Website terms: consultancy business; includes licence for supporting product or systems

These terms are for a consultancy firm that uses proprietary know-how, software or systems as part of its service. For example, these might include training materials, spreadsheets, software models, or planning systems that it has developed. Most likely the intellectual property has high value that the firm wants to protect from being passed on to other non-clients, or used after the contract ends. This template sets out terms of sale for the consulting services, terms of use of the website, and licence terms for the systems or know-how.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

These website T&C are for a business that provides consultancy offline, but that markets its services and takes payment through the Internet.

They are suitable for businesses that provide one or more packages of discrete services in combination with services tailored to individual clients.

For example, you might offer an analysis of competitor businesses as a standard service, with customised services based on the outcome.

Your website advertises your services, perhaps allows customers to request quotes and is a medium for taking credit card payments (including taking pre-payments on account and on a subscription basis).

These T&C are different to our standard ones for consultancy businesses in that they contain terms to licence intellectual property - systems and know-how - to your client. If you provide training materials, software or soft copy documents that provide additional value to your clients (even if only for some of the services you offer), you will need to set out how your clients can use that IP, for how long, and what they may not do with it. The licence provisions are very strong, with many options.

The document contains strong provisions for confidentiality and protection of your website.

Examples of businesses that would use these T&C

  • you prepare financial or other reports for your clients, and use spreadsheets or other software to manage the collection of information and the manipulation of it into the reporting format.

  • you provide hazard assessments and permit your client to use your copyright systems and materials

  • you provide sports training services that include workout routines or diets that you have developed. You wish to make clear to your clients that your materials may not be distributed to others.

  • you are an engineering consultant with your own copyright systems which are used by your clients. You wish to set the limits of how they may use your materials.

The benefit of using a clear agreement

Using this T&C template will help you:

  • Present a professional image of your business. Our use of plain English helps ensure customers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language

  • Prevent misunderstandings and solve disputes more easily

  • Comply with consumer protection law (such as the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013) if your clients are consumers

  • Protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that form an Acceptable Use Policy, useful if your visitors can interact with your website, for example, by posting reviews or exchanging messages in a customer forum)

  • Trade safely internationally, whether your customers are in the UK, EU or further afield

Alternative documents

This is one of three sets of T&C for consultancy firms that we offer.

This set is for consultancies that do not provide additional supporting products or systems alongside the main services.

If you sell the supporting products rather than merely license use of them, then these T&C are appropriate.

If you negotiate each contract with each client (rather than working under standard terms), you should look at our consultancy contracts.

The law in this document

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, delivery, returns, dispute resolution, liabilities and risk. Provided you comply with the law, you can set whatever terms you like.

This document can be used by any UK-based consultancy firm, selling to businesses or consumers. It complies with The Sale of Goods Acts (1979 and 1994) and The Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013.

We have contracted out of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 so as not to obligate you in contracts made between your customer and any other party. This is usual in a document such as this one.

Contents

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Basis of contract
  • Provision for Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013
  • Credit card security
  • Price and payment
  • Service provision
  • Renewal payments
  • Foreign taxes
  • Liaison with client
  • Work management procedures
  • Compliance issues
  • Confidentiality
  • Protection of your intellectual property
  • Termination
  • Disclaimers and many matters to protect you
  • Over 2,200 words of helpful drafting notes.
Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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