The contractual aspects of setting up and running a website

A number of issues will be encountered by a company when setting up and operating a website, and these issues will need to be addressed in the contractual arrangements that are necessary in order to establish the company’s internet presenceFree Reprint Articles, whether the website is a fully interactive e-commerce site or comprises only a simple promotional statement about the website owner. 

There are the key legal and commercial issues that arise in relation to the specific contracts which need to be put in place when setting up and operating a website. There are also the practical contractual drafting issues. These issues should be considered from the perspectives of both the website owner and also the supplier of the website services. 

The first legal issue for a company wishing to establish an internet presence is how the website should be designed and constructed. The objective of a website development agreement is to ensure that the company gets the website that it requires by imposing an obligation on the designer to create the site according to the company’s specifications. The contract should set out clearly in terms of a functional and performance specification. These should include any contractual legal requirements to which the company is subject and which may need to be taken into account in the design of the site content or its performance. The company should also consider how it wishes to project its image and a budget needs to be agreed at the outset as costs will vary depending on the complexity of the project.

A detailed specification for the site also benefits the designer by providing it with a clear understanding of the company’s requirements. It should also ensure that those requirements are realistic so that they can be met within the timescale and for the fees agreed. It is important that there is a clear understanding by both parties of the terms of the legal agreement.

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