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In this podcast episode I’m interviewing Riz Macdonald! She is the owner of a company called Foundd Legal that helps people like us, creatives, designers and makers, stay legal & protect our businesses. Now this is something I know nothing about so I was so excited to be able to pick Riz’s brain for you guys. In this episode we talk about contracts, when to use them and who with & other important legal stuff. Riz breaks down everything into simple language, which I really appreciate. Let’s get into the juicy details in the episode!

ABOUT RIZ

If you had listened to this episode you will notice Riz has a bit of an unusual accent. Growing up in Wales, she then moved to Scotland after marrying a Scottish man. Together they then moved to Australia where they’ve been living the last 12 years. So she has a nice mix of those three accents. It’s quite unique! It was in Scotland where Riz completed her law degree and went on to gain 16 years experience in the industry. 

While on maternity leave, RIz started up an ecommerce version of her husband’s business, selling the products he offered online. The project was he baby. While starting this little business, she made a lot of mistakes but also learnt so much from them. This got Riz thinking. How many other people were in a similar boat to her? How many people are out there trying to start a business but don’t know what they need to know? She had her legal background to back her up, but there are so many people who might not have the same skills as her. It was from this idea and wanting to help others that Riz started her business Foundd Legal. Foundd Legal is all about providing affordable and practical legal services for creatives and start ups.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

A contract sets out the promises two parties are making to each other. It includes a promise, an offer and an acceptance. It is a really important document that indicates what is expected of each party, who is responsible for what, and what the rights are of each party.

There are a couple of reasons a contract/ service agreement is important. First of all, it makes you look more professional. It also addresses things such as payment terms, terms regarding delivery, what happens if one party wants to terminate the working relationship etc. Providing clarity about those kinds of things makes for a much smoother working relationship

So what about doing business with friends you might ask? Do you still need a contract when working with someone you trust? Riz actually made a post on Instagram about this which you can find here. She recommends you still use a contract and here is why. If you have a friendship outside of your work relationship, there is more at stake. If you want to keep a good friendship outside of work, it is really important to set out the terms of your agreement. It is fine if you want to give them a discount of pricing or something else like that, but using a contract is not something that should be skipped over.

Have you ever thought about whether you can just write your own contracts? While it may save you a little money, Riz thinks it is still really important to either buy a template from a lawyer or have them create a custom contract for you. Everyone has their own area of expertise, but they also have areas where their knowledge may be lacking. If law and all things legal isn’t something you’re familiar with, it is important to invest in having it professionally made.

If like me, you collect email addresses in exchange for a freebie (lead magnet)here are a few quick tips from Riz to ensure you stay legal. According to the Spam Act 2003, there are three things that you need. That is consent, ability for clients to identify you and ability for them also to be able to unsubscribe. When they provide their email, clients must give their consent and be aware that they are not only signing up for freebie but also for future marketing from you. Then, when you send them an email they must be able to identify who you are (who the email has come from). There also needs to be an option for them to unsubscribe from your email list. Ensuring you have consent, identification and a place for clients to unsubscribe are the basics you need to stay legal.

Two awesome marketing programs Riz recommends are Mailchimp and Active Campaign. They have minimum requirements in place when you use their site to ensure that what you send out for marketing purposes is compliant with the Spam Act 2003.

All online businesses take some sort of information from visitors to their website so it is a legal requirement they have a privacy policy. Having a privacy policy informs people what information you’re taking, what you do with the information and what happens with it after they unsubscribe. They should be as friendly and easy to read as possible. Privacy policies are also really good in that they help to create a transparent environment and make clients feel confident about what happens with their information.

Following along from privacy policies come terms and conditions. Having terms and conditions on your website is not a legal requirement, but is highly recommended by Riz. It sets out the rights and responsibilities for anyone using the website, virtually forming a contract between the website and the user. It also sets out what can and can’t be done with content on the website, helping to protect your intellectual property. It can incorporate things like your privacy policy, cancellation policy etc. Again, this helps to provide customers with transparency and builds trust.

MAKE IT HAPPEN

Riz’s one takeaway tip from this episode would be if you don’t already have contracts in your business, to go and have some made. It isn’t very common for problems to arise in your business, but when they do, having a contract will help make things so much easier. It is particularly important for startups and small businesses. Having a contract is a really simple way to keep your intellectual property safe.

If you don’t know where to start with a contract or are wanting to purchase a template, Riz’s website www.founddlegal.com is the best place to go. She not only sells legal templates but also offers free, 20 minute consultation calls. How awesome is that! There are no obligations attached to having a consultation with her. Some people like to purchase a template first then use the 20 minute call to go through it all. But, all her templates do come with user guides to make it as simple as possible. So head over to her website or her Instagram @founddlegal to schedule a time to call with Riz.

WHERE TO FIND RIZ

To connect with Riz and find out more about Foundd Legal, head on over to her website or Instagram.

LINKS IN THIS EPISODE

> Foundd Legal website

> Foundd Legal Instagram

> Riz’s Instagram post about using contracts with friends

> Mailchimp

> Active Champaign

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