There are always Must Have Clauses for Creative Businesses. In this blog I am going to be discussing which are the 5 Must Have Clauses for Creatives.

Being a Creative Business usually have a little different aspect to it than other businesses. Why am I saying this? Well, because most creative businesses solely rely on their creativity. Their uniqueness and intellectual property. This is what sets one creative graphic designer apart from another, so to speak. Or any other creative business for that matter.

All creative business contracts will have some standard clauses in. It doesn’t matter that you are a Graphic Designer, Event Planner or Social Media Manager. The terms in the clauses might differ somewhat but ultimately you need to make sure that you have these clauses in your contract.

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Side note…

This post is going to be dealing with the must have clauses. But it does not mean that having just these clauses are going to keep you covered for any and all type of situations. You would still have to make sure that the rest of the contract is in line with your business and South African Law. It is usually not enough to just have these clauses in. But it is a starting point.

5 Must Have Clauses for Creatives:

1. Intellectual Property Clause

You probably knew this one was going to be on the top of the list. Well, as I said – a Creatives’ Business is completely built around intellectual property. South African law allows for you to dictate in certain instances who will be owning the intellectual property. This is where you do need to look at an industry specific contract or discuss with your attorney. In some instances intellectual property can be given to the customer. A good example is when you are designing the logo of a company. They are going to want the right to reproduce the logo. Or what about social media managers. You will be posting your work on your client’s website.

This is why it is super important to have an industry specific contract and one that is tailored to what you need.

2. Obligations Clause

This is that clause where you say which obligations you have. Likewise which obligations your client has. This really needs to be as specific as possible. Because you are going to be setting the boundaries here. You can say what you are going to do as the service provider and what you won’t be doing. Also, what your client needs to do.

Good examples include where you are a social media manager and your client needs to give you content within a certain prior to posting. Or signing off on certain posts. This is a definite must have clause when it comes to setting the tone with your client.

This is also the clause that you are going to be referring to when your client is angry because they thought it was included.

3. Additional Charges Clause

A sneaky little clause, that everyone tends to forget about. I am sure you have all had that experience where those extra little charges end up costing you. The big thing about having a business is that you want to also make a living. It doesn’t help if have to keep on paying in. This is just going to reduce your profit margin.

Make sure you put in those little extra costs like petrol and travelling time. Additional consultations. Late or urgent posts. Rush orders. Courier costs. Late changes to guest lists.


4. Liability Clause

Always, always have this clause in your contract. You need to make sure that you are covered for the unforeseen circumstances. You cannot always predict certain things. But others you maybe have had previous experience with like the bride’s guests stealing the decor. Or your employee making a mistake.

There are quite a few things that can go wrong with any product or service in the whole world basically. You just need to make sure that you are covered. In this clause the force majeure clause will also play a role. Those unforeseen circumstances like Covid-19?


5. Breach and Cancellation Clauses

Your breach and cancellation clauses are crucial. It is impossible to do business and never come across a situation where your client wants to cancel or doesn’t pay. The Consumer Protection Act and Common Law will also be applicable. But it is possible for you and another party to contract and agree to certain terms. Such as the early cancellation penalty.

What is important is that you have this clause in there and have the right content underneath it as well. Notice periods and the legal terms that go with it.

5 Must have contract clauses summary

These clauses are only a guideline for you to make sure that you some of the important clauses in your contract. I would always suggest that you have an attorney approved industry specific contract. But if you already have a contract in place then this is a good starting point to make sure that you are covered. Again the content underneath the heading is just as important. Whatever you do – do not copy and paste a contract.