Companies across all industries use the services of software as a service (SaaS) vendors to help simplify running the business. Almost every SaaS vendor you use hosts a treasure trove of your company data – and you want to make sure you’re contractually protected. Here is a high level overview of key provisions that you should review, re-review, and hammer down on with every SaaS agreement you sign.
Handling the Personal Data of People in Other Countries
If your software-as-a-service business handles the personal data of people in countries, you should get familiar with data privacy laws across the world – because you’re likely bound to them and your customers will require that you comply accordingly. If you violate the laws, you may be liable for hefty fines (or worse).
This goes for the personal data of people in the European Union, United Kingdom, Brazil, Israel, Argentina, Russia, or countless other countries. So – what steps do you take to make sure you are compliant?
Legal Considerations for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a part of every day life now. Whether it’s the factories building the things you use every day, ChatGPT-powered solutions, SIRI or Google Assistant on your phone, Alexa on your Amazon devices, or even your Roomba vacuum – AI is here to stay – and it comes with legal considerations. There is now a mad dash to plug AI into software and service solutions far and wide. This post will give you a high level overview of legal considerations when bringing artificial intelligence software to market.
14 Agreements and Policies Every Software as a Service (SaaS) Company Should Have
If you’re running a software-as-a-service company, you should have several key agreements and policies in place protecting your company, your intellectual property, and your investors. These agreements will become important during due diligence with any Investor or potential Acquirer. Here are 14 important agreements and policies every SaaS company should have, broken down into 3 categories.
The Anatomy of an Enterprise SaaS Sales Agreement (MSA)
If you’re selling a Software as a Service (SaaS) product to Enterprise companies, your customers will demand a strong Enterprise SaaS Sales Agreement. Sometimes they’ll sign yours, but more often than not – you’ll have to sign theirs. This may lead to some back and forth, and lots of redlines. Yay, legal! There are hundreds of templates available online, but you should know what the terms mean – and have these agreements edited to meet your specific needs. Here is a high level overview of what goes into an Enterprise SaaS Sales Agreement:
Must-Do’s For Companies Ready to Level Up
When you start a technology business, money may be tight, and you may have cut a few corners without a proper ‘legal’ budget because the focus is on development. This is a fairly common practice – but when you are ready to level up and sell to Enterprise companies, explore funding opportunities, or discussing acquisition – there are a few things you must put priority on. This article will give you a high level overview of Must-Do’s for Companies Ready to Level Up.
How Trademarks Work
Trademarks are an important part of protecting your brand and product. You should understand the basics of trademark law, and what the process of filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is.
The Anatomy of a Software Development Agreement
Companies small and large often employ the help of software development firms to build their products. Some eventually hand-off to an in-house team, and others keep the firms to act as their engineering team. Regardless of the arrangement, there should be a clear agreement in place between the hiring company and the software development firm outlining specifics.
The Anatomy of an eCommerce Terms and Conditions of Sale
Selling products online comes with its unique set of advantages and challenges. If you’re in the business of selling products online, or managing an online store, it’s important you have an appropriate Terms of Sale in place to protect your company. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into an eCommerce Terms and Conditions of Sale.
The Anatomy of a Sale of Goods Agreement (to Distributors or Resellers)
If you are in the business of selling Goods to distributors or resellers – you should have a solid Sale of Goods Agreement in place to govern your relationship. This Agreement dictates all the specifics of the business relationship, and protects your business from associated liabilities. This blog post will give you a high level overview of what goes in to a Sale of Goods Agreement to distributors or resellers.
Legal Considerations for Web3 Companies and Products
Web3.0 (“Web3”) is being touted as the ‘next big thing’ in software, services, and everyday life. From cryptocurrency, to non-fungible tokens (NFT), to development in the ‘metaverse’ – Blockchain based Web3 is primed to be the foundations of how we interact with technology in the near future.
This post will give you a high level overview of some of the legal considerations that Web3 companies must think about.
