Whether your company is a large-volume application service provider or a smaller IT company offering a single, specialized application or licensed software for one or more clients, an ASP contract can help you keep control of your work products while reducing risk for your business.
An application service provider agreement, also known as an application services license agreement, governs the relationship between your company (the ASP) and the licensed user of the software, application servers or web hosting services you provide.
What Is an ASP Agreement?
An important part of an ASP contract is the service level agreement, or SLA. This section formally defines the level of service you will provide, and might include specifics such as delivery time or expected performance. A service level agreement also clearly defines your services, guarantees and responsibilities, including performance and operation of the application or licensed software you’re providing.
ASP agreements allow you to establish limits for the authorized use of your software or applications server, and to control who within your client’s company can access the software and servers. You can even set terms and conditions to control how, where and when users can access the applications and servers.
Your ASP agreement can also prohibit modification or reverse engineering of your software, limit the amount of storage space your client can use on your server, and protect your confidentiality and intellectual property rights.
An ASP contract can reduce your own risk by setting limits for your liability should your software or server crash, have downtime, or otherwise cause problems for your client. You can also include terms defining the technical support you will provide under the agreement, as well as any warranties or disclaimers you need to clarify.
Where Can I Get an Application Service Provider Agreement?
For many smaller IT businesses, it makes sense to buy contract template software that can be customized to suit your needs. Such template contracts can be personalized and reused unlimited times for a single low price, eliminating the need to draw up a contract from scratch for each new application or client.
At www.contractedge.com, template ASP contracts can be purchased individually or as part of a package of agreements designed for web development and web hosting. The packaged agreements include other helpful contracts for small IT businesses, such as:
- Employment contract
- Subcontractor/independent contractor agreement
- Web content contributor agreement
- Web site advertising agreement
- Web site development agreement
- Web site hosting agreement
ContractEdge also provides sample contracts for you to view, so you can see how such agreements might be customized to suit your needs. Regardless of how you create your contract, it’s always a good idea to have it reviewed by an attorney to ensure that it’s complete and addresses all the needs of your unique situation.
If you want to protect your company against future claims of damages, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got your ASP agreement ready to go before you provide any products or services to your clients. Doing so is a critical part of a solid risk-management strategy designed to reduce your liability as your business grows.
Writtten by Brenna Lemieux - check her out at Google+ or Twitter