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Confidentiality Agreements: How to Use Them in Your Online Business

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer, Internet Lawyer

confidentiality agreementsThere are many online activities where it is a good idea to get signed confidentiality agreements in place. These include:

  • outsourcing work to a bookkeeper
  • software development
  • ghost writing
  • negotiating the purchase or sale of an Internet business

You will want to protect your trade secrets and other intellectual property at a minimum.

Related Article – How To Use A Non-Disparagement Clause To Protect Your Business

One of the important things to remember about confidentiality agreements is that they are designed to be a reminder to the parties who sign it. Equally important is to recognize that a dishonest person will sign a confidentiality agreement in a heartbeat without thinking twice about violating it.

In other words, choose who you do business with wisely.

“Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin

Important Confidentiality Provisions

The scope of your confidentiality agreement can be custom-tailored by your Internet lawyer to meet your business needs.

Related Article: Business Contracts – 5 Mistakes To Avoid As An Entrepreneur

Key issues to include in your agreement are…

1. What information must be kept confidential?
2. What information should not be treated as confidential?
3. Should the relationship between the parties be kept confidential?
4. Who must sign the confidentiality agreement?
5. Should copies of the confidentiality agreement be signed by employees and others who have access to the information?
6. What types of legal and equitable remedies do you want available if the confidentiality agreement is breached?
7. How will your confidential information be handled once your relationship with the other party terminates?

Is there a difference between confidentiality agreements and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs)?

As a practical matter these days, both confidentiality agreement and non-disclosure agreement are used interchangeably to describe the same type of legal document. No matter which way the contract is titled, the purpose remains the same.

If you have business information you need to protect, set up a telephone consultation with Internet Lawyer Mike Young to discuss the creation of a confidentiality agreement that’s right for you.



Why Use A Barter Agreement In Your Business?

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer

barter agreement for barteringA written barter agreement can help you get what you need to grow your business online and offline while at the same time protecting you from legal risks associated with doing deals.

Why Is It So Important To Have Your Barter Agreement In Writing?

As the saying goes, the palest ink is better than the sharpest memory.

Putting your barter deals in written contracts keeps you and the other party on the same page rather than creating confusion about who does what, when, and how.

Related Article: Business Contracts – Why You Should Avoid Email Deals

Technology Creates More Opportunities For Business Bartering

Bartering isn’t just something are ancestors did. Believe it or not, technology has made it that much easier to do barter deals than our great-grandparents could every have dreamed.


Instead of being confined to a local market, you now have the ability to trade goods and services with others globally.

Whether your business needs a new smart phone or Web design work, there’s someone in the world who is ready, willing, and able to make a barter deal with you.

5 Key Barter Contract Issues

Here are some of the issues you should consider when having your Internet business attorney create the barter contract you’ll use…

1. Will you barter in your individual capacity or on behalf of your business entity?

Related Article – Business Contract Signatures – 4 Mistakes To Avoid

2. Are you trading goods, services, or a combination of the two?

3. How will you use your barter agreement to reduce your legal risks if things go wrong?

4. What laws apply and how will dispute resolution occur if the other barterer becomes upset?

Related Article: Breach Of Contract – 5 Steps To Preventing A Costly Lawsuit

5. Will you do partial barter deals that involve cash, and if so, how will monetary payment occur as part of the trade?

How To Avoid Barter Contract Legal Dangers

Don’t steal someone else’s contract to use for your business.

Most of the barter contracts you find online were not created by a business lawyer but instead were pieced together by nonlawyers who didn’t know what they were doing.

In addition, using someone else’s barter contract without permission could expose you to liability for copyright infringement.

The best course of action is to invest in a customized barter agreement that reflects your online business needs. Check out our law firm’s Business Contract Legal Protection Package.

However, if you don’t have the budget to pay a qualified business attorney to prepare your contract, one affordable alternative is to use the professional grade barter agreement template available at

Don’t Be An Idiotpreneur

By Internet Lawyer

As an Internet lawyer, I look for lessons in the offline world that can be applied to your online business.

Today’s lesson is about an idiotpreneur profiled in a national newspaper as if she had done something smart.

