If you are about to pay for services and this amazing new hire does not send over a contract for you to sign - RED FLAG ALERT. It’s not to say they aren’t amazing and great at what they do, but it means they haven’t taken the time to legally protect their business and therefore, are leaving you without protection either.
Contracts are meant to protect BOTH parties. Not only does a services agreement define the terms of the relationship (e.g., what is due and when? How is payment made? What happens if someone wants out?)
So, if you find that your new hire doesn’t pass along a contract, you should either provide one (it’s handy if you have one on file, I sell independant contractor templates that can be used for any of the above) or suggest that they get one in place before moving forward.
But wait! There’s more...
So you just invested a chunk of cash into a new website, a fabulous VA, or a copywriter for your sales page, and you’ve got a contract for them to sign. AWESOME! Go you. But there is one super important thing you need to make sure you have in your agreement to ensure that you actually OWN what is being created for you.
That is a clause regarding intellectual property and who owns what. You want to make sure that clause clearly states that the service provider (that is, VA, designer, copywriter) does not own the content and all copyright is with you, the client.
This type of clause is important for a few reasons. One is if you have a logo designed and absolutely fall in love and want to register a trademark for that extra brand protection - you MUST own it. If your designer still owns the copyright, you cannot trademark it.
Another is that what if down the road you have 30 blog posts that your VA wrote at your direction, you decide to turn it into a book that becomes a #1 seller on Amazon, you make a ton of money, and all of a sudden that VA comes out of the woodwork claiming that SHE wrote it and she should get half the money. All of a sudden you are in a lawsuit.
I’m contacted almost weekly by people that have been burned because they hired for services and just talked about what was provided or had some email exchanges. Protect your investment and make sure an agreement is in place!