A software support contract is a legal agreement used between parties offering and receiving computer software support. Typical details it will cover will include the obligations of the customer service provider to the customer, the obligations of the customer to the service provider, how payment will be handled, warranty information, and legal liability. In the broadest sense then it is little different from many other business contracts you are likely to encounter.

Software Support Contract Format

After identifying the names of the parties involved in the contract and the date the agreement is being made, a typical software support contract might follow the following format:

  1. Term. This section will state when the contract will begin and when the contract will end, or if it will be an ongoing contract.
  2. Granted Access. This section will state to what software, computers, and facilities the service provider may have access to in order to carry out the terms of the contract.
  3. Proprietary Rights. This section will state how the service provider will handle information found on the customer’s computers. This section may have language forbidding the modification, distribution, or deletion of such information without the customer’s consent.
  4. Modifications. This section will state how the service provider may modify the software being maintained in the contract. This could include updating the software to ensure its optimal operation. This section may also say who is responsible for any costs stemming from the modification of the software.
  5. Payment. This section will state how payment for services rendered will be made. It may also state how additional costs will be dealt with, whether a report of costs will be available, and how travel expenses (if any) will be handled. What consequences will stem from late payment or non-payment should also be covered.
  6. Material Cost and Expenses. This section will state who will be responsible for additional costs related to software maintenance. This could include postage fees, licenses, anti-virus software or services, and document filing fees.
  7. Taxes. This section will state who will be responsible for any taxes incurred in the process of completing the contract.
  8. Confidentiality. This section will prevent the service provider from disclosing any information deemed confidential by the customer. The language used here could broadly define , or it could be specific. How long the confidentiality will last after the contract is completed should also be stated.
  9. Software License Warranty. This section will detail how warranties will be handled for the software under contract. Replacement software and software purchased during the course of the agreement may be covered.
  10. General Warranty. This section will state what level of service the service provider is expected to provide. This section may indemnify the service provider for the effect of any acts made by the customer that affect the level of service.
  11. Termination. This section will state what events will bring about the . These could include failure to pay for services, failure to deliver services, and either party being forced to file for bankruptcy.
  12. Remedies. This section will state how either party may correct an event that would induce a contract termination before that termination takes place. There might be a requirement for notification in writing before a remedy can be attempted.
  13. Force Majeure. will state how the contract will be affected by events outside of the control of either party involved. Such events could include hurricanes, floods, tornados, or any natural and unnatural disasters.
  14. Arbitration. This section will state how conflicts due to breach of contract will be resolved. Where the will take place and whether that arbitration will be binding or non-binding are two issues for this section.
  15. Entirety. This section will state the bounds of the agreement at hand. What constitutes the entirety of the agreement and what the agreement may take precedence over will be stated here.
  16. Notice. This section will state how both parties are to be notified by each other for issues related to the execution of the contract.

After this, the contract will then end with a space for both parties to sign their name with the date of signing.

If you need help understanding issues relating to a software support contract, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.