Do you or your business offer services? Perhaps you are a sole trader cleaner, or a multi-national cleaning company? It is important to have basic online protection including a Client Agreement that can be accepted online (or also offline if you need). The other two key documents are a Privacy Policy and a Website Terms of Use. Below, we set out our top six tips to remember when drafting your Client Agreement

1. Be Clear About Scope

Be clear about what the scope of services and deliverables will be. Why? Typically, you are contractually bound to deliver that scope of services and deliverables, for the price set and based on the signatures provided.

2. Initial Deposits

Require an initial deposit, and include a reasonable cancellation fee. Any cancellation fee must be reasonable, including, for example, the likelihood of you being able to fill the place with another client. Depending on the risk that you won’t fill the space, a sliding scale of deposit is not uncommon.

3. Liability

Limit your liability for loss, harm or damage caused to the client. Your Client Agreement should set out what you are, and are not, responsible for. For example, it would be prudent for an alternative health practitioner to include a disclaimer that he or she is not a doctor, this is not medical advice, and that the person should seek medical assistance as required. 

4. Copyright and Intellectual Property

Reinforce your rights under copyright law, inform your client of their rights under the Australian Consumer Law, and how you will manage their confidential information. This includes disclosing whether you will use photos for marketing or competition purposes.

Be clear about whether there is a licence for the client to use your work, or are the rights wholly assigned to the client. Licencing your work means that you retain ownership while the licencee can use your product on the agreed terms.

5. Privacy Policy

It is also prudent, and often mandatory, to have a privacy policy. Generally speaking, any business earning over $3 million revenue is required to have a Privacy Policy.

A well-drafted Privacy Policy will put your clients at ease, and explain how you are complying with privacy law. This helps gives some clients confidence in your services and business as a whole.

A good Privacy Policy ensures that you are open and transparent about what information you are collecting, how it is being used and how it is protected. It also sets out how people can correct their information and contact you.

A well-drafted Privacy Policy is a useful document to have to educate your employees on how your business must manage personal information of clients.

6. Website Terms of Use

Website Terms of Use are an important document to have, as they:

  • Inform your website visitors of their rights and obligations, as well as fulfil your online legal obligations;
  • Protect your website, business and intellectual property as displayed on the website;
  • Ensure your website visitors know what they can and can’t use from the website; and
  • Limit your liability for content made available online.

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If you need assistance with drafting your client agreement, or have any questions as to what you should include, let our online business lawyers know.

Ursula Hogben

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