YES! Whatever industry you’re in, chances are you’re going to need to hire someone, whether it’s a short-term contract, that design job you just don’t feel like doing yourself or signing a new client or non-disclosure agreement. You need to cover your butt, minimize risk and avoid costly legal hassles down the line. If you want to set boundaries, be professional and outline your terms, a (legally-binding) contract is the only way to go.
Do I need a lawyer to draw up a contract?
While an experienced contract lawyer can help you navigate the legal waters to minimize risk and draft a custom-fit agreement that works for your unique circumstances, lawyers aren’t known for our affordability. With The Secure Startup, you have the templates, guides and advice you need to protect your growing business. BUT, if you have a particularly unique situation and need something customized or if you’re going into business with someone else and need an agreement for that, you probably shouldn’t DIY it and we’d be happy to help over at Henry Business Law.
I don’t see the contract I need on The Secure Startup. Now what?
Don’t panic ☺ We’re going to be releasing new bundles on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to know when new bundles are dropping or if you’d like to request one, drop us a line at [email protected].
How do I protect my intellectual property?
Intellectual property is the original concepts and ideas you have created that support your business, conceived of and developed by yourself, your employees or advisors – which becomes a company asset. This includes:
articles, blog posts, case studies, and other content
illustrations, designs, photos, logos or other
product and business names
taglines and slogans
movies, games or apps
There are a number of ways to protect your intellectual property, namely copyright, registering a trademark, patent or a specific trade secret. While this doesn’t fall under our bundles, I’m happy to help with specific requests (at a price).
How can I protect my online brand?
There are a number of things you can do to protect your business in the online world, which include making sure nobody is using your brand without your permission – and taking action if they do. You need to monitor social media platforms to make sure nobody is using your intellectual property. Set up an alert or do regular searches, monitor your domain names and online marketplaces and check out app stores to see if anyone is copying your hard work.
What do I do if someone is stealing my trademark or online brand?
The Secure Startup provides legally-binding cease and desist letters as part of your bundle, which you can send to anyone using your intellectual property without authorization.
Is The Secure Startup a law firm?
No. While I am a Cambridge educated lawyer, my goal with The Secure Startup is to provide legal templates and advice you can use to protect your business. These bundles are designed to meet challenges you might not have thought of yet, but ones you need to be protected against. While I can give you legal advice, this is outside of my bundle packages and will be quoted on separately.
Should I send a paper copy of a contract to my clients?
No, this is not necessary. Electronic signing (e-signing) is convenient and legally-binding. When you use a reputed e-signing platform, the e-signature can be traced to your client’s IP address, which can offer proof of who signed a contract should it be required (signatures can be forged). However, if you prefer a printed and signed copy, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have one!
Do I need a custom contract?
Unless you have some specific requirements, there’s no real reason why you would need a custom contract. My downloadable templates are designed to provide comprehensive coverage to entrepreneurs like you, in your specific industry. Rather save your hard-earned cash for other aspects of your business.
Who created these contracts?
These templates were created by Andrea Henry, a Cambridge-educated lawyer with over a decade of experience working in corporate law. You can learn more about Andrea here.
Each template is carefully reviewed, and best of all, you’re getting Andrea’s expertise and that of multiple lawyers at a fraction of what lawyers normally charge.
I’m American, can I use these contracts?
The Secure Startup was created in response to client after client sharing their frustration at the multitude of resources available for American entrepreneurs while little was made specifically for Canadians. So, the short answer is, while you’re free to use these templates, they were created by a Canadian lawyer for Canadian entrepreneurs.
I’m not good at legal stuff. How will I navigate a contract?
We’ve provided tons of resources to help you create a contract that fits your unique business. There are customization tips for every template as well as guides for each industry we cover to help you think about what your business needs and we’ll tell you exactly how to customize it for your business. These are not one-size-fits-all templates and we give you guidance, in plain English, on how to make them yours.
We really hope you don’t get that far! Each of our templates includes a dispute resolution clause which requires the parties to try to first resolve the dispute without resorting to the court.
That said, if you were to get to litigation, the most important thing to have at your disposal is a clear, unambiguous list of what your rights and responsibilities and those of the other party are or were.
Our templates provide that, plus the necessary language around dispute resolution and the things that make a contract legally sound.
