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The Most Important Rules of Managing a Remote Team

The Most Important Rules of Managing a Remote Team

Today’s workplace is changing rapidly. A Gallup survey shows that the number of people working out of the office is increasing and they’re doing so for longer periods of time. Employees are pushing for a change in well-established structures and policies that work for the traditional office format.

Remote work certainly provides excellent opportunities for everybody involved, but managing remote employees comes with its specifics. If you are considering the switch and you haven’t come up with a detailed remote employee policy yet, the following guide will come in handy.

Define Expectations in Advance

After hiring remote employees, you will find it more difficult to check in on a regular basis like you would in the case of an office-based team. This is the main reason why expectations and work practices have to be defined and explained clearly in advance.

Goals, timelines, accountability tools, payment schedules, and communication expectations should all be discussed at the beginning of project execution. Giving the remote team access to all of the required communication/project management tools is also going to be imperative.

When defining expectations, you should also make it clear that employees will be held accountable for failures, missed deadlines, and other shortcomings pertaining to the initial expectations.

Do Coaching and Schedule Regular Video Conferences

Keeping a remote team engaged can be very difficult. This is why regular communication is going to play a crucial role in all processes. Regular video chats (whether team-based or on a one-on-one basis) will help you build an emotional connection – one of the essentials for managing remote employees.

If possible, you should also invest time in coaching. Good managers are also seen as mentors. It’s up to you to pass relevant knowledge to members of the team. Pursuing other educational opportunities that will boost worker qualifications is also going to benefit everyone involved.

Handle the Legal Issues of Having a Remote Team

A good remote employee policy should address the legal specifics stemming from this format.

For a start, you should focus on the privacy and the security of all communication occurring between remote team members.  You need to have a strong security policy in place because many data breaches are the result of human error.

Other legal specifics you’ll need to address

  • Following the right regulations pertaining to minimum wage, payday frequency, paycheck delivery, etc.
  • Overtime calculations
  • Whether international employee laws are going to apply
  • Whether health and safety training will have to occur as a part of the remote onboarding process
  • Following hiring and anti-discrimination laws

Provide Constant Feedback

A lot of the cues and sources of information available in the office will be missing in a virtual environment. As a manager, you have to provide feedback consistently and on a regular basis. If something is not working, it is up to you to address it as soon as possible. Waiting will only make the issue more pronounced.

Make sure that the entire team knows the frequency of feedback provision. If possible, communicate information about progress and shortcomings in person. Creating detailed performance reports is a good thing and you can certainly send such information via email. The personal provision of praise or constructive criticism, however, will be invaluable for building a team and making remote workers feel a part of it.

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The Importance of Having a Contract Reviewed by a Legal Professional

Contract Agreement

When two or more parties interact with each other, they all have certain expectations pertaining to the outcome of the interaction. To protect their interests and make sure that the expectations are met, such entities should consider signing legally-binding contracts.

Written legal contracts state the expectations of all parties involved and the eventual repercussions that will be faced when such expectations aren’t met. Contracts are enforceable in court, which is why they need to be as detailed and personalized as possible.

Very often, entrepreneurs wonder how to make a legal contract and whether such a document should be thoroughly examined by a contract review lawyer. It’s interesting to point out that a global legal survey suggests 39% of entities rely on professionals other than lawyers for contract management.

If you’re still undecided about the importance of legal contracts and whether these documents should be reviewed by an experienced attorney, the following information may come in handy.

The Benefits Outweigh the Cost of Professional Legal Help

Many small businesses and startups refrain from utilizing legal services because of the perceived cost. The truth of the matter is, however, that a poorly crafted contract can end up costing a lot more in the long run.

Contracts are created to protect businesses and ensure mutually-beneficial partnerships. Missing terms and conditions could enable the other party to get out of the partnership without fulfilling its responsibility. Alternatively, one party could be sanctioned in a faulty way. Such errors will have long-term consequences and they can also have a devastating financial impact on a business.

