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Tips for Developing the Ideal Master Services Agreement

Posted on in Online Contracts

Tampa master services agreement attorneyWhenever two businesses expect to have an ongoing relationship, with one providing services to the other on a project-by-project basis, a master services agreement can simplify their repeated transactions.

Many types of businesses can benefit from using a master services agreement, including those who sell website creation and maintenance services, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and cloud computing services. 

But what exactly should be included in your MSA? Here are some tips for creating a strong MSA for your business:

Be sure your MSA terms and conditions include all of the following:

  • Billing and payment terms
  • How communications, changes, and approvals will be handled
  • Ownership of intellectual property
  • Confidentiality requirements, including data privacy
  • Limitations of liability, disclaimer, and insurance clauses
  • Remedies for non-performance
  • Methods for dispute resolution
  • A standard format for Statement of Work (SOW) appendices
  • Procedures for termination of the relationship and specific SOWs
  • Non-solicitation of employees
  • Use of business names/logos for marketing purposes

Think about the most common disputes that suppliers and buyers get into, and make sure those are covered in your MSA. For example, disputes often arise over the Statement of Work for a particular project. These disputes can be avoided by developing a solid template for SOWs that includes a timeline with interim as well as final delivery dates and clearly defined deliverables.

Another common cause of disputes is the process for communicating about changes to project specs and deadlines, as well as final acceptance of finished work. Make sure your MSA and SOWs clearly spell out the contact people who are to be involved in approving specifications, timelines, and deliverables. Either the MSA or SOW should specify the window of time that the buyer has to review deliverables and identify any out-of-spec issues, and the window of time the supplier has to make corrections, as well as a process for signing off on each completed project.

Last but not least, make sure your contractual documents are written as simply and concisely as possible. Do not use twelve words when ten will do.

Contact a Tampa Business Law Attorney 

A well-crafted MSA can help your business operate more efficiently and avoid contractual disputes. If your business involves technology or online services, be sure to have a skilled St. Petersburg cyber law attorney work with you to develop your MSA. At Nelson Cyber Law, PLLC, we can help you understand the critical issues that you will need to cover in technology-related contracts. Contact us today at 1-800-440-5536 to schedule a consultation.



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