We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a contract is one of the absolute best ways to help protect you when you’re entering into a business relationship with someone else, and entering into an exciting new collaboration is no exception. Here are our top tips of what to include in your contract to make sure you’ve got yourself a legally legit collab.
Sort out what you’re each going to do - and write it down
It’s hard to get anything done if you don’t know what you’re actually doing, so it’s important to clarify what everyone will be responsible for. Be very clear at the start to sort out responsibilities of each collaborator to avoid confusion later down the track.
Things to consider:
- How you’ll communicate;
- Who needs to do what; and
- How long the collab will last.
Decide who owns what IP
Whether the collaboration will create new Intellectual Property or will simply use Intellectual Property that each collaborator brings to the table, it’s important to know who will own it at the other end of the “deal”. It’s much better to decide this and have it written down at the start of the relationship than try and figure it out at the end, just in case the worst happens and the collab doesn’t go to plan.
Quick reminder here that even if someone else owns it, there is an option to license the IP so that both parties can use it. If you want to know more about this, book in a discovery call so we can chat about it.
Hope for the BEST - Plan for the worst
While the more than likely outcome is that everything will go absolutely swimmingly, it’s absolutely much better to know ahead of time what will happen if it doesn’t. Even if the parties haven’t done anything wrong, sometimes there are just things that crop up that you don’t and frankly can’t plan for (such as a *cough cough* global pandemic).
This way you’ll know what needs to be returned to each party, who might need to pay someone else money, who needs to finish what work off and so on.
Who bears the risk
Depending on what the collaboration is hoping to do and create, there is a possibility that the parties will have been opened up to risk of liability if something isn’t quite right. It’s much better to know before you start how the collaborative partnership will bear this risk. E.g will it be 50/50, 40/60. Also will you purchase insurance for the collaboration and how will this be paid for?
We get that these aren’t super fun conversations to have, but you’ll be glad you did when all is said and done. You’ve got this! And remember you can always trust our Collaboration Agreement Contract Template to help you get Legally Legit.