Law Evolves on a Daily Basis

Business contracts aren’t always simple and straightforward.

On occasions, they will invoke complex clauses and refer to highly specific legal contract terms. Amendments and new regulations could render some clauses or obsolete or necessitate adjustments in pre-existing contracts. Legal professionals have the obligation to expand their knowledge in terms of the changing nature of regulations. If a relevant new law comes into effect, an attorney will make sure that the modification is reflected in a business contract.

Do You Understand What You Are Signing?

Sometimes, you will be presented with an agreement that you will have to sign to move forward or explore new opportunities for your business. Unless you are a legal professional, however, chances are that you don’t have a thorough understanding of what you’re getting yourself into.

Your contract review attorney will make the terms and conditions accessible. You will be notified of the favorable clauses, as well as of the ones that can potentially harm you. Based on their experience, an attorney can let you know whether signing the agreement is a good idea and if it’s in line with your current business development objectives.

The Terms of Business Contracts Can Be Negotiated

Business contracts aren’t unalterable. If you’re not satisfied with a certain term or a condition, you can negotiate a modification.

Once again, a contract review lawyer can represent you during the process and help you get a more favorable legal document. Whether a provision needs to be changed or something important is missing altogether from the document, your lawyer will make a good case and push for the respective change that you desire.

Contracts can quite often cause complications, unexpected outcomes and legal issues. Which is why you shouldn’t just sign blindly or use a generic template for a brand new interaction. Investing in high-quality legal documents protects your business and ensures continual adherence to the highest standards.

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Four Steps for Copyrighting Your Blog or Website Content

Copyright infringement is common in the online realm. Just like a patent, a website or a blog is a part of your intellectual property. Thus, you should undertake the necessary steps to protect all of your content.

You may be wondering how to copyright a blog and what blog copyright laws will apply. The following guide will give you a step by step explanation of everything you will have to go through in order to prevent intellectual property theft.

Understanding Digital Copyright

Copyright is a term that describes the legal rights of intellectual property owners. In essence, these regulations state that the person holding the intellectual property rights is the only one allowed to copy or reproduce the respective work.

Copyright is defined clearly by US law and it applies to digital products like websites and blogs. Based on the US Copyright Act, the owner of the intellectual property is the sole entity given the right to:

  • Reproduce content
  • Create derivative works from the original content
  • Distribute copies of the work
  • Display the work publicly

If other entities are interested in such rights, they are obliged to contact the intellectual property owner who may grant or refuse the permission. The exclusive copyright acts can be transferred to others, and the procedure itself will typically be described in the Copyright section of a website or a blog.

Always Have a Copyright Notice

When wondering how to copyright blog content, you should always start with a clear and customized copyright notice. The aim of the copyright notice is to explain what kinds of content use are allowed and which ones are prohibited.

Just like other legal sections of the website, the copyright notice cannot be copy-pasted from another source or based on a generic template. Your provisions should focus on the types of content available on the specific website and the uses stemming from the respective format.

Move on to the Creative Commons License

The next concept you will need to acquaint yourself with is the creative commons license.

The creative commons license aims at listing the specific uses permissible and the procedure that should be utilized for the transfer of the exclusive copyright to occur. Creative Commons provides free licenses that have pretty much become the standard in the field of blog and website copyright protection.

Apply for Copyright with the US Copyright Office

You can apply with the US Copyright Office in order to benefit from additional protections.

For this purpose, go to the website of the US Copyright Office and find the copyright registration form.  There’s also an online filing process that may be simpler to go through. The filing fee will also be reduced when you go the web-based route.

You will have to provide information about yourself, the title of the website or blog, the date of publication, and the pages you wish to copyright. Blogs and websites are typically copyrighted as literary works, unless they’re more visual.

Upon the completion of the process, you will be asked to pay the registration fee. Next, you’ll have to wait. Depending on the specifics of the copyright application, you may be contacted by an official representative for additional clarification.