Why You Should Regularly Update your Sales Contracts
It’s common for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies to have their legal team draft a Sales agreement when they first get started, and use that same agreement in perpetuity. That’s not the best idea, however. Here are 6 reasons why you should regularly update your SaaS Sales Contracts.
The Importance of Product Counsel for SaaS Companies
Running a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company requires a continuous understanding of laws, regulations, legal precedence, and industry standards – because they’re changing all the time. That’s where a Product Counsel comes in.
Outside Counsel – As a Service
The new legal model for early to mid-stage SaaS companies is outside general counsel – as a service. Here’s a breakdown of how that can help your business.
The Anatomy of a Data Privacy Impact Assessment
Data Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is an internal business process that organizations that process personal information use to tackle potential data privacy risks of their technologies, products, systems, processes, and business in general. The goal is to help the organization proactively understand their data privacy risks, and build processes and procedures around mitigating those risks. Data Privacy Regulations, and your Enterprise Customers recommend, and sometimes require, conducting PIA’s – so it may be in your best interest to familiarize yourself with them. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into a Data Privacy Impact Assessment.
The Anatomy of a Data License Agreement
Data is gold now in the digital world, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies collect a ton of it. Selling access to data has become a huge business model that a lot of companies do in addition to selling their actual product. …
The Anatomy of a Technology Partnership Agreement
Thanks to more usable technology like application programming interface (API) connections, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses often partner with other SaaS businesses for technology partnerships through an integration. Just like any other engagement, though, you should have an agreement that outlines the parameters of the integration. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into a Technology Integration Agreement.
6 Key Considerations in Enterprise SaaS Sales Deals
When negotiating a deal to sell your Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product to an Enterprise company, you must keep some key considerations in mind. Let’s be honest here – the Enterprise will likely push their weight against your smaller company in negotiating terms – but if you go in prepared with what to expect, you’ll have a better chance to close the deal in a quicker timeline. This post will outline 6 key considerations when negotiating an Enterprise SaaS deal.
The Anatomy of an Asset Purchase Agreement
Acquisitions happen often in the business world – whether it’s one company acquiring the entirety of another, or acquiring specific products, services, or offerings of another. The core agreement behind these transactions is called an Asset Purchase Agreement. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into an Asset Purchase Agreement, and some of the key considerations to make when drafting, negotiating, and executing one.
The Anatomy of a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Agreement Package
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions offer a cloud-hosted platform for software developers to develop, deploy, and manage applications – so that they don’t have to worry about setting up, managing, maintaining, and monitoring cloud instances. Popular PaaS solutions include products from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Aptible, and Heroku. A standard PaaS Agreement Package generally consists of three parts: Cloud Services Agreement, Service Level Agreement, and an Acceptable Use Policy. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into a PaaS Agreement Package.
The Anatomy of a Data Processing Agreement (DPA)
If your SaaS company is doing business with Enterprise companies or handling personal data in general, you’ll likely be required by your Enterprise customers to sign a Data Processing Agreement in addition to your standard Terms of Service/Software as a Service Agreement. This post will give you a high level overview of a Data Processing Agreement.
The Anatomy of a Referral Partner Agreement
Building a referral (or partner) program is a method often employed by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies to grow, without the need to hire tons of sales representatives. Just like any other business arrangement, there should be an appropriate written agreement in place between your business and the referral partner outlining how the arrangement will work with provisions to protect your business. If your SaaS company is planning to build out a referral program – this post will give you a high level overview of what should be in a referral program agreement.
8 Non-Negotiables of your SaaS Agreement
When you’re selling your Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, your enterprise customers may want to negotiate, redline, and push back on your contract. Some of their asks are reasonable, but there should be some clear non-negotiables. This isn’t about the business terms, …
How to Protect your Trade Secrets
Trade secrets are often the life blood of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Information Technology (IT) company. But, you can’t just call something a trade secret, not take active measures to protect that secret, and expect the adequate protection. This post will give you a high level overview of how to protect your trade secrets.
