Why you need an NDA!

You might have realised our NDA is free on our website http://www.lenoma.co.za (direct link is here Basic NDA.)

But what’s the big deal about NDAs so how do you use it or for what is it for exactly and how it’ll benefit you?

There are many benefits and advantages for using an NDA:

1) The most obvious advantage of an NDA is protecting your information!

An NDA agreement allows you to agree on what information can and cannot be disclosed to others;

what each party’s obligations are in regards to the confidential information;

and how information is dealt with upon termination of the NDA.

2) An NDA agreement can allow parties to define what “confidential information” is, so that it is clear to both parties throughout their relationship what is considered confidential and what subsequently cannot be disclosed.

What type of information can be considered ‘confidential’ is endless, and it can include anything from patent ideas, test scores, employee information, passwords etc.

Setting out what is included as confidential information can save a lot of time in the event a dispute arises and a lawsuit is brought, as the judge can see whether the information disclosed is specifically listed or described in the NDA.

Drafters of the NDA can be as precise as they wish when defining what is confidential in their agreement by including an exhaustive list of specific items.

Others will want a broader, non-exhaustive list which may include language such as “all information disclosed in the course of fulfilling the purpose of the agreement”.

Drafters can also include exceptions to the prohibitions on disclosure such as information that is generally available to the public;

information obtained by a third party who is not bound by any confidentiality agreements;

where information is trivial;

information developed for the recipient independently;

information disclosed through no fault of the recipient party and information that was already known by the party before signing the NDA.

These exceptions are common in NDAs.

3) A well-drafted NDA will outline the consequences for those that breach the NDA, which will likely include a hefty monetary fine.

The party that breached the NDA can also be subject to a court order preventing them from continuing to disclose any confidential information that was protected by the NDA.

4) An NDA assures parties that information will remain confidential, and can include survival provisions requiring the party to not disclose the confidential information for a stated time period (eg. 2 years) after their relationship has ended.

Takeaways

– If you are considering a business deal, try to have the other party review and sign an NDA before entering into business discussions and possibly exchanging confidential information. The sooner the better!

– Pay close attention to the definition of confidential information before signing an NDA, so you are clear what information (of yours) is protected, and what information (of the other party) cannot be disclosed to others.

Hope this helps you in your business journey!

Team Lenoma Legal

http://www.lenoma.co.za

5 contract clauses in any Legal Agreement you should look into.

Here are 5 basic contract sections that you should review carefully before signing the contract.

1. The parties to the contract.

This section of the contract is important because it tells you who they are entering into an agreement with.

– Is it another person or several people? Is it a business?

– Are you signing the contract on behalf of their business or in an individual capacity?

Are the names of all parties spelled correctly?

2. The “money” terms.

This section of the contract is important because it deals with the money.

Does it clearly lay out how much a good or service will cost?

When, how much, and how long will you have to pay the other party or will the other party have to pay?

3. Jurisdiction and Governing Law.

This section of the contract explains what law applies to the contract and the location where a dispute must be brought if there is a disagreement

Jurisdictions or countries may have different laws, so knowing which law applies to your contract is critical to understanding your rights.

4. Attorney’s Fees.

Some contracts have a section that states that a losing party in a dispute has to pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees and costs. This is an important section to you because you may be able to get their attorney’s fees reimbursed if a dispute arises out of the contract and you win.

5. Signature page.

This section of the contract is so obvious that it often gets overlooked.

Did all of the parties sign the contract?

These are just a few of the sections that your potential client should carefully review prior to signing a contract. However, every section of a contract is important.

If the contract is still confusing to you, at least they still have you to review it with us or any of our partner law firms.

Get a copy any business agreement here at Lenoma Legal eShop.

Commercial Leases 

If you own a business, chances are you may need to consider entering into a commercial lease. So how do these differ from ordinary, residential leases?

There are a number of things you need to look out for. This article will cover the four most important things to look out for before signing the dotted line.

1 . Terms of the Lease and Options

The term of the lease is extremely important for business tenants. There often exists a conflict of interest between landlords and tenants with regard to the terms of leases so it is important to be informed and look out for your best interests.

Generally, landlords prefer the security of a longer term lease (for example, 5 or 10 years), whereas tenants usually prefer the flexibility afforded by a shorter lease (3 years is about standard). This is especially the case for start-up business tenants who commonly either go out of business or rapidly expand and require a new lease to expand operations in the near future. Keep in mind that, as mentioned, if the relevant retail lease legislation applies to your lease, there may be restrictions upon the minimum term of your lease.

