Or, download the standard PDF template.
With the growing popularity of the mobile phones, especially the smartphone, a large amount of traffic has moved to mobile. According to Global Web Index, about 80% of internet users own a mobile phone and hence the need to create products for them to access via the gadgets. Most companies can no longer afford to target traditional media and older technologies to help them get clients. Depending on the core business of the company and its size among other factors, companies may choose to hire an in-house mobile designer while others opt for contracting out the job as needed. Regardless of this, the first rule that every designer including mobile designers should follow is to always use contracts. The mobile design contracts come in various forms. Among them is the service agreement and work for hire contracts.
A good example of a mobile design contract should state exactly what you as the mobile designer will undertake, the start date for the project and a clear schedule of payment stating how and when you’ll be paid. It shouldn’t just focus on the designer’s responsibilities. The contract should also include what the company will provide and the tasks it will perform. It may also specify how you will be paid for work done beyond the scope of what is included in the contract.
Other details that need to be included in the example design contract include intellectual property terms such as whether the copyright belongs to you – the designer – or the client for whom you are doing the work. It should include terms and conditions for the termination of the contract, such as who can terminate it and on what grounds. A contract should also state the actions that a party can take in the event that the other party delays in delivering its part of the contract.
With mobile design jobs, a support period may also be defined in the example mobile design contract. The support period determines the amount of time during which the designer provides support and handles any arising errors or problems as the new users start interacting with the App or Mobile site. It will also specify whether this support service is to be provided at a cost or for free.
Details on the handling of the clients’ confidential information by the designer may also be included and the remedies any aggrieved party can seek in case one party fails to meet its obligations as stipulated.
1. Importance of mobile design contract templates
What do you do when your web design projects or business grows bigger? Easy. All you need to do is to charge more, serve your clients better, and sign more lucrative and improved contracts. In fact, the bigger your business grows, the more contracts you should be signing. You should not do work for any client without a contract. You should insist on signed contracts and agreements before sitting down to start any work.
For many mobile designers, nothing is more important to the growth of the businesses they run than contracts. These documents determine the direction their businesses will take. A good contract will help you in many ways. It will help you in setting the right rates. It will help you with copyright issues too. It will help you define the kind of work you are about to do for your client too. Contracts help clarify many issues without which conflicts and disagreements would be the norm. A contract should be simple and easy to understand.
2. Simplify your mobile design contracts
Do not make the contract appear overcomplicated. Avoid contracts that only succeed at causing more frustrations. Contracts should be able to resolve any issue that arises during the lifetime of a project. It is good to know how to create a good mobile design contract. You do not need some special set of skills to excel at writing these contracts. All you need is a willingness to learn what the contract has to contain.
All mobile designers and developers should know the types of contracts to write.
The following are the most important contracts for this group of professionals:
The industry the mobile designers work in is highly competitive. It involves numerous activities, which include app development. It is relative since mobile gadgets are a recent phenomenon. As the industry grows, the best designers and developers will have to improve their all-rounded skills. They will have to excel at writing, understanding and signing mobile designer contracts.
A contract is good in many ways. It protects you from or against liability. Without it, you have no protection from the likelihood of clients taking off with your money. Contracts provide the legal protection you need from working with clients who want you to work longer hours or on more projects without increasing the pay. The contract is your armor when negotiating with a client or doing any work. It protects you for the entirety of the project. It protects you even after you complete and hands the project over to your client.
Contracts always indicate:
Issues regarding price and copyright also appear on the contract. In fact, the contract does not beat around the bush where these issues are concerned. It delves into each issue deep.
3. The mobile design contracts template enhances timely payments
It is also worth mentioning that you need the mobile design contract if you expect clients to pay you what they owe on time. Payment is a major issue in this industry. Many mobile designers and developers have been left heartbroken and financially broke after delivering finished projects to clients who then refuse to pay. Without a contract, you would have little say in this matter. It will be a matter of your word against the clients.
The contract should indicate what you are charging and when you expect clients to pay.
The contract should also indicate how the client is to make payments for work done. For example, you are free to ask for part-payment at the beginning of the project. You are also free to ask the client to pay you the entire amount once you finish and deliver the project. Make sure the contract stipulates these issues and conditions clearly, so the clients are not left in any doubt as to what their roles are. Once more, the contract must tell clients what they will pay for; when they will pay; and, how they will pay.
