You might want to consider a collaboration contract if you are working on a project with another party. Whether you’re developing some new software or writing a book, it’s important to implement a collaboration contract in order to avoid any uncertainties down the line. By clarifying the scope of your relationship with a signed collaboration contract first hand, you can determine each party’s rights and ownerships, as well as bypass any unnecessary conflict. Here’s what to look for in a collaboration contract:
Why is a Collaboration Contract Important?
Collaboration contracts are an agreement between two parties, at least, looking to work together collaboratively on a project. The agreement should illustrate the specific terms and conditions of each party’s working relationship. It should include who has what responsibility and how the revenues from the project will be divided.
Without a collaboration contract in place, you could risk questions being raised about the ownership and control of the joint project at hand. Ultimately, with any written contract, it is important to be as specific as possible.
What Should Be Covered in a Collaboration Contract?
Your collaboration contract should cover a number of different terms that dictate the collaboration, including:
1. Duties and obligations
The contract should clearly describe each party's workload and obligations necessary toward the collaboration. Any deadlines and means of delivery should also be included in the contract.
2. Profit distribution
Who gets what? The percent of profits each party will get should be addressed in the contract. If one party is being paid by the other, the method should be stated, as well as when the payments will occur.
If one party does not wish to share copyright ownership, it must be drafted into the contract. Otherwise, by federal law, your collaboration will automatically be granted joint ownership.
4. Who controls what
When collaborating, it can be difficult to decide who is in charge of controlling what. It is important to set clear guidelines of who gets to control what part of the project in order to eliminate these issues.
5. Dispute resolution
What happens if one party needs to exit the collaboration? This should be considered when putting together a contract in order to dictate the steps if someone were to leave. One solution could be that the remaining party gets to keep all the rights and releases from the other contributor, so they can complete the project unimpeded.
For a more extensive collaboration contract checklist, click here.
Why You Should Consider a Collaboration Contract
Ultimately, collaborating with another person or group can be a great thing! It can open many new doors and opportunities, but there is always the chance of something going wrong. By putting together a collaboration contract, you can avoid any unnecessary conflicts between you and your collaborator, and you can create a business relationship that benefits both parties. That’s what partnerships are all about!
If you need some inspiration for a collaboration contract, click here for some templates.