The Anatomy of a Software Value-Added Reseller (VAR) Agreement
A common use-case for Software businesses today is utilization of a value-added reseller (VAR). This type of arrangement is when a VAR bundles your software in or with other products or components and resells the resulting, integrated product to end-users under their brand name. A VAR doesn’t use your standard sales agreement, though. You should have a very specific Value-Added Reseller agreement with the appropriate provisions to protect your business, your product, and liability. This post will give you a high level overview of the anatomy of a Software Value-Added-Reseller Agreement.
Terms of Service vs. SaaS Agreement vs. End User License Agreement – Which One Do You Need?
If you’re running a software business, you need some policies and agreements in place to make sure you are protected. But what exactly do you need to sell your product? Is it a Terms of Service, SaaS Agreement, or a End User License Agreement? This post will give you a high level overview of the difference between these three specific documents.
The Anatomy of an API License Agreement
Entire businesses are now built off of API integrations. There are some specific nuances that should be contractually identified – this post will give you a high level overview of an API License Agreement.
Government Contracting for SaaS Companies: 5 Things You Need to Know
In the D.C. area – the startup scene is emerging and expanding rapidly, but government contracting (GovCon) is the main business for technology companies. If your SaaS company is new to the GovCon space, this article will give you a high level overview of 5 things you need to know.
6 Things Your Customers will Negotiate in Your Software Sales Agreement
If you’re selling software to larger organizations, chances are the legal department needs to get involved to negotiate some specific provisions in your software license or SaaS agreement (depending on what kind of software you sell). The key here is to make sure you are protected, while still coming to an amicable agreement with your customer. This post will give you a high level overview of 6 key provisions that your customers are likely to negotiate with you on.
The Anatomy of an Employment Agreement Package
An Employment Agreement Package are the documents executed between your company and a new employee. Making sure this package has all the necessary documents and provisions following relevant state and local employment regulations, as well as keeping your best interests in mind is important to make sure you are protected. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into an Employment Agreement Package for a non-executive member of your team.
High Level Overview of Business Insurance
Having appropriate business insurance policies in place can be your saving grace. This post will give you a high level overview of business insurance, the different types of policies available, and why it is important for your business.
Data Security Incident Mitigation for Software Companies
Data security is important for software companies. because most, if not all, are handling some sort of sensitive data. Data security incidents happen, and they will keep happening. It’s in your best interest to mitigate data security incidents as much as possible. This post will give you a high level overview of what you should do to mitigate data security incidents, and be prepared if/when it happens to you.
Forming a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations (NPO) are organizations built to further a charitable, social, or beneficial cause – specifically in religious, scientific, literary, or educational settings. NPO’s use the money they make to further their cause instead of distributing it to it’s shareholders, leaders, or members. Forming a 501(c)(3) NPO takes some work, though. This post will give you a high level overview of how to form a Nonprofit Organization.
The CARES Act for Startups and Small Businesses
On March 27, 2020 – reacting to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Title 1 of the CARES Act is aimed at assisting small and medium-sized businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. This post will give you a high level overview of the CARES Act for Startups and Small Businesses.
High Level Overview of Intellectual Property Licensing
Licensing your intellectual property involves giving another party permission to use your IP for their purposes, usually in exchange for a pre-determined amount. This post will give you a high level overview about intellectual property licensing.
How to Protect your SaaS Business
Software is eating the world. If your business builds Software as a Service (SaaS) products, there are quite a few measures that you should be taking to legally protect your business. This post will give you a high level overview of how to protect your SaaS business.
The Anatomy of a SaaS Service Level Agreement (SLA)
If you’re running a Software as a Service (SaaS) business, your customers will expect a Service Level Agreement (SLA) from you. This post will give you a high level overview of SaaS Service Level Agreements, and what should be included in them.
The Anatomy of a Telecommuting (Remote Work) Policy
Thanks to the wonders of technology, telecommuting/remote work is a common and accepted practice. Having an established remote work policy allows you to hire talent anywhere, and keep things moving in times of emergency when everyone is forced to work from home. This post will give you a high level overview of the anatomy of a telecommuting policy.
