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Software Development Master Services Agreement: When To Use One

software development master services agreementA software development master services agreement is often longer and more complex than your standard app development contract. However, it does serve an important role for protecting your legal rights whether you’re a developer or the client…and saves you time in the process.

What’s The Difference Between A Master Agreement And A Standard App Dev Contract?

A standard app dev agreement focuses on a single project. The statement of work (or scope of work) for the app being developed is usually attached as an exhibit (or schedule) to the contract.

In contrast, a software development master services agreement is the framework you use for an ongoing relationship between the parties for development of multiple apps (and frequently includes software maintenance).

This master agreement contains the essential terms you want to cover all of the apps being developed over a period of time (often a year or more).

Related Article: Keys To A Successful Mobile App Development Agreement

Along with the master services contract, there will be additional agreements for each app development project known as “work orders.” The initial work order for the first software to be created under the agreement is usually attached as an exhibit to the master services agreement.

Each work order covers the scope of work for one particular software development project. However, it references back to the master services contract that contains key terms that the parties have agreed to that apply to all projects.

Of course, a work order also has to flexibility to make exceptions to certain provisions in the master agreement to reflect unique needs for that particular project.

Related Article: Software Development – Who Really Owns A New App?

What if you need to modify something on a particular project after the work order has been signed by the parties? The master agreement should authorize such changes to occur if both parties executed a written “change order” that reflects the modifications.

Whether you’re the app developer or the client, it’s important not to take the other party’s master services agreement (or even standard app development contract) at face value and sign without having it reviewed by your own legal counsel. The standard terms and conditions of such an agreement are often written to favor the party who paid to have it created by an experienced software attorney.

Where Do You Get A Software Development Master Services Agreement?

Software Lawyer Mike Young prepares this type of app contract and other software agreements. To learn more, check out the Software Development Legal Protection Package.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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