Every Virtual Assistant needs to have legal contracts so they don’t get sued or screwed. Clients expect you to have them and they’re there to give both you and your clients peace of mind if it all goes south. It may start out all rainbows and fairies but client relationships can sour – and you do not want to find yourself stark naked without a contract!
During a trip to Gran Canaria, I met a Swedish woman called Janet Alexandersson at a co-working event. When I discovered that Janet was a freelance lawyer who specialises in international contracts, I asked if she could work with me and some experienced VAs to create legal contracts and policies that were 100% tailored to the specific needs of Virtual Assistants.
The legal docs Janet created are:
- A Freelancer Agreement and T&Cs. This 4-doc bundle also includes a contract negotiation guide, a contract termination template, and IR35 guidelines for UK VAs who are Limited Companies.
- A Data Processing Agreement. You need a DPA if you’re processing personal data for a client – so even if you have the ability to log in and see your client’s address book, mailing list, social media accounts or the back-end of their website then you should get this.
- An Associate Agreement. VAs who outsource work to other VAs need a contract and a Data Processing Agreement. This 3-doc bundle also includes a contract termination template and IR35 guidelines for UK VAs who are Limited Companies.
- A Data Breach Notification template. In the unfortunate event that personal data that you (or your client) holds is compromised in a data breach, in accordance with GDPR you need to notify the ICO and provide details of the incident.
All these legal documents comply with all GDPR regulations and are fully customisable and brandable.
Because it’s all too easy to become confused around this area, Janet and I set up a call to answer some of your most-asked questions.
These are the questions I asked Janet:
- What legal documents do Virtual Assistants actually need?
- What is a Data Processing Agreement, do all VAs need one, why do they need one and when should they use it?
- Are you still covered if your client doesn’t sign your Data Processing Agreement and how do you get them to sign? (We talked a lot about the DPA!)
- What sort of Third Party information would a VA need to add to their website policies and where do they find it?
- Can a VA also use their own website policies for their clients?
- What information do I put in the section about insurance in my freelancer contract?
- Should you have a GDPR-compliant email footer?
- I have some clients that are not doing anything about GDPR. Will the freelancer contract cover me if I continue working with them or do I need to add anything that says that I am compliant but their stuff is up to them to sort out?
- There’s so much contradicting information around GDPR, is everyone completely over-thinking it and how will it affect VAs in particular?
Here is Janet’s advice:
- You can buy legal VA legal policies and contract here. You can customise them and add your own branding for no extra cost and any legal docs bought through my site are updated and resent to buyers free of charge any time the law changes.
- Although the freelancer contract bundles comes with a 4-page negotiation advice doc, Janet has provided some additional negotiation advice here in this short video. I have to say, the information is gold dust and not only explains how to adapt your contract to fit each individual client relationship, but how to use other factors as bargaining chips.
- Read my post on what every Virtual Assistant needs to know about GDPR to learn more about GDPR and how EU data protection laws impact the way you and your clients work together,