If your company needs a new website or software, but you don't have any developers on your payroll, you can choose to hire an agency or perhaps try to save money by hiring independent contractors. For the latter, and depending on the job's difficulty, you may hire a freelance developer or a whole team of web developers.
There are multiple reasons why you should insist on using a Software/Website Development Agreement, and it is not only about money. You could use the agreement to manage your employees' time more effectively. You can divide a big project into many small tasks and set a milestone and deadline for each.
A Software/Website Development Agreement is between two parties. The first is a company or individual looking to get a website, software, or phone app developed. The second would be the party hired to get the job done, which can be an individual web developer/software engineer or a team of developers.
This is a simple one-page document outlining the expectations of both parties. It is often followed by another document diving into the technical details. You can divide a project into multiple phases, complete with a deadline for when you expect each stage to come to a close. The other point you should outline would be the payment method and schedule after every milestone.
You could also add terms about change demands – where the client usually has a right to ask for a limited number of changes without incurring extra charges. The agreement also defines the testing and QA procedures, further specifying the party responsible for rectifying any bugs found.
Depending on your state, a Software/Website Development Agreement may also be known as:
Both companies and individuals who want to hire a freelancer to create a website or software will want to use this agreement. You can use the same form for a mobile app with minimal changes. This agreement allows you to set deadlines so you know exactly when you will have the product. On the other hand, if you are a freelance web developer, you should insist on this agreement before accepting any work.
Both parties can agree without a lawyer. The best practice is to schedule a meeting and go through all the terms together. Clients and developers often have different expectations, and this is where you can work everything out.
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You do not have to get the Software/Website Development Agreement notarized. Both parties only have to sign the document to make it legally enforceable, with or without a witness for the signing.
Both parties should keep a copy of the Software/Website Development Agreement, and it is customary to forward a copy to your attorney if you have one on retainer. When the project is completed, you can hire the same freelancer to maintain your website, for which you may need to sign a new agreement.
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