It’s a new year. That means its time to take stock of all the things you didn’t do last year and mean to do this year. Here’s our list of items that every Agency should consider checking in on annually:

  • Service Agreements and SOWs. We recommend that agencies give their service agreement and SOWs an annual tune-up to reflect changes in business conditions, client mix, typical project scope, pricing, and risks. Many are predicting a slow-down for creative and agency work in the coming year or two. And the contract terms you offered when times were good may not be a good fit for when times are lean. Address changes in the economy and your business with an annual update of your contract documents. Want to make a habit of it? Our Contract Monitor service can help with that.
  • Partnership Agreement. An owner agreement is not a one and done” contract. It should be periodically reviewed and updated as business and owner goals change. If your owner agreement hasn’t been reviewed in a while, time to dust it off and make sure it reflects current ownership, business goals, buyout mechanics, and related provisions. Don’t have an owner agreement you say? This is Priority One for your 2020 legal to-do list.
  • Employment Documents. January 1 is often when new state and federal employment laws take effect. This is a good time to check in with counsel about whether you need any updates to your offer letters, employment agreements, and employee handbooks. You should also review your employee census to make sure you are properly categorizing employees as exempt v non-exempt in light of updates to the overtime rules. Even setting aside legal changes, an Agency should update employment-related templates every couple years.
  • Contractor Agreements. Like many corporate agreements, contractor agreements deserve periodic review. Notably, California’s Assembly Bill 5 has dramatically changed the independent contractor landscape. If you operate in California or engage California contractors, you should consult with your advisors about how this bill may affect you. Outside of California, other states are considering or have adopted rules similar to AB5 affecting gig economy and use of freelancers. Best get updated on what’s new.
  • Service Agreements and SOWs. We recommend that agencies give their service agreement and SOWs an annual tune-up to reflect changes in business conditions, client mix, typical project scope, pricing, and risks. Many are predicting a slow-down for creative and agency work in the coming year or two. And the contract terms you offered when times were good may not be a good fit for when times are lean. Address changes in the economy and your business with an annual update of your contract documents. Want to make a habit of it? Our Contract Monitor service can help with that.
  • Corporate Status. Every state requires that corporations and LLCs file an annual report of some sort to keep their entity registration up to date. We routinely see businesses that have accidentally let this filing lapse. Check with the secretary of state to make sure you are current on your corporate filings. If you need help keeping up with your corporate paperwork, our Corporate Monitor service may be of assistance.
  • Corporate Paperwork. Your corporation or LLC may need annual minutes or paperwork to reflect recent corporate transactions. First of the year is a good time for this corporate housekeeping and catch up on things you may have missed last year (or the last few years). Our Corporate Monitor service can help with this too.
  • Privacy and Data Handling. January 1, 2020 also saw the rollout of California’s landmark data handling and privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act. Agencies in California or with clients in California that collect data or manage campaigns for clients may be subject to this law. Certain exemptions under the law may require you to add new provisions to your services agreement. Check with your advisor about things you need to know.

Interested in how a law firm specializing in creative agencies can help you? Give us a ring.