Are you ready for the uptick in your business? 5 minute short reads for scaling companies.
Business has changed significantly in the revised reality - are you prepared? At this time of changing risk and changing ways of doing business, now is an ideal moment to review your Terms of Business and customer contracts, your liability and risk, and your IP and compliance position - all in readiness for doing business with larger customers at larger volumes. And to help you to look great to investors!
The topics are always relevant, but many have come even more into focus due to the current COVID crisis, as an opportunity to change the way you structure your relationships. And, as you scale you should always keep an eye on these key issues to increase your likelihood of agreeing a successful partnership with new customers, and achieving successful fund raises.
The series is designed as a starting point for an audit, or set of questions which you could be asking yourself, around key legal issues that you should understand, and to check that you are comfortable with the related risks and opportunities.
- Updates, industry norms and looking professional
- Protecting your IP properly and know-how properly - from use or misuse by the customer
- IP in any bespoke or integration services – don't risk giving away the platform IP
- SLAs and Service Credits- to give or not to give
- US Customers and US law – big risks?
- Limiting your warranties - industry norms
- Warranties from customers - protection from their content and data risks
- Should you give indemnities - on all or some things?
- Excluding liability, indirect losses and liability caps - industry norms
- What tactics can you use to dissuade customers from negotiating your standard terms?
- How do you build in a web based order form process, linking to online terms only?
- Could you set up a Trial or Pilot version with minimal “as is” terms.
- What is the best way to get auto renewal effectively into your contracts.
- Is it ok to sign the Customer’s standard procurement contract – will they be fit for purpose, and will they create a risk in terms of your IP and your risk levels?
- What about the P.O. terms associated with their invoice? Whose terms will apply in that situation?
- Do you own the IP created by your contractors or freelancers?
- Have you made sure you own all the IP any suppliers have created for you?
- And what about the Founders’ IP?
- Don’t lose your IP to your customers, and how to prevent them copying or rebuilding your service or platform themselves.
- Protecting your confidential info during pitching and proposals – are NDAs enough?
- Do you need to register your Trade Marks now, or is it safe to wait and spread the cost? But I have the Domain Name – is that enough?
- And what about Patents…?
Part 5 - Basic GDPR compliance bearing in mind you are likely to be processing your customer's data (coming soon)
- Are you a processor or controller in relation to your customers’ data?
- Do you need a specific Data Processing Agreement to be compliant with GDPR?
- If the Customer imposes their Data Processing Agreement, which bits are fixed by law and which are negotiable?
- Have you got the basic GDPR compliance processes and policies in place to demonstrate your company’s compliance?
- How do you ensure your suppliers, who touch your customer’s personal data, don’t expose you to liability to the customer?