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Contracts and lawyers

04-23-2010, 02:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 33
Contracts and lawyers

For you indies out there, do you guys have lawyers reading over all the contracts you get? If so how much does one cost and where can you find one?
Any recommendations?
04-24-2010, 04:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,145
Which contracts? The ones with Apple? Nope, not me. If you end up with a publisher you may want to look into some legal advice, or if you think you may need to get a trademark.

Just my 2 cents worth.
04-24-2010, 11:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Natick, MA
Posts: 7
Our Experience

As far as Apple contracts are concerned, we usually don't worry about it since, as a small developer, there isn't really much you can do to change these.

We did use an attorney to incorporate, but this is not necessary if you're working as an individual contractor.

We also had an attorney review a general contract that we can provide to clients rather than having an unique contract for each project. The project-specific scope and requirements is added as an attachment to the contract and the contract is not valid unless both the contract and scope are signed by both parties.

In the rare occasions that we are provided with a contract we usually rely mainly on a very careful read of the contract. I would only consider consulting an attorney if there is some section of the contract that concerns you and you cannot resolve that concern in any other way (such as altering or removing that clause). Taking a contract to an attorney should be almost a last resort due to the cost and the delay in finalizing the contract you received (if it takes too long they might back out thinking that you're too slow).

If you do find yourself needing an attorney, I would recommend looking into a small local firm that has some experience in the area that you need assistance. Working with a firm that is a similar sized company to yours just seems like a good fit.

DLdeveloper, Inc.
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04-25-2010, 05:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
You don't necessarily need a contract that's looked over by a lawyer. There is absolutely nothing stopping you and your business partner simply working on the contract amicably and both signing it. It doesn't even need to be huge, just include all things you each want in there. These 'napkin contracts' are actually quite common in business startups.

But if you don't particularly feel a level of trust between you and the other person, or if you simply have the money available, it might be worth hiring a lawyer to look over it and let you know if it's legally binding.