These are things like:
Where a dispute will be negotiated, or litigated, if it comes to that including what law governs the contract;
What your termination policy is, and how that will be enforced (the template allows you to choose, with suggested language); and
The fact that this contract is your full and final agreement — you’re not left to hunt around your text messages and emails to figure out what you agreed to
What if my client has questions about my contract template or wants something modified?
This happens on occasion so I’ve created guides that walk you through your template so you can explain your contract. Should you be presented with revised version of your contract by the other parties legal counsel, or you need more customization, we recommend that you have your agreement reviewed by a licensed lawyer.
How do I get my contract templates?
Each template can be downloaded immediately for you to just fill in and go! You’ll also receive guides that will walk you through how to get the most of your template.
Can I share my template with friends or colleagues?
The short answer is NO. The long answer is: just like I’m helping you to protect your intellectual property, I’d appreciate it if you’d protect mine too. These bundles offer incredible value at a steal, so if you think the templates are great for your entrepreneurial friends, refer them to The Secure Startup and spread some legal joy!
What do I need to do after I download my template?
You’ll get a guide with your bundle package that shows you how to use your templates and make them work for you! All you need to do is fill in the blanks, use the customization tips to make it truly yours and send them to your client for their signature.
I want to add my branding to my contract… can I use your templates?
YES! You can make your contract your own by adding your own branding (and I encourage you to do this).
What’s your refund policy?
The Secure Startup exists to protect your business and to give you the foundation you need to grow with confidence. If you’ve read the guides, followed the customization tips and are still not happy with your bundle (or any part of it), we’ll work with you until you are, even if it means a full refund subject to the following conditions:
Deadline to apply for a refund. To be eligible for a refund you must submit your request within 2 weeks of your purchase of the template.
Completed Contracts. We’ll ask for the completed contract(s) (to make sure you gave it the old college try) and for an explanation of why you’re not happy with the product.
Company Discretion. After you submit your materials, all refunds are within our sole discretion as to whether to grant or deny the refund request.
Please do not purchase our templates if you just want to “check them out.” We put an extraordinary amount of time and effort into our guides and templates, and we expect you to do the same. This is for serious bosses only.
I am a health care professional, but not a Naturopath. What bundle should I buy?
If you are a registered health care professional in Ontario (i.e. Psychologist, Dietician, Physiotherapist, Social Worker, etc.) you may purchase the naturopath bundle and replace any reference to NDs with your own profession. The Naturopath bundle includes a coaching agreement that clearly indicates that you are not acting in a >insert your registered profession here< capacity, which support the compliance required for those of you that are offering a coaching program as a separate service.
When customizing the Naturopath bundle to suit your regulated profession's needs, you can reach out to your regulatory college to ensure that you are familiar with the requirements. Additional recommendations and review can be provided for you by licensed lawyer if you are still unsure; we recommend a Strategic Consultation at Henry Business Law, of course! If you are a regulated professional outside of Ontario (excluding QC), we highly recommend this route.
If you are a non-regulated or an alternative health care professional, (i.e. personal trainer, nutritionist, health and wellness coach, location consultant, etc.) you are best suited to the Coaches and Consultants bundle as it contains medical disclaimer language that supports non-regulated professionals.
I am a Naturopath, but I am starting a coaching program. What bundle should I buy?
The Naturopath bundle includes a coaching agreement that clearly indicates that you are not acting in an ND capacity, which supports the compliance required of you when offering a coaching program as a separate service.
I am a Canadian-based Consultant, but I want to open my program to other countries. Will these templates work for me?
If your business is based in Canada, and your client signs your drafted for Canadian business law contract from The Secure Startup, they will be held to the agreement as the laws in Canada require.
Where do I go if I have another question that’s not listed here?
If you have a question that’s not mentioned here, you can get support via email at [email protected]
The Fine Print
This website, www.thesecurestartup.ca, and all content appearing on any of its pages is owned by The Secure Startup Inc. and is not a law firm. While the founder of The Secure Startup is a licensed lawyer in the Province of Ontario, nothing on this website is legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by accessing any of the content on this website or by purchasing or viewing a contract template or guide. If you have a specific problem and need legal advice, you should contact a licensed lawyer.