Software as a Service (SaaS) is a simple arrangement in some respects. You sell your service like a subscription, and in return, you collect payments on a regular basis from your customers.
But that doesn't mean you can throw your legal obligations out the window.
Protecting your company and ensuring that you understand issues like liability are both integral components to keeping your SaaS up and functioning. And that means using legal agreements to establish clarity between you and the consumer when it comes to expectations.
Here is what you need to know when it comes to legal agreements for your SaaS:
When you sell a product, you can throw warning information on the label. You can include a warranty in the box. It's a straightforward process.
But you're selling Software as a Service, which changes the format a bit. Rather than a tangible product, you're selling software on a subscription basis.
In most cases, your customers will be able to simply download your software and unlock it with a purchase code or activation key. That means if you're going to establish a basic user agreement, you're going to have to actively insert it somewhere into that process.
In short, because you're entering into a contract with your customers here. This isn't just a one-time purchase. They're not paying with cash. You're likely taking hold of each customer's:
As Uncle Ben once said in the Spider-Man series--with great power comes great responsibility. That means that you, the provider of the SaaS, have to take steps to ensure that this contract is legal and in good standing by the rules and regulations that govern your industry.
It also helps to protect you on the legal end of things. But we'll get more into that as we explore the specific legal agreements you'll want and oftentimes even need.
Now let's get specific. Which legal agreements do you want to include with a SaaS app that is presumably collecting vital customer information? In this article, we'll focus on two main agreements:
Here's what you'll need to know about each.
You know Terms and Conditions. They're those long, boring screeds you skip through as you play the latest computer game or even as you download an important piece of software for your business. And while it's not important that you understand every last detail of these Terms and Conditions as a consumer, you'd better bet that you'll want to know them when it comes to running a SaaS business.
Here are a few things you'll want to include:
How do you actually sit down and create Terms and Conditions? There are a number of ways. You can buy template Terms and Conditions online, for example. But you'll want to customize it for your specific product and ensure that your business concerns are taken care of.
Here are a few tips for making that happen:
Setting the Terms and Conditions sounds boring, but thinking about it can be fun. You get to set the rules for associating with you. Think of yourself as a boss determining the quality of your customers.
Your Terms and Conditions are important because they establish the ground rules of your services, but this agreement isn't a legal requirement to have.
Here's what you'll need to know about this vital document:
You've done a lot of work to get your SaaS app perfect. Including these two legal agreements will pull everything together. And a lot of people care about them.
Governments will care. Customers will care. And you'll care when you face the consequences for not having these documents in place. Don't let yourself or your business get caught off-guard in the future because you didn't establish the ground rules and make information available to your customers.
Instead, make sure that you include these two legal agreements with your SaaS app. Once you do, you can rest easier knowing that not only have you established the right limitations and restrictions for your SaaS, but that your company is better protected from violating privacy laws.