**This information is for educational use only and is not intended as legal advice nor to create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact your legal professional for guidance on your specific matter**
Ask A Lawyer -- June 14, 2021
X-Round: Ask a Lawyer (June 2021)
Here we compile our most asked questions for the month and do a short Q&A with a lawyer.
Q. Ok, as an independent contractor, am I still potentially liable and could I be sued, since I am not an LLC or Corporation? Could someone go after my personal assets?
A. Unfortunately, as long as you remain unincorporated without a “legal shield” such as a Company, your personal assets are vulnerable and not protected. You could use a Contract and Insurance to limit your liability and risk of loss, but if your business gets sued, your personal assets could be attached as part of the judgment.
Q. For example, if I am working for a design agency designing websites for their clients, could that client hold me liable for something?
A. It depends. (Terrible lawyer answer, we know but bear with us)
It really depends on whether you have a Contract limiting your liability and the situation.
Try this first. Think of all the ways you could delay, fail or completely ruin the website design for the client.
For example: Could you be delayed because of your sub-contractor or another vendor? Or, maybe, your creative design wasn’t to the client’s taste, and they want you to change it, numerous times beyond the scope of the project.
Now, plan for those events in your contract, by limiting your liability or time or cost should those events happen.
Think of having a contract as planning for the present and preparing for the future. As always consult with your business attorney to confirm all changes.
Q. If I use the Client Service agreement for the services I provide to my clients, but in the future, I need to modify it for slightly different services, is it still valid?
A. Yes, of course. Every Startup Dox document comes with FAQs on how to customize it. After the customization, your Dox Membership has a How-To video that you can watch and tweak your own contract.
Q. For example, if I offer a web design package that costs $849 to build a website from a template, but then I have another package that costs $1399 because it is a custom-made design and is significantly more expensive and I provided some add-on services such as copyediting, do I need a different Client Services Agreement for each package?
A. In the Client Service Agreement, you will get the following:
A. Main contract
B. Statement Of Work (SOW)
C. Change Order
When you create your contract, create it as a template for future clients (Insert XXX as placeholders for any Recipient questions).
Your SOW is where the magic really happens – meaning the customization for each specific client.
So, you can create different SOWs for different packages that you can customize per client.
For example: Have your $849 package contract and label it as SOW-Standard1, and your $1399 package contract as SOW-Custom 2 (we will leave the creative naming to you).
The Change Order form to the Contract is when you need to modify an existing contract with a client.
You may elaborate further when you fill out our Document review request, for attorney customization.
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