Software development agreement

This software development agreement is easy and free to use. Under this agreement, the developer agrees to create software for the customer and to transfer the intellectual property rights in that software to the customer. The customer agrees to pay the developer and, where appropriate, to facilitate the provision of the development services.

The agreement may be used for contracts for the creation of almost any type of software, including application software (web, cloud, mobile or desktop), system software and individual software modules, packages and libraries.

The software development agreement will need to be adapted for your specific circumstances. We have provided guidance notes to make the adaptation process easy. Although the base terms and conditions are relatively balanced, they can be adapted to favour the interests of the developer or the customer.

If you are starting a new software development business or need a range of software-related legal documents, see our software developer packs.

*This software development agreement is free to use providing you keep the credit/attribution text. If you want to buy a licence to use this agreement without that text, click "Get a licence". This will take you over to On that website, you can purchase the basic version of the software development agreement, which is identical to this free agreement except that it does not include the credit/attribution text.

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More about this agreement

This is a free agreement, and relatively straightforward. However, it still covers the key matters in a little detail.

With reference to the development process, the agreement provides that customer must cooperate with the developer while the developer must keep the customer informed of progress. The developer undertakes to ensure that the source code for the software is written to a professional standard and in accordance with any coding standards documents agreed by the parties. The developer also undertakes to deliver the software in accordance with any timetable set out in the agreement.

All intellectual property rights in the software are to be assigned to the customer, excepting only those rights in third party works that are incorporated into the software. If you are looking for a software development agreement that provides for the retention of rights in framework software by the developer, see our premium software development agreement.

Charges may be based on an agreed fee or an hourly or daily rate.

Short-form boilerplate clauses are included, covering warranties, liability, termination, further assurance and other relevant matters.

Alternative software development contracts

In addition to this free document, we publish a range of software development-related legal agreement templates. These are published on both Website Contracts, which supplies downloadable MS Word templates, and on Docular, which incorporates an online editor and allows for downloads in a variety of formats.

Title Description Get the document on…
Assignment of rights in software A document covering one thing only: the transfer of rights in software. Get on Website Contracts Get on Docular
Software services agreement This contract may be used for less rigid software development arrangements, typically where the developer will charge the customer on the basis of time spent providing the services. Get on Website Contracts Get on Docular
Software development agreement A general-purpose software development agreement in basic, standard and premium forms. The basic version is equivalent to this free agreement, omitting the credit/attribution text. Get on Website Contracts Get on Docular
Software development, support and maintenance agreement Contractual documentation covering software development, support and maintenance services. Get on Website Contracts Get on Docular
Framework software development agreement This framework agreement has been designed to establish the general conditions under which a software developer will provide services, with the details of services and deliverables being set out statements of work periodically agreed by the parties. Get on Website Contracts Get on Docular

Both Website Contracts and Docular also feature a range of consultancy agreements, web design and development agreements and master services agreements.

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