What is a Software Agreement?
A software agreement is a document that legally binds two or more parties over the provision of software products and/or the execution of software-related services. This type of agreement has multiple subtypes depending on the specific kind of arrangement agreed upon by the contracting parties.
For example, a software maintenance agreement is made when one party agrees to fix or manage the software needs of another company. A software product licensing agreement is another type of software agreement that comes with the use of specific software. Software tools like the Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite will require the creation of the corresponding agreement. In Adobe’s case, it is called an Adobe Software Agreement.
How to Write a Software Agreement
In the United States, software publishing is a billion-dollar industry and the last five years have seen a 5% industry growth. This is brought on by several reasons including the ongoing shift to digital across most industries. This shift also brings about more jobs and business opportunities.
So, if you are interested in starting or you already have your software development or software maintenance company, it pays to further protect your business by making loophole-free and accurate software agreements. In the list below, we share the top agreement-writing tips that you can follow. These tips may be applied when making different types of agreements.
1. Know What Type of Agreement You Need
Preferably with the help of your attorney, you first need to decide on what kind of agreement you need based on the type of business transaction you are in. For example, if you are contracted to provide a software program to track serial killings in your country, you will need to create a foremost digital forensics software license agreement.
Examine what specific services or products you are providing or are being provided to you and your company and then determine the best kind of agreement that will cover all the terms of your legal contract.
2. Set Up Basic Contract Terms or Negotiate The Terms Well
The negotiation portion of any business transaction is extremely important. This ensures that your basic agreement only includes the stipulations that were agreed upon by both parties. Whether you are the software provider or the client, make sure that you clear terms and conditions on this phase. Closely monitor the creation of the contract so that you will know whether your terms were followed or not.
3. Write The Payment Terms Clearly
In addition to the basic terms of your software agreement, you must also make sure that the terms of payment are clearly stated in your software agreement. This ensures that the software provider will not lose money after this transaction. A clear and organized payment schedule makes gives peace of mind of the software provider. This especially applies when creating software income shares agreements.
4. Hire A Lawyer
To ensure the validity and compliance with contract laws and regulations in your state or country, make it a point to have your software licensing, maintenance, developer, reseller agreements reviewed by an attorney. You may choose a lawyer who specializes in contract, digital, copyright or trademark law depending on the kind of services or products you are providing. A lawyer can review the wording and terms of your agreement and determine any loopholes. With the right lawyer, you can ensure that your personal or business interests are protected.
5. Get Agreements Ready ASAP
Each year, companies lose about 10% of their revenue due to contract mismanagement. This can be a lot especially when you are just a small software subscription start-up. Avoid this by making the agreement processing time as short as possible. And, once the agreement has been signed, make sure that you do not miss contract deadlines and follow all the clauses included in the agreement.