Another important consideration is whether the lease provides you with an option to renew at the end of the initial term so you have the option to continue trading. This is very important for commercial leases as a large proportion of your businesses’ goodwill may be attached to your premises, so you may want to protect this.

2. Rent and Security

The rent clause is probably the most obviously important aspect of any lease agreement. When it comes to paying out expenses, we all want to keep it to a minimum! The rent clause specifies the the amount of money the tenant must pay to the landlord in return for the landlord providing the use and occupation of the property. Rent is a significant operating expense for most businesses.

The rent for the initial term, as well as any changes to the rent, must be specified in the lease. The most common methods of rent review (i.e. changes in rent) are consumer price index (CPI), fixed percentage increase and market rent. It is important to ensure you will be able to afford any proposed rent increases during the period of your lease and any renewal period to avoid falling behind.

The landlord may also request a security payment from the tenant to protect against the tenant failing to pay rent (i.e. defaulting). This would either be in the form of a bank guarantee by an individual tenant, or a personal guarantee by a company tenant’s directors. The security deposit can be a significant amount of money, usually equal to three to six months’ rent. Therefore, you shouldn’t forget this cost when assessing the affordability of your commercial lease.

3. Termination

Lastly, you should also review the termination clause contained in your commercial lease. Keep an eye out for any clause which allows the landlord to terminate the lease before the end of the term. In most cases, it is highly advised that you seek to have this removed as it causes uncertainty of your lease which can be very damaging for your business. Further, you should be aware of any other circumstances which will cause your lease to be terminated.

Get Advice from a Professional

There are clearly some very important things to look out for when entering a commercial lease for your business.

Each of these factors has the potential to have a major impact on the performance of your business, so it is worth looking into obtaining independent legal advice to protect your best interests. As a potential tenant, if you are unhappy with any aspect of your lease agreement, you should negotiate with your landlord to reach an agreement that suits your needs.

When do you need a Model Release and Permission of photograph use

The Photograph

Professional photographers generally use a model release right at the outset of a photo shoot.

However it is important to realize that the Model release and photograph is not about granting permission to take the photos, but rather to publish them. You don’t generally need written permission to photograph anyone. You need permission to publish the photo for commercial purposes (e.g., you will get paid for your photo).

It is generally accepted to snap a photo of a person in a public place without a release form.

However, if you use that photo for specific commercial purposes, like promoting a product, it’s better to be safe and get the release form.

The Release

A Model Release is like a contract. It specifies all the ways the resulting images can or cannot be used.

If you are the photographer, you will want to use the broadest language possible about where and in which media formats the image can be used, so you will have great latitude in selling the photo.

The release should also cover other details about the use of the model’s name (or not), whether the model has any right to inspect the end product before publication, and whether the release has an expiration date.

Publication

Whether you work in a marketing department, in graphic design or are a commercial blogger (to name just a few possibilities), you need to be careful that any image you may be planning to use in your material has a properly executed release form. Generally, the photographer will have done this step for you, but ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure the release exists before you license any photographs.

Remember there is a R249 Model Release form and use of photograph available HERE RIGHT NOW, just for you.

contact us http://www.lenoma.co.za or at info@lenoma.co.za

The benefits of becoming a contractor

There are many advantages to an employment relationship, but since an Independent Contractors Agreement is our #docoftheweek we thought it would be great to deal with some of the advantages of being in a contractor agreement relationship.

The main advantages are that you can:

  • Become your own boss

    Contract work provides greater independence and, for many people, a greater perceived level of job security than traditional employment.

  • Maintain a good work/life balance

    Less commuting, fewer meetings, less office politics – and you can work the hours that suit you and your lifestyle best.

  • Earn more money

    Being a contractor means you get paid for every hour of work you do, at the market rate. If your skills are in demand, your income could be high.

  • Test out a new field of expertise

    Not sure if there’s a market for your skills? You can dip a toe into a new industry without committing yourself to a full-time job. If it doesn’t work out, you can cut your losses quickly and easily.

  • Start on a part-time basis

    This can be appealing to young people just graduating from college, or older people who want to experiment with a second or even third career.

  • Test out a company

    If you’re not sure a new company is offering the right full-time employment opportunity for you, suggest first working for them as an independent contractor.

 

If you would want an #IndependentContractorsAgreement get yours here at Lenoma Legal eCommerce website

 

Protecting your company’s online assets 

Yes, you do have online assets.

