Which minimum requirements we should specify with contractor?

Hi,

[Background Info] We are a start-up company which works on orgainising both physical and online, live, real-estate auctions. For this purpose, we need a website which will allow us to announce, to advertise and to coordinate live online auctions. Unfortunately we are new to the internet so we need a contractor who can lead our project and give some consultancy to us.

At the end of the job, we must have a well designed, complete website with proffessional branding. We see branding, design and software as a whole. So the contractor that we seek, should be able to help and guide us on all these 3 fields.

We are searching for a long-term, proffessional business relationship. We are ready to pay for quality.

[Question] As you know there are lots of scammers on the market and it is hard to trust anybody. Additionally, we do not want some unexpected fees or surprises after signing the contract. At this point we need your help. Which minimum requirements we should strictly specify?

Please help, we are alien to technical web development.

Please help guys.

One of the important things to consider in the contract is ownership rights. By default the programmer has an automatic copyright to the code in the United States. You will want to make sure the contract specifies exactly your level of ownership, whether it be exclusive or non exclusive use and whether you can sell the application.

You will also want to specify milestones in the project. It is pretty standard for the developer to get a 50% deposit up front to start on the project and then final payment before actually delivering the files. You should expect deliverables at each Milestone once you have paid for that portion of the work.

The developer should put a version of each milestone online for you to review, test, and approve in writing before moving on to the next phase.

As far as scammers, you can alleviate that concern by checking on references. Any developer that has been in business for any length of time will have references that you can follow up on.

The contract should also specify the rate at which the work will be performed and any conditions that will alter that rate if any.

Be sure and include details on how disputes will be resolved. It is generally agreed to that it will be done by arbitration.

There should also be details on how long bug fixes will be provided as well as defining exactly what constitutes a bug.

It would also be very wise to have your lawyer review the contract before signing it.

There is more, but this should give you some things to think about.

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