When you buy a website, your purchase agreement should contain important legal provisions to protect you.
As a preliminary matter, the contract should be in writing to prevent misunderstandings between you and the seller.
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And if something goes wrong in the transaction, you’ll want your legal rights spelled out in a document rather than relying upon conflicting memories as to what was agreed upon.
Who should draft your website purchase agreement?
Ideally, you’ll want the contract created by your Internet lawyer so that it primarily reflects your needs rather than the seller’s agenda.
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Why? If you rely upon the seller’s attorney to draft the agreement, you can be sure it will be written in such a way as to favor the seller instead of you. If revisions need to be made as part of negotiation, it’s better to start with a draft that protects you as much as possible rather than the seller’s interests.
Here are important issues when you buy a website
When discussing with your Internet attorney what you want in the deal, here are some important issues that you will want to consider…
- Will you purchase the website’s assets (including the domain name registration), or are you going to purchase equity of the seller’s company that owns the assets?
- How do you plan to pay the purchase price to the seller? For example, will you pay the total purchase price in a lump sum or in a series of payments?
- Just because a website has content on it doesn’t mean the seller owns that content. You will want to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying (photos, text, software, videos, etc.) and whether the seller even has an ownership interest that can be sold.
For example, if you’re buying a website’s assets, in some cases, the stock photos used on the site would require you to pay money to the stock photography company for a new license instead of paying the website seller who doesn’t own the photos but has been using them under a license.
- Do you want the seller to stay on for a period of time as a consultant to make sure the transition of ownership is smooth? Will you pay the seller for the consulting work separately or will that be part of the purchase price?
- How will you handle any problems with the seller that you can’t solve amicably? Do you want an formal alternative dispute resolution process instead of going to court? Or would you prefer to skip mediation and arbitration and file a lawsuit instead?
Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to these questions because every deal is unique and so are your particular needs for business and website legal protection.
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Just work with your Internet business attorney to make sure that your website purchase agreement is designed to reflect what you want out of the deal that’s acceptable to the seller.
Are you ready to buy a website? Then now’s the time to set up a telephone consultation with Internet Lawyer Mike Young.