Before You Sell Your Website: Part 1 of 2
Hopefully, these documents also contain the following two essential clauses:
--An "assignment of rights" clause by which third parties assign all of their intellectual property rights, such as copyright, to you when they interact with your website.
--A "successors and assigns" clause allowing you to transfer your users' rights to a third party without their consent.
If you do not have legal documents posted on your website, or if your documents do not contain either or both clauses, then you will have to obtain signed "Assignment of Intellectual Property Rights" agreements from each and every person who has contributed content, software or other stuff that appears on the website.
Make Sure All Licensed Software Is Transferable. If you have licensed software (other than open-source software) from other software developers, make sure you have a nonexclusive, transferable license to use the software and transfer it to others.
If you are using open-source software, such as WordPress, for your site, find out which license you signed up for and be prepared to disclose that information to the buyer so she can determine whether there will be any impact on her own proprietary software products (if any).
Consider an Escrow Arrangement. Companies such as escrow.com offer domain-name escrow agent services to website owners (www.escrow.com/domain-name-holding). Putting your domain name(s) into escrow with such a service will make it much easier to transfer the domain names when the sale takes place. The agent will also insist on escrowing the purchase price so that when the transfer takes place, you get your money at the same time.
More next week ...
Cliff Ennico (email@example.com) is a syndicated columnist, author and former host of the PBS television series "Money Hunt." This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state. To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our webpage at www.creators.com.