Whether you’re building your brand or trying to expand your audience reach, tapping into a different business entity, influencer, or other influential figure is a sure way to gain attention from a diverse audience group and generate potential sales. The nature of this business relationship is called affiliation.
What happens if you don’t get paid your fee or what happens if the product is later returned? How long is the delay on payments? What if you have to hire a lawyer to enforce the agreement (who pays for the legal fees)?
These are simple things to address when you do it in the beginning. Download an affiliate agreement here to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion.
By definition, affiliation refers to a business or individual agreeing with another company or individual to promote their goods and services.
This arrangement allows a company to outsource certain marketing tasks, such as obtaining leads, to other entities in exchange for a commission on each sale made through the affiliating entity.
The success and security of your affiliate marketing lie in how you draft your affiliate agreement. Let’s explore the importance of this contract and how you can use an affiliate agreement template to ensure your security.
What Is an Affiliate Agreement?
An affiliate agreement is a legally binding contract between a company and its affiliated entity. This document outlines the terms and conditions of the agreement, including each party’s rights and obligations concerning the partnership.
The affiliate agreement also details how much commission will be paid for leads or sales made during the contract period, as well as other necessary information like the duration of the affiliation, payment schedules, etc.
By having a legal document in place, both entities can rest assured that they are protected in case of any issues or disputes arising from their relationship.
Why Are Affiliate Agreements Important?
As an official document, you can use the affiliate agreement as evidence to the court when legal action ensues. Here are other benefits of creating an affiliate agreement:
It Sets Your Responsibilities Straight
A clear and detailed agreement sets the terms of how you and your affiliates should work together. This will keep everyone accountable for their responsibilities and ensure that your brand’s reputation remains intact and your goals are met.
It Protects You From Uncalled Legal Actions
Affiliate agreements can protect you from any legal actions arising from disputes or breaches of contract. For example, suppose an affiliate posts misleading information about your brand on their website. In that case, the agreement should specify how to handle such situations and the potential consequences of breaching the contract.
It Ensures Fair Distribution of Commissions
The affiliate agreement does not only protect you as the provider, but it also protects your affiliates. This document should outline the commission payout percentage, terms, and conditions. It should also clarify when and how the affiliates will be paid for their services.
Why Should You Opt for an Affiliate Agreement Template?
Because of the intricacies of drafting a tailored affiliate agreement, many business owners, particularly small and medium businesses, neglect the use of affiliate agreements. Most often, they rely only on direct messages, emails, and verbal discussions to arrange the terms of the contract.
One efficient and practical way to overcome this challenge is using an affiliate agreement template. Most of the templates you can purchase online are reviewed by contract lawyers and can be personalized to suit your company’s needs.
Here are additional advantages of utilizing templates for your affiliate agreement:
Saves You Time From Drafting a New Agreement
An affiliate agreement template can save you a lot of time because the document is already formatted and pre-filled with relevant clauses. You don’t have to go through the trouble of contemplating and researching what you should put in your contract.
Creating an affiliate agreement might take you days or weeks to finalize. You can skip this tedious process and get the contract ready in minutes with an agreement template. All you have to do is revise a few clauses to align with your company’s policies.
Cut Down Expenses From Creating New Agreements
When you create an affiliate agreement, you’ll have to seek legal advice from a contract lawyer, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the terms and conditions. This process can be expensive, especially for small businesses. With an affiliate agreement template, you save yourself the legal fees and other costs associated with making a unique agreement.
Minimizes the Chances of Agreement Revisions
Drafting an affiliate agreement is only one part of the process. Once you have finalized the contents of your agreement, you need to share it with your affiliates and wait for their approval.
Sometimes, you might need to revise your agreement a few times until both parties agree on the contract.
Using a template reduces the chances of agreement revisions since legal professionals already review these templates. Moreover, its clauses are written in plain language that is easy to comprehend and prevents misunderstandings.
Standardizes All Your Agreement Formats
Another benefit of using an affiliate agreement template is that it helps standardize all your agreements. Critical legal documents must follow a specific outline, and each paper should appear consistent with the others.
This reduces confusion and potential errors, especially when dealing with multiple affiliate agreements. Your affiliates can quickly know what to expect from your contract, regardless of who they work with inside your company.
Using a template ensures that all your agreements are consistent throughout, as you only have to revise a few clauses to suit your needs with a specific affiliate.
Provides Flexibility for Different Uses
An inherent benefit of every templated contract is that you can easily modify it for different uses. You can quickly adjust the document with an affiliate agreement template for different cases, such as when working with influencers, individuals, or business entities.
Additionally, if you have several departments in your company, you can use the same template to accommodate all their affiliate agreement needs.
What Should an Affiliate Agreement Include?
The key to an effective affiliate agreement is specificity. As an affiliate marketer, you clearly and concisely outline both parties’ rights, duties, and obligations to ensure everyone is on the same page.
As a legal document, an affiliate agreement contains many sections and clauses. Here are some of the essential contents that should be included in an affiliate agreement:
The General Agreement Terms
This is the section where you include the general provisions, such as:
- Timing of payments
- Percent paid
- The language used
- The jurisdiction, venue, and choice of law
- The arbitration rule
- The liability
- “Force majeure” rule
This list only covers some possible clauses under general provisions, as there are many to choose from. You should include the ones most relevant to your business and affiliation relationship.
The Definition of “Affiliate” in the Program
It is important to define the terms used in the document, such as what constitutes an “affiliate.” This section should specify who is eligible for affiliation and how roles categorize them. It should also include the type of commission structure that applies to each category or position.
You can also include the rights and responsibilities of an “affiliate” in this section. This could involve their obligation to promote your brand, specific product, website links, etc.
The Nature of the Relationship Between Different Parties Involved
This is a critical section of an affiliate agreement, and it should detail the relationship between each party and what is expected of them. This part of the contract could include how the affiliation will be structured, the conditions of payment and termination, and other details related to the agreement.
The Licensing and Intellectual Property Rights
Including and specifying the license, trademark rights, and registered brand names in the agreement is also vital. This section should include who owns the intellectual property rights for any products or services offered under the affiliation contract.
This part of the affiliate agreement will also determine whether affiliates have permission to use any images or logos associated with your products and services during their marketing efforts on behalf of your company.
The Consequences of Defaulting in an Agreement
In rare cases, the affiliate might not be able to fulfill its obligations due to various circumstances. That is why it is crucial to include a clause that outlines the consequences of defaulting on an agreement.
This section typically includes conditions such as termination or suspension of the contract, payment terms, and any other penalties that might be applicable in case of default.
Affiliate agreements are essential in any successful affiliate marketing program. Using an affiliate agreement template is one of the best ways to save time and money, especially for businesses with limited financial resources and don’t have the time to create a new contract.
Templates are also an efficient way to standardize your agreement formats and provide the flexibility to accommodate different types of affiliates.
With an affiliate agreement template, you can quickly review your agreement’s contents and make a few adjustments to suit your business needs.
It’s easy for most people to dismiss the convenience and practicality offered by premade contracts. However, an affiliate agreement template can be a powerful tool to boost business efficiency and minimize legal errors at a fraction of the price.