November 27, 2019

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    At some point in their working lives, everybody will interact with a business agreement, whether that’s signing an employment contract or ticking a terms and conditions box when shopping online. Much of the time, however, those ticking or signing have, at best, a limited understanding of the terms they’re signing themselves up to. It’s important that organisations can gain a clear understanding of the common contracts they’re subject to, and the reasons they need them. In this blog, we’ll consider four of these most common business agreements.

    Privacy policy

    Around the world, various laws govern how an organisation can gather and process personal information. Though the particulars differ from region to region, most follow the same broad theme. If you collect data about a person, you have to tell them about it and explain how you’ll use it. Often, an array of other information is also required, depending on the region.

    Privacy policies exist to disclose the information that these laws require. Since the GDPR became enforceable in 2018, this has become more stringent than ever, making it vital that organisations correctly communicate this information.

    In practice, most organisations will hold personal data in some sort of capacity – whether that’s recording information about website traffic via cookies or holding customers’ bank details. Personal information could include any of the following information:

    • Names
    • Date of birth
    • Email addresses
    • Billing and shopping information
    • Phone and bank details
    • National insurance or social security numbers

    Terms and conditions

    Unlike a privacy policy, a ‘terms and conditions’ document isn’t a legal requirement. In practice, however, you’ll almost certainly need one if you’re selling products or services via the internet. The document will allow you to establish the conditions under which someone might use your services or engage with your platform. This has a few clear benefits, including the opportunity to claim legal ownership over your own intellectual property, as well as reserving the right to terminate certain users, and deciding whether to allow user-generated content on your website.

    The nature of terms and conditions documents means that, unlike many common contractual business agreements, it’s difficult to create simple templates that can be customised to your business needs. The terms and conditions of your service and platform are often tied to your unique requirements, and thus are difficult to standardise across different organisations.

    Employment agreements

    Employment contracts are probably some of the most ubiquitous and familiar types of business agreements available. The purpose is clear: to establish the terms through which both employer and employee can agree on employment.

    These contracts are often seen as little more than a formality – but in fact they’re incredibly important, because the agreements protect both employer and employee. If these terms are not effectively outlined, either one or even both parties could find themselves being taken advantage of, with no legal protection.

    There are several important things that a contract should include details on:

    • Salary
    • Working hours
    • Notice period
    • Holiday allowance
    • Payment time and method
    • Probation period
    • Remote working policy
    • Pension policy
    • Exclusivity policy

    Non-disclosure agreements

    Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are designed to identify and protect confidential information – often signed between an organisation and somebody working for them. They can take on many forms, but they’re often signed by employees, agencies or freelancers, who need to engage with sensitive information to do their job. There are several different situations in which a non-disclosure agreement might apply:

    • When working with products or technologies that have yet to be brought to market
    • If employees have access to damaging or sensitive information
    • As part of a formal pitching process when an agency is seeking a contract
    • When presenting an offer to a new partner or investor
    • When discussing a potential acquisition or merger

    If the contract does its job properly – it won’t ever need to be enforced. But they can be notoriously tricky to hold up in court if it ever does get that far, because the claimant has to prove the defendant broke the terms of the agreement. Therefore, it’s vital that you get professional assistance when crafting the agreement, to ensure those legal terms are firmly laid out and correctly established from the start.

    Professional terms and conditions documents for Microsoft partners

    Drawing up an effective and compliant business agreement for any kind of organisation is difficult. When you consider the complexity of the technological sector, however, the difficulty becomes even more pronounced. That’s why it’s so invaluable for Microsoft partners to have access to a professional legal services company with an in-depth understanding of the sector they work in.

    At Law 365, we’re proud to offer this exclusive service. But as well as this, we also pride ourselves on translating complex legal jargon into simple English so you can understand exactly what you’re signing up to. In short, we speak your language – and specialise in giving you complete control over the legal business agreements you’re making, as our satisfied customers will attest:

    ‘Working with Law 365 has been fantastic, they’re always there when we need them. They always put things into plain English… Law 365 have been key to our business.’  ― Nicole Hill, Grey Matter

    ‘Kim isn’t a ‘legal-speak’ person – she’s a human being.’  ― Richard Lockey, Crayon UK

    If you want to find out more about professional law services for Microsoft partner companies, check out our full range of services today.

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