These are some of the things you can do to legally protect your online intellectual property. A couple of additional steps can also be beneficial. Some of the things to do include watermarking your images, setting Google alerts for content similar to yours (in order to check for plagiarism) and using CopyScape to check whether some of your most prominent content has been copied without your permission.

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GDPR: 10 Steps That Will Help Guide You Through The New E.U. Data Protection Framework

GDPR-Ten-Thins-To-Know-About-EU-
The new European data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR ) comes into force on the 25th of May, 2018. The new framework poses considerable pressure on online and offline businesses of all sizes because it will strengthen the rules under which the personal data of European residents can be collected, stored, and disclosed. Despite its territorial scope, the GDPR will apply to organizations that do not have a physical presence in the European Union.

To guide you through the new E.U. data protection framework, we’ve provided you with a 10-step guideline that will allow you to better understand the formal requirements of the GDPR and the new personal data security standards.

1. Scope of the GDPR

Although the GDPR is a European legislation, it may apply to businesses located in other jurisdictions as well. More specifically, the GDPR applies to natural and legal persons that collect personal data and:

  • Are established in the E.U.;
  • Are not established in the E.U. but cooperate with data processors that are established in the E.U.; or
  • Are not established in the E.U. but collect personal data of E.U. residents or target them (e.g., offer them goods and services or monitor their behavior).
  • The GDPR will not be applicable if you are a natural person who accesses personal data in the course of a purely personal or household activity (e.g., browsing social media websites).

 2. Tracking personal data

The GDPR defines personal data as any information that allows you to identify a natural person. For instance, personal data may include personal names, physical addresses, email addresses, social security numbers, location data, genetic information, biometric data, health care data, and IP addresses.

The GDPR requires applying the principle of data minimization, meaning that you can collect and process only the amount of personal data that is required to provide the requested service.

In order to keep track of all of the personal data that you collect, store, access, share, and process online and offline, it is important to document such transactions for your own records. Also, in certain cases (e.g., if you employ more than 250 persons, collect personal data regularly, or target special categories of personal data) you may be obliged to maintain data processing records.  

It is important to note that the GDPR imposes stricter requirements (e.g., obtaining explicit consent) for special categories of personal data, such as a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political, religious, and philosophical opinions, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data, healthcare data, and data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

3. Collaboration with third parties

Under the GDPR, all third parties that have access to personal data collected by you, such as cloud storage providers, hosting providers, and newsletter providers, are considered to be data processors. The law stipulates that the relationship between you and data processors should be governed by data processing agreements, which should reflect (1) the types of personal data you provide access to, (2) the purposes of processing, (3) the duration of processing, (4) the applicable security measures, and (5) the mutual assistance in fulfilling your obligations under the GDPR.

If the third parties are located outside the EEA, you can disclose or transfer personal data only if certain conditions are met, including, but not limited to:

  • If the third party is established in the country that is “white-listed” by the E.U.;
  • If you conclude a contract with the third party on the basis of pre-approved contractual clauses or binding corporate rules;
  • If the data subject provides you with explicit consent to the disclosure or transfer of personal data; or
  • If the transfer is explicitly necessary for conclusion or performance of a contract.

 4. Consent

Consent for the collection and processing of personal data is one of the legal grounds for lawful data processing under the GDPR. To be valid, the consent should be prior, explicit, informed, and freely given (pre-ticked boxes are not allowed). The deviation from obtaining consent is permitted if the personal data is necessary for performing a contract with the data subject (e.g., booking an appointment, providing the requested service, or delivering a product), pursuing legitimate business interests, and in some other exceptional circumstances.

5. Data protection and storage

Under the GDPR, personal data can be retained only as long as its storage is necessary for the purpose for which the personal data was collected. Afterwards, the personal data should be deleted. Only in certain cases, when the storage of personal data is required by the applicable law (e.g., for accountancy purposes), businesses are allowed to retain personal data in order to comply with their legal obligations.