High Level Overview of Independent Contractors vs. Employees
There are several important legal, benefit, tax, and human resources implications when it comes to Independent Contractors vs. Employees. The parties involved aren’t just your company – but also includes the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue service, state, and local authorities. This post will give you a high level overview of the difference between the two, and what could happen if you misclassify one for the other.
High Level Overview of Corporate Subsidiaries
Many of the companies you interact with every day either own, or are, subsidiaries of another company. For example, Alphabet Inc. is the parent company, and Google is a subsidiary. This post will give you a high level overview of corporate subsidiaries.
The Anatomy of a Founder Agreement
Starting a company with a friend or colleague is exciting. But, things can go wrong – and it’s in your best interest to try and prepare for the unexpected. This post will give you a high level overview of what goes into a Co-Founder agreement.
Growing your Business: HR and Employment Regulations and Policies
You’ve raised funding, and you’re off to the races. Your company is growing quickly, and you’re steadily hiring more full-time employees. This post will give you a high level overview of what internal policies you should have, and what federal and local laws you must follow when hiring full time employees.
Anatomy of a SAFE Term Sheet
If you are considering raising venture funding, you’ve likely heard of SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) Agreements. SAFE’s are good for early stage startups raising seed capital from angel investors, friends, and family before receiving institutional venture capital financing. This post will give you a high level overview of the anatomy of a SAFE Term Sheet.
Data Privacy and Security of your Vendors
Data privacy and security is more important than ever, and it extends beyond just your company. It forwards to all of your vendors, services providers, third party apps, and anyone else that processes (or handles) your data – whether it is an advertising platform, email provider, marketing technology, or even your appointment booking system. Vendor Security Assessments help you make sure of this.
8 Important Sections of your Company Information Security Policy
If your company is handling data, it is important (and may be required by law) that you have a good company facing Information Security Policy in place. This article will highlight 8 important sections of your Information Security Policy.
18 Provisions your Website Terms Should Have
If you have a website conducting business – whether you’re a Software as a Service (SaaS), eCommerce website, or a service provider – you should have website terms and conditions published and accessible to the public. This post is outlines 18 provisions your website terms should have and what they mean.
CCPA for Tech Companies: 5 Things You Need to Know
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is fast approaching. This article will give you a high level overview of 5 things tech companies need to know.
Corporate Governance for Startups
If your startup is a C Corporation – you should familiarize yourself with Corporate Governance. This post will give you a high level overview of what you need to know and do.
Public Benefit Corporations: 5 Things You Need to Know
Public Benefit Corporations (PBC) are becoming more and more common. But what are they? Are they non-profits? Are they corporations? The answer is – they’re a bit of both. This post will give you a high level overview of 5 things you need to know about PBC’s.
Data Privacy Compliance: 3 Things Your Startup Needs to Know
Data Privacy Compliance is more important than ever. Here is a high level overview of why it’s important for startups.
Money Talks: Venture Capital Fundraising vs. Bootstrapping
Starting and running a company is not easy or cheap. You have options for funding – the most common of which are Venture Capital (VC) Fundraising or Bootstrapping (bankrolling yourself). Both have their pro’s, con’s, payouts, and drawbacks – and this post is here to give you a high level overview of what to think about when making the decision.
The Glossary of Startup Equity
Startup equity can be confusing, whether you’re a founder or a potential employee. This post is to help you understand the basic terms.
Intellectual Property for Startups 101
When you start a company, intellectual property, or IP as we’ll call it for the rest of this post, is something to think about from the moment you have the idea. IP is your basically your work product. IP can …
Before You Launch Your Startup
You’ve been working on your idea for a few months now with a cofounder, and you think you have something tangible. You want to make it ‘real’ by incorporating. You’re thinking LLC because you hear that it’s ideal for taxes …
The Risk of Contract Templates
Starting a business is expensive, time consuming, and can easily get overwhelming. The good thing is a quick Google search leads you to dozens of websites that will incorporate your business, and hundreds of templated contracts you can use. The …