own and have reviewed by your own Legal Counsel. Danielle and Aisling are Barristers at Law, members of the LSRA Roll of Barristers. Unless otherwise specified Legal Diaries does not establish a lawyer-client relationship with you.

Thank you!


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