To protect personal data, appropriate organizational and technical security measures have to be taken (e.g., limited access to personal data by employees, anonymization, secured networks, and encryption) and you have to ensure that the data processors with whom you cooperate have also put equivalent security measures in place.

6. Data subjects’ rights

The GDPR provides data subjects with a number of rights with regard to their personal data. Indicate in your privacy policy those rights, and give instructions on how data subjects can exercise them. Such rights include:

  • The right to access personal data (e.g., getting a list of personal data you store about the data subject);
  • The right to correct personal data (e.g., change of contact details);
  • The right to erase personal data and object to profiling (i.e., “right to be forgotten”);
  • The right to restrict the processing of personal data;
  • The right to ask a data controller to provide another data controller with a list of personal data related to the data subject; and]
  • The right to launch a complaint about the handling of personal data.

7. Identification and transparency

Give your privacy policy the highest level of transparency. List clearly the types of personal data you collect, the purposes of collection, the grounds for processing, third parties that have access to personal data, and all your policies and procedures governing collection, storage, and the processing of personal data.  

Also, indicate your contact details clearly in your privacy policy, including the email and post addresses that can be used by data subjects to contact you with regard to personal data. Also, mention the timeframe in which you will respond to the data subject’s inquiries.

8. Children

The GDPR prohibits the collection and processing of children’s personal data without obtaining a parental or guardian consent in advance. In order to comply with this requirement, consider putting systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain the requested consent. Also, provide parents or guardians with the opportunity to request the erasure of children’s personal data that has been obtained without their consent.

9. Data breaches

The GDPR puts in place strict guidelines for reporting security breaches that affect personal data. In a nutshell, you have to inform the supervisory authority within 72 hours from the moment you become aware of a breach, and then provide details about the affected personal data. Should a data breach occur in data processors’ systems, the data processors have to immediately notify you. Make sure that you have the right procedures in place to detect, report, and investigate a data breach.

10. Data Protection Officer (DPO)

You can voluntarily appoint a DPO as a person who will assist you in complying with the GDPR, as well as tracking and documenting the transactions involving personal data within your organization. The GDPR explicitly requires appointing a DPO if:

  • Your business relies mainly on processing of personal data on a large scale;
  • You process special categories of personal data on a large scale.
  • The processing of personal data may cause a threat to rights and freedoms of data subjects; or
  • You are a public body or authority.
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All About Intellectual Property: The Differences Between Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and Trade Secrets

Trademark-Copyrights-Patents

In the age of current technology, inventions, and ideas, protection for intellectual property has become quite common in our society. The four types of intellectual property- copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets– are often heard in everyday conversation. But how do we differentiate between these four protections?  This blog is to act as a guide in explaining the basics of intellectual property.

Copyrights: 

Copyright protection is available for original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form, whether published or unpublished. The categories of work that can be protected include paintings, literary works, live performances, photographs, movies, and software. It is important to understand that copyright law covers the “form of material expression,” and not the actual concepts, ideas, techniques, or facts in a particular work, hence why it must be in tangible form.

Trademarks:

Trademark protection is available for certain names, symbols, devices, or words that will be used in connection with a good or service. The purpose behind trademarks is to allow companies and individuals to indicate the source of their goods or services and to distinguish them from others in the industry. A trademark not only gives the owner the exclusive right to use the mark but also allows the owner to prevent others from using a similar mark that may be confusing to the general public. It does not, however, prevent others from making or selling the same good or service.

Patents: 

​A patent is a right granted to an inventor that permits that inventor to exclude others from making, selling, or using his or her invention for a period of time. For an invention to qualify for a patent, it must be both “novel” and “non-obvious.” An invention is novel if it is different from other similar inventions in one or more of its parts. It also must not have been publicly used, sold, or patented by another inventor within a year of the date that the patent application is filed. As for the second qualification, an invention is non-obvious if someone who is skilled in the relevant field of the invention would consider its development to be unexpected or surprising.

