Believe it or not, there’s a lot of confusion as to when you should have a written affiliate program agreement as part of your website legal protection.
Related Article: 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents
Many website owners confuse a program agreement with affiliate compensation disclosure or mistakenly believe they need an affiliate program agreement when they are marketing on their website as an affiliate for someone else’s products/services.
Do you run an affiliate program for your own products and services?
You’ll want to have an affiliate agreement on your site if you’re running an affiliate program, that is, you’re having others promote your products and/or services as an affiliate in exchange for compensation (such as an affiliate commission).
What is an affiliate compensation disclosure?
In contrast, an affiliate compensation disclosure is legal language that discloses your affiliate status (a “material connection”) when you’re marketing others’ products and services.
Related Article: 5 Business Website Disclosures And Disclaimers
Purpose of an affiliate program agreement
Getting back to the affiliate program agreement…its purpose is to state the respective rights and responsibilities of you as the program operator and your affiliates. Done correctly, it can minimize your risk of getting defrauded, sued, or even investigated by the government because of affiliate marketing misconduct.
Perhaps even more importantly, an affiliate program agreement can help you protect your online reputation.
How? By setting reasonable boundaries on the type of marketing that can be done by your affiliates, you’re maintaining your good name. After all, as your representatives, your affiliates have the ability to make or break your Internet reputation.
Where do you get an affiliate program agreement?
The logical place to start is a consultation with a qualified Internet lawyer.
Of course, if you cannot afford to pay an attorney, an affordable alternative are the professional grade website legal forms written by Internet Lawyer Mike Young and generated by Website Legal Forms Generator software. The forms include an affiliate agreement for affiliate program operators.