Ms. Idiotpreneur’s business was going down the toilet. Blaming it on the economy, there were telltale signs throughout the article that the real problem was Ms. Idiotpreneur.

To cut expenses, she traded in her Mercedes for a “simpler” BMW. That’s denial.

Rather than collecting up front for her services or cutting off deadbeats, Ms. Idiotpreneur let 20 percent of her clients receive services and stiff her on the bills.

But what qualified this small business owner for the title “Idiotpreneur” was that she fired herself from her business, giving up her income from her own company, so that her 8 employees could keep their jobs! She took a job elsewhere earning a lot less so that her employees could suck her business dry.

The newspaper tried to spin this as something wonderful. You don’t need to be an Internet lawyer to understand how stupid her actions were.

Your online business is not a charity. It should deliver value to your clients. However, its primary reason for existence is to serve your needs by making a profit. Employees should be treated fairly but they are not “stakeholders” entitled to loot all the profits at your expense.

Downsizing yourself first to serve their needs is idiotpreneurship. And you can be sure that misplaced loyalty would not be reciprocated. If Ms. Idiopreneur had asked each employee to take a pay cut so she could still draw a salary for running the business, most would have quit without losing any sleep over the decision.

If your business becomes a cash cow for everyone except yourself, you have an expensive hobby that robs you of money and irreplaceable time.

To your online success!

-Mike the Internet lawyer

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Taking a resolution mulligan

By Internet Lawyer

The past year has been hell for many Internet marketers…bankruptcies, divorces (often triggered by debt), and even deaths in the family. I’ve seen all of these happen this year to clients and friends.

If you’ve hit some speed bumps in your business and personal life this year, how are you reacting to them?

Pretending they didn’t happen?
Accepting defeat?
Waiting for next year to create another set of New Year’s resolutions?

Why do any of these things?

In golf, a “mulligan” is a “do-over” when you hit the ball somewhere you wish you hadn’t. If this year hasn’t turned out the way you wanted in your online business, take a resolution mulligan now. Swing again. Be thankful that you can start over now.

You don’t have to beat yourself up or wait until January 1st. The police won’t come to your door and stop you from doing something right now to change where things are headed.

If Murphy’s Law has kicked you in the backside until now, consider the following.

  • You can learn what not to do in the future from going broke.
  • You are not what you own or what you do for a living.
  • The people you think are successful often aren’t no matter what yardstick you use to measure success.

Appreciate what you’ve learned in relationships that have now ended (by death, divorce, or otherwise). That’s a foundation for building newer and stronger relationships, often with people you haven’t even met yet.

To your happiness!


P.S. Make a commitment to spend the holidays with those closest to you. And be grateful you’re able to do it.

Internet Attorney: The eBook you should avoid

By Internet Lawyer

Internet attorney ebookUsing Amazon’s ‘Kindle for PC’ freebie app, I read eBooks while walking on my treadmill desk at home in the mornings before starting work as an Internet attorney. Unfortunately, eBooks are killing many Internet businesses before they get off the ground.

Here’s why…

There’s a myth that you can become successful online by writing and marketing an eBook. Writers spend months filling their eBooks with valuable information, getting the layout and eCover just right, and even hiring eBook mentors/coaches to walk them through the process.

Even three years ago when you could sell an eBook on ClickBank easily for 47 to 97 bucks, you still had to sell many copies to do well with it. Because of the recession, some bad eBooks that have been sold, and tech like the Kindle, the price of eBooks has dropped like a rock.

In fact, many Amazon negative client reviews are based upon publishers charging the same price for a Kindle edition as a paperback. Customers feel they’re being cheated paying the same for digital as dead tree (print) editions.

Use eBooks to build your credibility as an expert. Use eBooks as a front end product driving your clients into a profitable sales funnel of higher-priced goods and services on the back end.

But avoid building your online business based on an eBook as your primary source of revenue.

To your online success!

-Mike the Internet attorney

P.S. Part of protecting yourself when publishing an eBook or a PDF special report is to have the right legal disclaimers and disclosures in the documents so you can protect what you own and reduce your chances of getting in trouble with the government. To learn how to do this, go to