Trade Secrets: 

Trade secrets consist of information, including formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, or processes. To meet the definition of a trade secret, the information must be used in business, and grant the user an opportunity to obtain an economic advantage over competitors who do not know of it or use it. This protection is fairly limited, as a trade secret holder is only protected from unauthorized disclosure and use. If a trade secret holder fails to maintain secrecy or if the information is independently discovered, becomes released, or otherwise becomes generally known, protection as a trade secret is lost. However, trade secrets do not expire, so protection continues until discovery or loss.

If you have additional questions, or if you are looking to protect your ideas, products, or business, you should contact an experienced intellectual property attorney.

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Do I Need A Freelancer Agreement?

Freelancer Agreement

Do I Need A Freelancer Agreement?

We’re living in the age of the gig economy, and the solo-prenuer is its champion.  More and more Americans are kissing the 9-to-5 day at the office goodbye and putting their creative passions to work on a project-by-project basis instead.

It’s an exciting time to be an independent worker. But because freelancers are on their own, they must be their own best advocate when it comes to administrative responsibilities.  Without the benefits of a human resources manager or accounts payable team, it is imperative that today’s freelancer enter into an enforceable written agreement with each new client in order protect their interests and get paid.  While these types of contracts may vary from industry to industry, below are some basic recommendations as to what should be included in a freelancer agreement. 

Rates or fees for services:  

Most freelancers have at least one story about the time that they didn’t get paid for the work they completed and how they wished they had a signed a freelancer agreement. Regardless of the type of work requested, it’s important to include a section on pricing and payment schedules. Make hourly rates and flat-fee costs clear. If charging by the hour, consider including a minimum and maximum work-hour clause. For example, “Project Artwork won’t take less than hours and no more than Y.” The X is for the freelancer’s security – these hours will be billed even if the project finishes early. The Y is for the client’s security. The client will pay no more than Y no matter how long the job takes.  Spell out a payment schedule, too. Explain whether payment will be made by check, PayPal, or credit card. Without explaining pricing and payment, freelancers run the risk that a client might misunderstand how much he owes, or worse, debates paying the full price at the end of the project.

Deliverables:

Deadlines are important to clients, and having an agreed-upon delivery date in advance for the completed project and/or stages of the work can thwart potential frustration and disconnects. Expect the unexpected, and factor in a cushion of extra days—or even a week—longer than anticipated to help alleviate stress. And if the extra time is not needed, then turning in a project early impresses clients and may lead to more assignments.

Revision limits:

Savvy freelancers know the dangers of “scope creep” and take care to limit the number of revisions they will complete.  It’s natural that, from time to time, clients will request changes to draft work, and that’s okay. But without specifying limits upfront, a project may take far longer than expected. This decreases profit margins, impacts work on other projects and may cause a freelancer to turn down new assignments.  To keep expectations clear, offer one or two revision rounds as part of the fee, and bill anything above and beyond that as extra.

Confidentiality:

If a freelancer or contractor is going to have access to secret company information, include a confidentiality or non-disclosure clause in the agreement.  Many clients will require this. These clauses provide penalties for breaching company privacy or using the company’s own trade-secrets against it.

Cancellation clauses:

Freelancers and clients enter into agreements with the goal that everything will go as planned. But life sometimes gets in the way. Include a provision explaining what happens if the freelancer or the client cancels the project before it becomes due. The point is to deliver some form of compensation on the work that the freelancer has done but won’t be put to use.

Copyrights:

There are different copyright options available depending on the type of freelance work. Writers have the most copyright options such as first serial rights, print rights, electronic rights, and several others. For most freelancers, it boils down to owning the rights until the final payment is made. Copyrighting work is a must to avoid having a client run away without paying or using the work without permission. But it’s also a form of protection for the client. If they have made full payment, they have already bought the copyrights and should expect to not find the work done anywhere elsewhere.

