How To Avoid Legal Risks When Developing A Business App.

Updated: Nov 10











If you are considering developing a business app, you are not alone. Many companies are beginning to realize the importance of having their own business app — whether it is your entire business model or merely a compliment to what you are already doing.

Still, there are certain challenges when it comes to the legal aspect of developing a business app. That’s why you need to understand what these are from the start so you can manage the obstacles and prevent your business from facing fines or lawsuits.

In this article, we will cover several legal aspects you must be aware of to plan your business app more effectively. Let’s get started:

Graphics

No modern business app would be complete without top-tier design assets such as high-quality graphics. However, you have to manage this part of your app creation carefully. If your designers are using copyrighted images or patterns, you are in danger of running into legal trouble.

Instead, task your app design team with coming up with innovative ideas that represent your brand without impeding on any copyrighted material. This will prevent copyright claims, court fees, and other legal issues from arising.

Even if you have to start from scratch, it’s less expensive than a court battle, or settlement, for that matter.

Code

Your code is another source of Intellectual Property (IP) that is essential to keep a close eye on. You need to make sure that your code is not stealing from other existing apps. A good way to borrow code without creating needless legal issues is to use open source platforms.

Encourage your developers to create unique code or borrow it from resources like GitHub. This is an open-source repository that allows the reuse of existing code. If you disregard this, your business app could be taken down and stop being available for download to your customers.

Data Security

Customers are more sensitive to their data than ever before. There have been several high profile breaches with customer information lately. Even large organizations with government-level security are not completely safe.

This means that you need to use the best encryption and data security policies available.


This includes preventing certain types of code from being able to execute within your business app without permission (JavaScript, HTML, and CSS are all at risk of being exploited).

In addition, each country and region has its own data privacy laws. For instance, the European Union is much stricter with the data businesses are allowed to collect on customers compared to the United States.

Terms and Conditions

Your app should have a terms and conditions page. This is crucial for the legal aspect of your business app. A terms and conditions page tells your customers what they can expect, what their rights are (or which ones they are waiving by using your app), and more.

You don’t have to make your terms and conditions page prominent. However, it should be accessible by navigating in a typical fashion, with a hyperlink or dedicated page to display it.

Privacy Policies

In addition to terms and conditions which describe the use of your business app, there is also the privacy policy. This tells your users whether you are collecting data and, if so, exactly what kind. It also explains if and how you will share that information.

Sharing user information without a clear privacy policy in place carries legal risks. You might be liable for a lawsuit, or a government customer-focused entity could notice and put you in their sights.

Disclaimers

Be careful of the types of claims that you make in your marketing on your business app. For instance, if you sell a certain product that claims to help someone increase their income, lose weight, or anything else, these claims need to be backed by proof.

In addition, sometimes you have to put a disclaimer even when you have testimonials. The disclaimer usually says something to the effect of “results are not typical.” The required language will change from industry to industry.

The important thing is to research what exactly you need to disclaim so you protect yourself from the start.

NDAs

One of the more significant challenges of developing an app is having your code or proprietary ideas fall into the wrong hands. To prevent this, you should always have an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) in place.

An NDA is, in essence, a confidentiality agreement. It means that the parties agree not to share specific information, such as unique technology or the algorithms used to create an app. This helps protect your business interests in a legally binding way.

A good agency, mobile app developer, or freelance programmer should guarantee the confidentiality of the project they are working on for you.

Make sure to properly research the agency or developer before making the final decision. Check out their previous projects and clients and reviews. That way, you can rest assured that your information is safe with them.

Conclusion

Developing a business app is an excellent way to get an edge over the competition in your market. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. To ensure that you are not taking any unnecessary legal risks, review the points above.

By having a smart plan and anticipating obstacles in advance, you can avoid putting your company in a position that takes months or years to overcome. That way, you can continue to grow your app and trust that it will meet your business and financial needs.


By Lisa Michaels. Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

Founded in 2013, Zegal is the fastest growing LegalTech company operating across Asia Pacific and Europe. Today, business users and lawyers across the globe trust Zegal’s software to solve legal problems in an affordable and efficient way.

Zegal is led by a talented team of 60 employees and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Zegal has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and Huffington Post, and was recently recognised in the South China Morning Post as an emerging LegalTech company in the artificial intelligence space.

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