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woman using business legal forms

When you need to protect your company, there are some legal documents that are commonly used on a regular basis. Here are three kinds of business legal forms that entrepreneurs like you use to save time and money.

1. Business Legal Forms For Running Your Company On A Daily Basis

Two of the most common legal documents used to protect a business are employment agreements and independent contractor agreements.

Employment Agreements

Employment contracts are used by businesses to protect themselves by creating a clear employer-employee relationship that reduces the likelihood of being sued by workers or having an unhappy employee quit because of a misunderstanding as job responsibilities, compensation, and other employment matters.

Independent Contractor Agreements

When your business outsources work to another company or an individual working as a freelancer, a written independent contractor agreement is essential for many reasons to protect you. This includes determining who owns the intellectual property created by the contractor, making it clear the agreement does not make those working on the project your employees, setting deadlines for completion of milestones and projects, and other important provisions.

Without an independent contractor agreement in place, a disgruntled worker could claim employment status when suing you or filing for unemployment or workers compensation.

2. Business Website Legal Templates

Company websites need key website legal documents to protect themselves from lawsuits, government investigations, and unhappy customers defaming the company online in social media.

Although the number of documents may vary, there are three common website legal forms used to reduce business liability exposure. They are a comprehensive website privacy policy, terms of use, and a refund/returns policy.

Website Privacy Policy

Your company’s website privacy policy identifies the type of information collected from website visitors, how it is collected, and what you do with that information. It must be transparent and accurate and contain certain legal information that reduces the chance your business will get in legal hot water by a class action lawsuit for privacy violations and/or expensive government investigations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or a state attorney general’s consumer protection division.

Website Terms of Use

Your business website’s terms of use, sometimes called a “terms of service,” explains the terms and conditions you impose on site visitors in order to minimize your legal liability exposure and reduce the likelihood that a visitor will steal your intellectual property.

Refund Policy and/or Returns Policy

Your site’s refund/returns policy is extremely important in maintaining customer relations. First, the policy lets prospective visitors know under what circumstances they can ask for a refund. If you’re selling physical products, the policy also explains how and when the purchased item must be shipped back to you in order to obtain a full or partial refund.

3. Legal Documents That Protect Your Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks, service marks, etc.) are valuable assets for companies like yours. This means you’ll want to protect these assets from theft or misuse.

The types of intellectual property business legal forms you’ll use in your business will depend upon the particular transaction that involves these intangible assets. Common intellectual property transactions include licensing, buying, selling, assignments, and releases.

Where Do You Get Your Business Legal Documents For Protection?

Although there are other legal documents you’ll use in your business, these are the three most common types. If you’re not paying for an experienced business attorney to prepare customized documents every time you need protection, you may choose to use professional grade legal forms instead when time or cost is important to you.