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Smartphones use has dramatically changed each aspect of our lives, often for the better. The famous slogan by Apple 'There's an app for that' says it all. Mobile apps help users to get the information they want quickly, without wasting time on internet searches. Due to the fact that this is a growing trend, if you own app design skills you'd better check our mobile app design contract template.

The number of mobile apps which are currently available on the major app stores has passed 3 million. This number is expected to rise because most of the companies are becoming aware of the importance of mobile apps for their business. With this in mind, you might consider starting a brilliant career in the app design.

Before starting working for your client, do not forget you both sign a regular app design contract. Sometimes freelancers do not get paid for their work because of unclear terms. For this reason, you and your client must agree on the scope of your work: what exactly you will do, what is the deadline and so on. You have to write the payment details: how much you will get paid and how. Finally, don't forget to include a clause on the intellectual property. Make sure it will be transferred over to your client only once you get paid.

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Below is a list of clauses it's recommended to pay close attention to:

1. Intellectual Property Rights

This will ensure that you and your clients understand belongs to who right at the beginning. The developer owns the app to the creative content. These rights are given for the duration of time for you to expressly use what you have designed. If not it is stipulated at what point you give up the ownership of the app. This will protect you from being exploited by third parties who will claim rights revenues at a later date. Considerations have to be substantial in terms of money or any other promise. You can be promised part of the sales after the app is floated in the market and you can choose to grant whatever rights you think appropriate for your work.

This encourages innovation without having to worry about exploitation of or your ideas being stolen. Does the agreement limit you from making the same software for the client’s competition? These basics, should be thoroughly addressed, deliberated, and drafted into an agreement by a competent lawyer. This will save you plenty of legal pain and expenditure if questions arise in the future concerning intellectual property, licensing requirements, and the general transfer of rights.

2. Schedule of Payments

This will clearly state when and how the payment for designing the app will be delivered. It must include the amount to be paid and the intervals right from the initial payments. This will protect you from being swindled after all the hard work. You include in the mobile app design contract template if the payment terms will be weekly, bi-monthly or a down payment, amount to be billed, Bank account details interests of late payments, currency conversion rates, and also bank transfer fees.

3. Dispute Resolution

You also need to include how to solve any arising issues in the mobile app maintenance contract template. It is vital to agree to settle any disagreements out of court and save time and money for all the parties concerned. Negotiation and mediation would be a simple and cheaper way especially to you the app designer, since the client may have the advantage of the resources at their disposal. You must remember you waive the right to go to court during contract formulation. Sometimes you may need to involve a third party during conflict resolution, and this should also be included in the initial contract.

4. Timeframes

It is good to agree on what is expected of you and assure the client on the deliverables and on time. It will also ensure you as the developer stays on track with your goals and expectations in delivering the project. Establishing realistic completion time will give you time to make a good app and allow you to deliver quality work. Consider the size of the project and make appropriate adjustment to allow you to complete the job. Ensure the delivery time you agree on conforms to your needs. Include whether you will be giving weekly or daily reports of the work in progress status and if you will have different timelines for the various phases of the project. Be sure to allow yourself extra time to cover for any unexpected delays in completing the project. Every small time detail should be included in the design contract to prevent future problems. For example, if there is a relative date for completion does is include the start date, or the time the app is tested? Does it include the time of signing off the deliverables? Everything should be clear to both you and the client.

5. Scope of Work

The scope of work describes the work timelines, prices, requests and setting of the work. It should give a clear picture of the complete project needs for both parties. It assists you the app designer to have a smooth flow of work contract and building of collaboration between you and the client. The support the client will offer to make the project a success including user account access to company servers and logos. The scope should be detailed enough to cover all the functionality of the app without dwelling so much on the technical aspects which can make it hard to comprehend. The software under which the app will be supported should be captured in the scope. A well-elaborated app design contract will be clear on the regulations, standards of work and requirements for efficient completion of the project. The scope of work will guide you in charging extra fees for work done beyond what you had initially agreed on the mobile app design contract template. It should be as precise to enable you to charge extra fees for any additional work. A good scope of work enhances your credibility and professionalism in conducting business.

6. Your Independence as a Developer

This clause will serve to remind the client that you are a self-regulating developer and not anybody’s employee. The app contract gives you the independence to direct the project, work on your own time schedules and deadlines. The client does have any exclusive rights to control or order you at any point in the work arrangement.

