8 July 2024

What are some common problems that a professional client contract can help marketing agencies (and most B2B service-based businesses) avoid?

Here’s a quick summary of 10 popular areas your client contract should cover as a minimum:

  1. A good first impression – the ‘cobbled together’ contract that still makes reference to the company you ‘borrowed’ it from is bound to raise a few eyebrows. Regularly review your contracts with a professional to keep them professional.
  2. Clarity on what you’re supplying – not mentioning this can lead to the ‘give an inch take a mile’ scenario where you end up doing more than what you were sure you agreed.
  3. Clarity on what your client needs to do – giving you clear and accurate information, communicating to avoid missed deadlines and then shouldering the blame for not being proactive enough, respecting normal hours of work etc.
  4. Payment – making sure you have some legal substance when chasing a late invoice…and the ability to add a bit of late payment interest and the recovery of your debt collection fees if you so desire.
  5. Private and confidential – give your client peace of mind that you’ll respect their privacy and treat particular matters as confidential.
  6. Intellectual Property – making it clear if you will retain the ownership of any creative work or whether you’ll pass the ownership to your client once they’ve paid. Also give your client the peace of mind that you won’t steal someone else’s IP and pass it off as your own creation….and charge them for the courtesy!
  7. Liability – if you don’t disclaim this for certain things and limit it in others, you’ll probably upset your insurer as well as your bank balance and reputation.
  8. Cancellation – receiving notice from your client that they wish to cancel without much notice can be painful. Being clear on how and when your client can cancel can help this. Also make sure you can cancel the agreement if you no longer wish to work with the client, it’s a 2 way street!
  9. Poaching – finding and retaining the best talent can be very difficult, sometimes bordering on desperation for some businesses. A client poaching your talent and bringing them inhouse is not uncommon and should be guarded against in your contract.
  10. Governing law – if you’re a UK business doing business with a client overseas, you may find yourself on an expensive business trip if you don’t get this easily overlooked part right.
     

These are just quick examples – if you’d like to discuss your contracts please contact us

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Ryan Lisk

Ryan has helped a vast number of businesses protect and control their intellectual property as well as drafting and advising on consumer and commercial contracts.

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