Furthermore, the contract legally binds the client from pulling off midstream and disappearing without paying you a dime. Yes, this happens a lot in the mobile design and development industry.
Feel free to detail the type of payment schedule with which you are the most comfortable.
4. The mobile design contracts template defines flexible terms of payment
Mobile designers and developers are more flexible in terms of payment. They do not need a lot of raw materials to begin any project. They already have everything needed for the work. Because of this, they can opt not to ask for any down payment. However, do not go into any negotiation with a mind already made up that you will not ask the client for some payment upfront. Approach each client with an open mind. Evaluate the kind of work the client has for you. How complex or simple the work is. Ask for down payment if you are working on a highly complicated project.
Nail down these details on the contract, and you will have more leverage with your clients.
5. Mobile design contracts and copyright issues
The other issue the design contract has to specify is copyright. Who will own the work? When does ownership move from your hands to those of the client? The issue of ownership might also depend on your current location. For example, in places such as the United Kingdom, the mobile designer has all the ownership rights even if the work is for a specific client. Therefore, sign a contract that specifies this issue. Check if the contract sets out the copyright or ownership issues clearly.
In many instances, designers opt to hand over full ownership rights to the client. In other cases, the designers prefer retaining some of the rights. Stipulate this issue out on the contract regardless of the option you choose. Copyright protects your work. It protects your ideas too. It is also excellent for the clients to whom you hand over ownership rights. There will be times when you are the first one to develop a mobile app. At such moments, you feel the need to retain ownership. Discuss these issues with your clients and have them included in the contract.
In the United States, you can only transfer copyright via contracts. Evidently, this shows just how important the contract is. The contract declares whether you are still the copyright holder or not. It tackles the tricky issue of transfer of copyright.
Will you be interested in reacquiring the rights to a mobile app you designed and sold to a client? If you answer in the affirmative, it would be best for you to include this in the mobile design contract too. In the United States, you can set the copyright reacquisition motion in place after a few years. Such a process is known as Termination of Transfer and is quite complex. Before you rush to include or negotiate with the client about this issue, it would be prudent to know that you can only embark on terminating a transfer between 28 and 56 years from the date of publication or release.
The mobile design contract must be specific. The document does not offer you the chance of being generic. Instead, specify each issue to eliminate the possibility of ambiguity or confusion. In this case, the issues you have to specify include what you intend to deliver to your clients. Let the contract indicate in clear terms the product or service you will provide. Let it specify what you – as the mobile designer or developer – are bringing to the table. Let the contract indicate what your clients should expect to get from you before making the final payment. Do not forget to indicate the timeframe too. When will this work end? When will you submit it to the client?
Use words that all the parties signing the contract can understand easily. Keep the contract free of any jargon. Use words, phrases, and sentences that make it easier to understand each party’s role. Use words that describe everything you will be doing. Describe what your clients will actually receive. Describe what clients can use from everything they receive. Describe what each product you will deliver is. Additionally, you are better off including a clause that explains the amount of time you are ready to set aside for revisions and support depending on what the client needs.
The time the design process takes is different from what goes into support and revisions.
With all the issues above highlighted, you would also need to check what the mobile design contract has to say about confidentiality terms. Do not hesitate to include a confidentiality clause in the contract. This clause covers and protects the businesses of the two signatories to the contract. It protects your business and that of the client. Confidentiality clause or terms protect clients who are yet to launch a product that awaits the mobile app you are designing. The clause comes in handy in such situations by ensuring that you will not talk about the yet-to-be-launched but related product or mobile app.
Confidentiality clause usually covers the clients. It protects them. However, you can use it to ask the client not to talk about your business practices either.
The two of you may need a separate confidentiality agreement that is not included in the contract. There is nothing wrong with that. However, check that the contract talks about this separate confidentiality agreement. Similar to the clause, the agreement will always protect sensitive information. The confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement applies in certain conditions but not in others. Again, ensure the mobile design contract mentions these applicable and non-applicable conditions. Otherwise, it may gag you permanently.
The agreement must state and define what can be classified confidential information. Trade secrets are definitely confidential details that neither the designer nor the client should even contemplate talking with to third parties. The agreement – or clause – should indicate the measures or steps to be taken against the person who breaches whatever is in the contract. Usually, the consequences for breaching the agreement include paying damages. The aggrieved party may also have the option of instituting a lawsuit against the guilty person. The court could come down hard against the person who breached the agreement. In most cases, the court expects the guilty individual to meet the costs associated with any loss the aggrieved may incur because of the offense.