Find better clients:

Finally, freelancers find and keep better clients when they put their agreements in writing. Prospective clients recognize professional freelancers and respect that they command professional rates. A written agreement also helps to weed out low-payers and contract-shy, suspect clients. While creating a contract might seem like a formality, in the long-run it helps build a better reputation and relationships: as soon as a freelancer makes it a habit to engage prospects with a written set of do’s and don’ts, he begins to attract higher quality, higher paying clients.

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What Are Website Terms and How Do They Protect Your Business?

Website Terms

While most people will skim through terms and conditions (at best!), having such a page on your website is of utmost importance.

The specifics depend on the website niche, the types of information, and the functionalities that the website gives access to. Legally speaking, terms and conditions are rules by which website visitors have to abide in order to access the respective content or service.

Website Terms and Conditions: A Brief Overview:

So many website owners do not put a lot of thought into crafting the terms and conditions page. In fact, they opt for a generic template – a serious mistake. The respective page is important because it can limit your liability in case a visitor or a customer may be considering taking you to court. Its purpose is to also protect the content and suggest permissible uses. Whenever a legal issue occurs, a court will examine the content of the terms and conditions page to determine its comprehensiveness.

The content of the document will vary from one website to another. Some of the most common topics that website terms and conditions may cover include:

  • Content copyright information, a definition of misuse
  • A disclaimer of liability
  • A use clause
  • Privacy policy
  • Governing law under which the usage terms and conditions are crafted
  • A statement about accountability for online actions and behavior
  • Payment details (for memberships, services, in the case of an ecommerce website)
  • Opt-out policy

Reasons Why a Website Needs to Have a Terms and Conditions Page:

The biggest question here is whether website terms and conditions are enforceable. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances. A court will examine situations on an individual basis, which is why having detailed terms of service is always a smart thing.

The page is, in essence, an agreement. It establishes the rules that website visitors must follow when interacting with the respective online platform. When the rules are clearly outlined, abusive behavior can be sanctioned. Such abusive behavior could consist of spamming, posting racist content, copying content from the website, etc. On the basis of these rules, a website administrator can terminate accounts without prior notice. When a website visitor fails to follow the established protocol, the termination clause of the usage agreement can be invoked.

A Website Terms And Conditions Are Crucial For Limiting Liability:

A disclaimer typically states that the website owner cannot be held accountable for errors, outdated information, information published by website visitors, and readers taking information out of context to use it for a specific purpose.

To accomplish these goals, you cannot rely on generic terms and conditions, or on a text that is copied from another website (unfortunately, a common approach that many website owners adopt).

In order to experience the full range of protection, you need a page that is entirely crafted for the needs of your business and the purposes of your website. Working with a  terms and conditions specialist attorney can give you peace of mind and the knowledge that all of the essentials have been covered.

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The Evolution Of The Legal Model: Why Billable Hours No Longer Work

Billable Hours And Flat Fees

The Evolution of the Legal Model: Why Billable Hours No Longer Work

Over the past few years, several reports have proclaimed boldly that the billable hour is dead in the field of legal services. Has this billing method really become obsolete, why and is there a better alternative out there?

Reasons Why the Billable Hour is Becoming Obsolete

In order to be profitable, a law firm has to discover the best way to bill clients for its services. The billable hour has been setting the standard for some time, but a number of issues stem from the use of this methodology:

  • Charging clients by the hour often leads to highly inflated prices. A client will be charged, whether the entire block of time is used or not.
  • The billable hour will often lead to client animosity. The client will get charged whether they get a positive or a negative outcome out of the interaction. In addition, the billable hour endangers the positive relationships that is so essential for building trust and forming a partnership between a lawyer and a client.
  • A client will find it difficult to come up with a preliminary and accurate estimate about what they’re going to be charged. Not knowing how much legal services will cost can contribute to a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.
  • Billable hours can also result in a lot of inefficiency inside the law firm itself. Prolonging litigation and inefficient practices can often be prioritized for the purpose of charging clients more. As a result, the overall reputation of the law firm will suffer.