7. Disclaimers

Disclaimers in app design contract will ensure the client provides the necessary resources you need in a timely manner so that the project is completed on time. A clause in the initial mobile app maintenance contract template provides for the change of terms in case of unnecessary delays. The clause will state that the agreement is binding until a specific date after which it can be altered. This ensures the client doesn’t put on hold the project for a long time where you will need to update the pricing of the project and adjust work schedules. Disclaimers also protect you and your client from liability in the case where a user is affected by using the information in the app. App information cannot be substituted for professional expertise, and it should be expressly stated as so.

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8. Revisions, Warranty, and Maintenance

Your app design contract should capture what happens in the event that you are done with the app, and the client discovers some anomalies and corrections that need to be made. Whether and how much you are to be paid will be included here and how long after completion of the app you are prepared to repair any broken parts. However much effort you put in there are some clients who are perfectionists and will never decide the app is finished or good enough for their expectations. This clause formulates and lays down a practical number of specific revisions that you need to make on the app.

A maintenance agreement protects your long-term interests after you have finished the work. Warranties allow the other party contract rights to go to court for costs if the contract was contravened. It should also state when you will be considered to have completed the project and changes you need to make to the final product.

9. Termination of Contract

There are instances when you and the client can no longer function together for a myriad of reasons. You should factor what happens in a case such a scenario arises. The contract should stipulate what happens if any of you frustrates the other in the course of the project and show what damages, expenses, and losses are to be paid. It should state specific circumstances the design contract should be ended. It should also show if you will need to complete any phase of the project. The procedure of giving notice to the other party on the intention to terminate should also be clearly stated. For example, 'This agreement can be ended by either party giving to the other not less than three months written notice.' A killer fee in case of termination of contract should be paid to you the developer to protect you from losses and time spent.

10. Background Technology

App designing includes various development tools, program data, and routines that will all contribute to the final product. Display menus and data storage also form part of this aspect of app development. This is referred to as background technology to the app. If you transfer ownership of the software aspect to the client, it means he may end up with the background technology as well. Make sure the app design contract enables you to retain the ownership of this material. The contract should only give the client the non-exclusive license to use the material.

11. Payments and Expenses

The exact fee for the designing of the app should be included in the mobile app maintenance contract template. It may be appropriate to allow for changes in the price if unexpected events happen. This segment of the contract should state the total costs of the project and duration of completion of the project. Every small change must be agreed upon and put down in the contract. This idea is to have both parties on the same page before the commencement of the project. The contract should include how much the client will have to pay and what happens when payment is delayed. Remember that some projects may require taxes to be paid to the government and the contract should indicate who pays them. There should also be a clause protecting you against the changing goals of the project in the future. You may request a clause to stipulate if the project significantly changes, the price of the work may be re-negotiated. When you are supposed to travel to work, all expenses should be reimbursed by the client, and this should be included in the app contract.

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12. Hosting and App Store Submissions

The agreement should clearly state where the app will be hosted. It’s important to understand if you have the capacity to host the app on your servers or the client will do the hosting, or it will be hosted by a third party. It will also state who pays for the hosting if done by a third party. If you will be uploading the app in your app store or the client will handle the process should clearly be indicated in app design contract.

13. Acts of God

These are acts which are beyond human control and should bear a clause in the mobile app design contract. These provisions remove liability and losses resulting from such events on your part as the developer of the app. Foods, fire, earthquakes, war or any disruption which are not beyond your control should not make you liable in any way. When enshrined in the contract it protects you from carrying the burden of delays caused by unforeseen occurrences which may disrupt the expected completion of the project

Bottom Line

Contracts are not fun. They are long to read boring to understand, and you can’t wait to get over with and sign the dotted line. These contracts are important legal documents that are meant to protect you and the client. The laws governing app design are complex and confusing, but you need to get a grasp and understand them before you commit to the project. They should be written in a simple, straightforward language which is easy to understand and eliminate doubts. It’s good sometimes to try and wear the shoes of the client while drafting a contract. What would you like to see and read in a contract? From that point, you will formulate a simple, uncomplicated contract.

Before you sign the fine print on the dotted line, read every single word carefully. Don’t sign when you are not sure and never leave blank spaces on the design contract. This will prevent any additions to be included after you have signed the document. Allow enough time to understand everything before you append the signature. Engage the services of a good lawyer to review the contract and help you grasp the legal mumbo jumbo of the details for your own safety. Being familiar with app design contracts is a major difference between a person who simply makes apps and another who does so professionally. By understanding the legal jargon and professional relevance of contract structure, brilliant designers can take advantage of the existing increasing demand for app development.

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