7. Acts of God clauses in a mobile design contract template
What about the clause known as “Acts of God”? How important is such a clause in the contract? This clause covers all events or happenings that are beyond the control of any person. For example, it may cover events such as earthquakes or flooding. When such events happen, the mobile designer or developer will not be able to finish the project or deliver on time. Such a situation may appear obvious, but the truth is, it is not. Therefore, cover or protect yourself against any unforeseen liability by insisting on the inclusion of this clause in your contract.
Acts of God may be more familiar within the insurance circles. However, this does not exempt its use in the mobile design industry. Acts of God do not include accidental fires that strike your home. Why? Because the law considers fires – no matter how accidental they are – preventable. Acts of God clause refers to events that you can do nothing about. They refer to events you cannot prevent. A fire that results from lightning that strikes your neighborhood leading to the destruction of several homes would qualify for classification as an act of God. For the avoidance of doubt, the contract should clarify the events it considers Acts of God.
Therefore, you now know what to expect from the mobile design contract. You have the information that can help you make a good decision as to whether to sign or not sign the contract. Remember, it pays to discuss everything with the client before embarking on any project. Whatever you agree on should appear on the contract, which both of you should sign to make it legal.
This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Designer").
The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].
1. WORK AND PAYMENT.
1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Designer to do the following: The Designer will assist the Client with mobile designing services.
1.2 Schedule. The Designer will begin work on August 22, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Designer at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.
1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Designer a rate of $90.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Designer $800.00 (USD) before work begins.
1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Designer's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.
1.5 Invoices. The Designer will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.
1.6 Support. The Designer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.
2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Designer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Designer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Designer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Designer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.
2.2 Designer’s Use Of Work Product. Once the Designer gives the work product to the Client, the Designer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Designer here. The Client gives the Designer permission to use the work product as part of the Designer's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Designer's work and not for any other purpose. The Designer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.
2.3 Designer’s Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Designer’s help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Designer agrees to help with that. For example, the Designer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Designer, the Designer agrees that the Client can act on the Designer’s behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Designer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Designer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Designer’s agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Designer and on the Designer’s behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).
2.4 Designer’s IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Designer might use intellectual property that the Designer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Designer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Designer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Designer cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.
2.5 Designer’s Right To Use Client IP. The Designer may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Designer to build a website, the Designer may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Designer use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Designer’s job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Designer any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.
3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Designer won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Designer asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Designer uses employees or subcontractors, the Designer must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.
4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Designer won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Designer puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Designer may hire that candidate. The Designer promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.
5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.
5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.
5.3 Designer Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Designer promises that it owns the work product, that the Designer is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Designer uses employees or subcontractors, the Designer also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Designer giving the Designer any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Designer’s background IP and work product.
5.4 Designer Will Comply With Laws. The Designer promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.
5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Designer promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Designer has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Designer has entered into or will enter into with someone else.
5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Designer if the Designer has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.
5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Designer with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.
6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Designer. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Designer must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Designer for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Designer for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).
7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Designer as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:
- The Designer will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Designer is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Designer with any training.- The Client and the Designer do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Designer cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Designer is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Designer is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Designer or any of the Designer’s employees or subcontractors.
8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.
8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Designer must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.
8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Designer may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Designer promises to treat this information as if it is the Designer’s own confidential information. The Designer may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Designer use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Designer cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Designer written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Designer may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Designer must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Designer promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Designer written permission first. The Designer must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Designer’s responsibilities only stop if the Designer can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Designer came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Designer came across it, but not because of anything the Designer did or didn’t do; (iii) the Designer already knew the information when the Designer came across it and the Designer didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Designer with the information without requiring that the Designer keep it a secret; or (v) the Designer created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.
8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Designer each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Designer each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Designer is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.
9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.
10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Designer or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Designer did, then the Designer may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.
10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Designer agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Designer has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Designer of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Designer of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).
10.3 Designer Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Designer (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.
11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Designer. The Designer cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Designer’s permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.
11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.
11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Designer must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.
(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.
(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.
11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.
11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Designer must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.
11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Maine govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Designer under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.
11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.
All our templates are legally vetted, and can be signed electronically.
Or, download the non-editable PDF version.
1. Follow our step by step editing process to add your own terms to this template
2. Review & sign the contract, then send it out to be electronically signed.
3. Sit back and enjoy the time & money you just saved