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So who doesn’t love to hear some good news about their business? It’s the juice that fuels your sales. It gets the FOMO going. It’s how you gather hoards of fans for your brand. As a business owner you actively keep tabs on feedback for your products or services. And if you’re smart (which you are!) you know how to repurpose this content in your marketing. But you know if this message is coming from me there’s a legal angle to all of this… And that’s to do it in a way that gives you rights to the content! 🙌🏾 It’s a win-win because your customers get to rave about your work and get some free promotion for their business and you get to show off how valuable your biz is to others. But how do we get testimonials legally? And what could possibly go wrong? It’s just a review.…

Did you know that almost 50% of independent contractors have problems getting paid on time? It’s a known struggle among those who work with clients that sometimes sending out an invoice is simply not enough. And combine that with the fact that many do not use client agreements makes it a lot worse. So what can you do to get more consistent payments get paid faster? Here are a few tips: Use a Contract I’m always surprised by the amount of folks providing services without a proper client agreement in place. But on the other hand, this is how business attorneys make money. The phone calls are endless about someone not getting paid because a customer didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. So get it in writing. Start the relationship off right with a well written contract. And don’t use just any bare bones agreement you find online.…

What happens when a client DOESN’T respond? You’re ready to do your part. They’ve even paid you but they haven’t given you what you need to complete the deal. It’s frustrating because you’re not sure where you stand legally. Can you keep any deposit or money paid? You can’t wait forever for them to cooperate. What Does Your Contract Say? The business relationship is defined by the contract. Everything else is just talk. The contract with your client is the road map and foundation of your relationship. So you should start there. Look at your contract. Does it have a refund clause? Are you allowed to keep payments or deposits in certain circumstances? The refund clause may state that there are no refunds for deposits or payments made for work already completed. Which would be good news to you. Or it may allow refunds of a certain percentage within a…

What are 3 of the most common legal issues businesses struggle with? Well, as a business attorney what I have commonly seen over the years include the following: Contracts When starting out often small businesses will use no contracts or poorly drafted versions. This leads to all kinds of problems because without a well-drafted agreement, there are no terms go govern what to do if something goes wrong. In the beginning of a business relationship, like any relationship, it is often a time of excitement and expectation for a beautiful future between the parties. But unfortunately, things do not always work out that way when working with business partners, hiring contractors or collaborating with others. So instead of operating with no agreements or useless contracts you find free online, you should have a few solidly drafted templates in your legal toolkit to work with clients, freelancers and hires to keep…

Benefits of Using a Speaker Agreement Do you frequently speak at events? Whether you are attending in-person or virtually do not utter a word without a signed Speaker Agreement. The benefit of having your own Speaker Agreement each time you do an event is that it is tailored to your needs as the speaker. A well-drafted speaker agreement will outline your speaker services, your requirements for the event (including setup, equipment, travel and expenses) and the host’s requirements (topics, length of talk, etc). It will also get into the nitty gritty legal issues such as who owns the intellectual property. If you’re appearing on video (which these days, of course you are) then you want to know who has the ownership rights to the content and how it will be used. Then there is the matter of payment, deposits and refunds. What if you or the host need to cancel…

Hey Professional Organizers! I see you and I understand your need for a solid agreement to use with clients.⁠⁠I’ve seen the bare bone PO contract templates out there and girl, they are as thin as the paper your print them out on!⁠⁠You need comprehensive terms when working with people in their homes and with their valuables. You also must secure your OWN protection.⁠⁠Give your clients faith in your skills and professionalism by presenting them with a solid agreement that outlines the terms of your business relationship.⁠⁠My Professional Organizer Agreement template is full of valuable industry-specific terms that will keep you protected while keeping your clients organized.⁠ This is not a generic one-size-fits all template. It was specifically drafted and tailored to the professional organizer community with their input and it is consistently being used in the PO community.⁠Virtual or In-Person, hourly rates, deposits, photo release…this template has you covered!⁠ This…

Do you want to trade your products and services? Use a barter agreement!⁠ 🎉 What’s a barter agreement you ask?⁠⁠It’s when a business trades its products or services with another business.⁠ No actual money is exchanged.⁠ Instead, each party gets the benefit or value of the other party’s products or services without it directly hitting their bottom line.⁠⁠But considering that money is not being exchanged there can be even more to lose if things do not go as planned.⁠ For example, you don’t want to end up in a dispute over what was exchanged and who owes what. You have to be mindful of the value of what is being exchanged.⁠ A barter agreement makes it clear what each service or product being exchanged is worth.⁠⁠If you are exchanging a $500 service for a dozen $25 t-shirts, state the total fair market value of each and then each person signs…

Hope you’re hanging in there with all the quarantines and social distancing. Whenever I get a little restless, I remember that there’s always an email to write, a video to film or contract template to create. That keeps me busy! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about change and how abruptly it can occur in life and business. Let’s go over a few steps you can take when negotiating changes in a business contract or relationship. 1. What’s your Goal? When negotiating a business arrangement, consider your ultimate goal first. You may have several. Write them down and prioritize their importance. Before having discussions with the other party, distinguish between your wants and actual needs. Get clarity on the necessary components of your business deal, i.e. your true non-negotiables vs. what you can actually modify to complete a transaction. 2. Consider Alternatives Perhaps pre-lockdown you would have been able to…

Legal protection is more important than ever in times of uncertainty or duress. So let’s discuss how this national pause in our typical way of life is affecting business legally. This may include unexpected cancellations or contract termination. Here are a few things to consider as you pivot or shift your business to adapt to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic: Contract Terminations If you have to terminate an agreement with a client, associate or another business, look at your agreement to see how this is done. There should be a clearly defined termination or cancellation provision that details how to give notice to the other party. It’s usually written notice and hopefully your agreement considers email sufficient (my templates do). Some may require days’ notice, others may requires weeks’ notice but considering the circumstances if the notice requirement is unfeasible, work with the other party to conclude activities as…

A well drafted contract covers all bases. Business attorneys receive calls requesting “iron clad agreements” or “rock solid contracts” regularly. These descriptions always humor me because ultimately we’re talking words on paper not impenetrable mountains. But, I get it that clients want the strongest protection possible. So what does that look like?  For the average small business, you want the following 5 contract must haves: 1. Detailed Services This section has many names: scope, services or duties. It’s usually the first clause in the agreement and rightfully so. A contract represents a legal exchange of products or services for money. We want to describe that exchange as accurately as possible. What type of service are you providing? What is included / excluded? Will it be delivered all at once or in stages? You want to be as specific as possible so there is no confusion between you and your client…

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