Many online sales-based articles focus on how to effectively market a product, how to increase your virtual presence and some of the parameters associated with an effective e-commerce platform. However, what would happen if you ever encountered legal trouble?
Would you know what to do if you suddenly required the help of a full-time partner? How do you define intellectual property rights and what responsibilities do you have to your customers?
These are all very serious concerns and they should be made clear as soon as possible if you hope to avoid potential headaches in the future.
Let us look at two common types of contracts to consider if you are selling products online from home.
A Partnership Contract
Partnership contracts will help to avoid any disputes that may arise between different stakeholders of a product or service. For instance, let’s imagine that your business has grown to the point that you now require a dedicated marketing specialist to work for you on a full-time basis. How are you to define which party performs specific actions. Who will be paid what amount of money at the end of a billing cycle? Will you be able to resolve any disputes that might arise? These are some of the main areas which are addressed through a partnership contract. A handful of other stipulations that are generally contained can include:
– A breakdown of the decision-making process.
– Whether or not any individuals will be paid benefits as well as a standard salary.
– How to mediate a dispute in regards to marketing revenue.
– What to do in the event that one or more parties wishes to completely terminate the agreement.
The main takeaway point is that any type of contract is meant to be clear and straight to the point. After all, the primary intention is to provide a greater level of transparency between all parties. This is particularly important when referring to a partner. The last thing you desire is for a conflict to suddenly arise while your business is enjoying success. Having all concerns laid out with clarity and insight from the very beginning will help to avert a relationship that could suddenly turn sour. Let’s also not fail to mention is that such a contract is legally binding if notarized. Still, why is a non-disclosure agreement just as important and what is it meant to cover?
A Quick Look at Typical Non-Disclosure Agreements
Anyone who has even written content for someone else (such as a ghost-writer or a third-party blog publicity specialist) is likely to be aware of non-disclosure agreements. Other referred to as an NDA, this type of contract is designed to provide a superior level of confidentiality and privacy. Why might this prove useful within the world of online retail sales? Here are three common situations which can be impacted if a non-disclosure agreement is not present:
– One or more parties could claim credit for a specific product or service.
– Marketing strategies may be leaked to a competitor or the general public.
– A former employee could use insider information to thwart your efforts in relation to your rivals.
If a non-disclosure agreement has not been signed, there is actually very little that you can do in terms of legal recourse. Even if you get lucky enough to file a civil complaint, the chances are high that your argument will not stand up in court. Keep in mind that non-disclosure agreements will often differ from state to state in terms of their legal requirements, so be sure to perform a good amount of research in advance.
We should mention that typical non-disclosure agreements are rather general in terms of discrete products and services. They are instead “evergreen” in the sense that they are applicable during numerous situations. They can be used if you happen to require part-time help during the hectic sales challenges often associated during the holiday season. A typical NDA is likewise very useful in the event that you require a part-time freelancer to create content for your e-commerce website when promoting a specific product. These are two examples of why such contracts will come in very handy.
While there are times when you might require the help of a legal business expert to draw up such documentation, it is normally sufficient to create your own or to download an online template. You can then fill in any details that are specific to your home-based retail operation. In the event that the contract will be printed out and physically signed, it might be wise to head to your local notary to ensure that it is recognized as a formal agreement between two or more parties. As always, perform additional online research to learn more.