I cannot stress enough how legal contracts are vital. When you start your business, it is easy to kick start a working relationship with a client without having a contract in place. As much as it might be tempting to seal the deal with a handshake, it gives you no legal protection should the need arise. While most people’s intentions are good, as are yours on delivering the services (or products) you promised, sometimes life can get in the way, and things can go wrong.
In business, contracts are important because they outline expectations for both parties and protect both parties if those expectations aren’t met. While specific business needs vary, below are three common legal contracts you should draw up for your business.
1. Service Agreement / Terms of Service
This contract covers everything including what services you are providing, rates and payment terms, copyright and confidentiality, what extras you charge for, GDPR assurance, indemnification and contract termination.
2. Website Policies
3. Data Processing (updated to include this contract)
This specifically relates to the GDPR compliance and giving consent to process personal data. This is relevant if you’re collecting data from countries in the EU, and you are sharing this information with your team (internal or virtual).
If a client asks us for examples of contracts, or templates of contracts, we are unable to provide them because 1) we are not lawyers, and 2) we don’t know the nuisances of your industry. While we work with clients who do have contracts, we cannot use these to create a template depository. This would be unethical and be breaching our clients trust in us.
We always recommend that you engage a lawyer to review your needs and create the contracts based on those. If you’re a client, we can introduce you to a couple for you to consider. If you are not in a position to hire a lawyer, you could start with using a template services, such as Zegal, and then hire a lawyer to review and tweak based on your needs.
Whether you’re a client or not, if you’re in Hong Kong and need a referral to a lawyer, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be delighted to introduce you to a couple of lawyers who work with micro-businesses and solopreneurs.
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.