What is the Alternative?

According to the Report on the State of the Legal Market, power dynamics are shifting. Clients today have higher standards and more demands. They insist on getting value for the money spent on legal services. As a result, billable hours don’t really make a lot of sense in a dynamic that is slanted towards the client (and rightfully so!).

Another factor is also pushing legal companies to offer both quality and cost-efficiency. The competition is higher than ever before. According to the American Bar Association, the total national lawyer population has gone up from 574,910 practitioners in 1980 to 1,022,462 lawyers in 2000 and 1,335,963 attorneys in 2017. Most of these professionals (about 74 percent) end up in a private practice. If a client in need of legal assistance is dissatisfied with one service, they will easily find a quality alternative that is much more cost-efficient.

The switch away from billable hours is an obvious one but which billing method can deliver better, more sustainable results?

Flat fees have more or less risen to popularity in the legal world. Whether an attorney needs five or 10 hours of work to complete a task for a client, the fee will remain the same. This model results in predictability and it makes it easier for clients to plan the process in advance.

Depending on the field of practice, outcome-based payments could also make sense. An attorney will get paid when they help clients get a positive result. Needless to say, this model provides additional incentives for legal professionals to offer their clients the most adequate and tailored assistance every single time.

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The Most Important Protections to Include in a Coaching or Consulting Agreement

Consulting Agreement

Professional coaches and consultants have to hold a consulting agreement with clients before moving forward with service provision. This is one of the most important interactions because it will determine all other aspects of working together.

A well-written consulting or coaching agreement ensures easy conflict resolution and standardized problem addressing. Consulting agreements need to feature a couple of important protections. The International Coach Federation highlights a few of the essentials and today, we’ll take a deeper look at them.

Client Responsibilities:

Standard consulting agreements highlight the responsibilities of the client as a part of the relationship.

Such contracts state that coaching and consulting are not the same as going to a psychologist or a therapist. There will be no diagnosis or treatment of an underlying mental condition. In addition, the client understands that they will be responsible for incorporating different coaching principles in relevant aspects of their life – relationship, finances, professional development, education, etc.

Fees, Expenses and Payment Clause:

A consultant agreement should state clearly how much services will cost, whether clients could anticipate additional fees, and how the payment is going to be made.

This section could also feature a detailed schedule or a calendar of the session that will occur. The length of each meeting with the coach or consultant should be outlined so that both parties have a clear idea of the scope and duration of interactions.

A Confidentiality Clause:

Standard coaching and consulting agreements also feature a confidentiality clause. Good ethical practices necessitate the provision of such an article in the agreement.

All of the information shared between coach and client will remain confidential during and after the completion of the sessions. While relationships between coaches and clients are not considered legally confidential in the US, ethical practices established by coaching/consulting organizations necessitate the maintenance of privacy.

The confidentiality clause should also highlight when a breach of confidentiality may occur (for example, in the case of illegal activity on behalf of the client that has to be reported to authorities).

Rendering Services:

How exactly will coaching or consulting services be provided to the client? Face-to-face communication is no longer required in order to ensure the best possible outcome.

A coaching agreement should stipulate the manner in which clients will be given access to their sessions. Will consulting always take place in person? Will there be over the phone, online, or video chat sessions?

Depending on the communication medium chosen, additional terms and conditions may be introduced to ensure both the privacy and efficiency of the communication.

Cancellation and Termination Provisions:

It’s also a standard practice for coaching/consulting contracts to list cancellation and termination clauses.

Usually, clients can end their relationship with a consultant at any time. This part of the agreement will highlight the situations that enable a consultant to terminate the relationship with the client. Having a client missing multiple meetings, for example, could be reason enough for contract termination.

Speaking to a legal professional is always a good idea when considering protections to include in a consulting agreement. A tailored, personalized document is the one that will offer the highest level of security and ease of overcoming hurdles.