Thoughts on Collaboration

March 15, 2018

A short summary of the most important takeaways from our seminar held at Somerset House on 15 February 2018

Develop negotiation skills:
It is always good to know your bottom line when you negotiate with a potential business partner and be prepared to walk away;

Decide on the value of your contribution:
Many creative people make the mistake of undervaluing their expertise; join a trade association if you need support or build a good network to ask for help;

Keep a record of negotiations:
Take detailed notes during telephone conversations and meetings. It will benefit you if a collaborator wants to go back on a promise you thought was already agreed.

Write up a final contract, ideally with the help of a legal professional:
Trust and confidence in your relationship with your collaboration partner are important but it should be underpinned by a written agreement that sets out:

  • duties and responsibilities of the partners;
  • the contributions of the partners to the project or joint venture and their value;
  • the intellectual assets contributed by the partners that are valuable for the collaboration;
  • decision making processes;
  • ownership of intellectual property created by the collaboration, e.g. copyright, design rights, trade marks, know-how;
  • what happens if a partner wants to leave the project or joint venture;
  • how and how much partners get paid;

Keep copies of the agreement:
You may need to refer to it in the future if a dispute arises. It’s part of keeping records of your negotiations;

If you are collaborating long-term, i.e. going into business with your collaboration partner, decide on the right structure for your business, i.e. company limited by shares; community interest company (social enterprise); charity or limited liability partnership.

Our next free professional skills training seminar for creative businesses at Somerset House will be about the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come into force on 25 May 2018. We will talk about what you as a business or sole trader need to know about it. The seminar will take place in April.

We have five places available for those that are interested to attend but are not residents of Somerset House. Watch this place for further information.
If you would like to talk to us about your partnership or joint venture agreement or what business structure is right for you please contact Joanna Stephenson, Partner, or call the office on +44 20 3701 7395.
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