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A guide to SaaS Lawyers

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The popularity of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has grown exponentially in the past 20 years with more and more companies choosing to run their software applications in the cloud rather than on their computer. As this business model continues to expand rapidly across all sectors, and developments such as open integrations and automation are incorporated into SaaS platforms, companies will seek specialist legal advice on a range of issues, particularly intellectual property and data security.

For example, if your software is delivered over the internet your company will need to adopt an SaaS agreement, or if you are migrating from on-premise software to SaaS, your licence agreement that you currently give customers will need to change to incorporate terms specific to SaaS. SaaS agreements differ in many ways to a typical licence agreement as SaaS agreements are tailored for software delivered over the internet rather than installed on your local computer. There are a number of issues to consider when discussing with your SaaS lawyer the scope and operation of the SaaS agreement including your relationship with customers, payment processing, auto renewals, data security, maintenance, and service level agreements. Clauses relating to these issues will need to be drafted to tailor your particular business needs, which is why it is so important to seek legal advice right from the start of company formation (if you are a startup) to make sure the correct legal documents are in place. For example, an SaaS agreement should have strong IP clauses in order to protect assets such as your source code.

If you are a startup then you likely need a suite of documents to help get your business up and running. As well as SaaS agreements, SaaS lawyers can help draft End User Licence Agreements (EULAs) and Terms of Service (ToS) agreements. Broadly, SaaS companies need company-level agreements such as any IP assignment or transfer agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and other agreements such as employment agreements. They will also need agreements for their customers such as master services agreements, service level agreements, and terms of service agreements, as well as policies relating to privacy, data protections and security.

SaaS lawyers have solid knowledge of data privacy issues so they also can help resolve any data privacy issues your SaaS agreement may have. For example, you will want to ensure your agreements include clauses relating to data ownership, data storage, notification process for data breaches, and software modifications. Conversations with third party vendors can be difficult at times so an SaaS lawyer can also help negotiate deals with third party vendors, particularly in relation to significant issues such as uptime and support.

At Arnotts Technology Lawyers, we can draft, review and negotiate all of the contracts and policies you need for your SaaS business. Our SaaS lawyers have a combined 30+ years of experience in technology law so you can rest assured that we will be able to take care of all of your legal needs. Do you need an SaaS lawyer? Contact us today or call us on 1800 749 292.

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