In an increasingly digital world and business environment, protecting your digital assets should be a prime consideration for any business owner.

Digital assets include anything you own or have rights to that is accessed via the internet or any other form of digital technology.

According to ZA Central Registry (ZACR)  a non-profit organisation (NPO) currently managing various .ZA second level domains, such as co.za, net.za, org.za and web.za, there are over 1 million domain name registrations, the majority of these domain names are under co.za.

Some of the main digital assets that you should have access to and control include your businesses’:

o   Domain name(s)

o   Hosting

o   Website files

o   Website login

o   Security certificates

Let’s explain these so you can be sure you have everything covered.

1.  Domain Name(s)

A domain name is a unique internet site address that allows people to access your website. You may have one or many domain names with different extensions (e.g. .com.co.za and .org). Overall, the details for your domain name(s) that you should obtain and store somewhere safely include:

o   a list of the domain names you own,

o   the Registrar account login for each domain,

o   the EEP Code for each domain name, and

o   ensure your details are correct as the Registrant.

 

2. Hosting

Who is billing you for your website hosting? You should ensure you have access to all of the necessary logins, such as an account login. With all of this information, you have the most important parts covered and are well on your way to having control of your website.

 

3. Website Files

It is also important that you have and maintain a recent copy of your website files and database. Certain technologies including plugins can be used to download copies of backup files and store them in remote locations. If you feel that these steps are outside of your technological capabilities, it is possible to hire someone to do a complete backup and have it sent to you. The cost to have this done is minimal compared to the potential cost-savings it could make for you in the future.

 

4. Security Certificates (SSL)

Security certificates are important for businesses that conduct online eCommerce and take payments through their website. You can check whether you have one using an online SSL Examination tool. If your domain has an SSL certificate, you should keep the following information stored safely:

o   Validity date

o   Issuer Company name and details

If your certificate expires, it may result in your payment facilities being suspended. This means potential lost business! Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the expiry date of your SSL Certificate(s) and set reminders to have them renewed.

 

FINALLY

Once you have taken all of these essential steps to protect your digital assets, it is important that you store all of the information you have obtained in a safe and secure place that you will remember. Also, as the digital world is a quickly changing environment, it is best to revisit these checks regularly to keep up to date with the digital assets of your business.

 

Taking these simple steps today can save you and your business a world of trouble and inconvenience later down the line.

 

4 Legal agreements EVERY business must have

Nobody likes legal documents — especially business owners who are multitasking and trying to manage the company’s financial health, marketing, sales, teams’ health and and and…. 

If you have these 4 legal documents in order you, don’t need to worry about the rest if you don’t want to (although all are nice to have).

Let’s make your business legal life easier….

Here is all you need:

1.  A will

Every business owner needs a business will separate from her or his personal will. Preparing a will not only concerns your assets but allows you to take care of your final affairs in the way that you want to. A will is important for your business to be protected and for your family to receive enough funds to be able to sustain their lifestyle. Whatever the fate of your business might be, it’s you who should decide it.

2. Power of Attorney

On many occasions disease, accidents and incapacitation can strike faster than we can react. When a business owner cannot run the business because of health or personal issues, it is imperative that he continues to provide for his staff, partners and customers. This can most easily be done through a power of attorney. This document can be designed so that it is activated only if the business owner is not able to take decisions or take care of his or her own affairs. You can be in control even when your life is out of control by choosing who will operate it in your place.

3. Contracts

Okay, you got us. This is not one single legal document but multiple templates for business relationships. You need several types of contracts that will make interacting with people easier – supplier contracts, client contracts, lease agreements, employment and termination contracts, confidentiality agreements and contractor contracts. If you do not have contracts, be sure that the other side will have. And the contracts their lawyers drafted won’t protect your business interest, that’s for sure.

4.  IP agreement

An intellectual property agreement shows your investors that you own the IP you will be working with. Before you can have such an agreement, you need to legally protect your IP. This includes trademarks, applications, designs, written, video and audio content, business blueprints, strategies and processes. Everything that allows you to be different from your competition and operate your business in the way you do is your intellectual property and should be legally protected. Your IP agreement shows investors and shareholders that you have taken care of that.

Act smart have these legal documents drafted as soon as you start your business. But you will be even smarter if you have them reviewed annually to make sure they reflect the growth and changes in the business.

You can find us on www.lenoma.co.za or info@lenoma.co.za if you have any questions.

Use #lenomalegal on social media to find us😉!