You order a mobile application or a website, or other project development from the company, fully believing that the final product will belong only to you.

But are you sure that this is true? Can developers retain or claim your product? If there are conflicts, who will be right and how to protect yourself and your rights? We are talking about this in our article.

What can happen

When you address professionals, everything usually goes without problems: outsourcing companies, as a rule, act honestly, and all processes are transparent. However, there are cases when developers can hold an application or a website. This can happen not only because of the dishonesty of the team— the reason may be disagreements during the project.

For the customer, this situation can turn into a real disaster: the money is paid, but there is no product. Or the developer has the only access to your application and can influence business processes. Sometimes the owner may be charged an additional fee for access, which is also unpleasant.

Fortunately, you can avoid such situations: it is important to immediately follow the rules that will help you control your project from the very beginning.

Five steps to your product safety

Protect yourself legally

Before working with a developer company, make sure that all intellectual property (IP), including the source code, will belong to you by law. Pay attention to all legal formalities.

The list of documents required:

  • registered patents and trademarks;
  • copyright;
  • non-disclosure Agreement (NDA);
  • a software development contract.

Developers protect themselves from customers who don't want to pay, so a fair agreement is a payment in exchange for intellectual property. The contract must clearly indicate the owner of the IP created during the project, as well as the requirements of both parties. By taking measures before the start of the project, the customer will protect his rights to own all intellectual property.

Get administrator access to your code

As with the legal ownership of your IP address, it is important to have administrator access to the repository with an updated version of your code. The various permission levels of the repository offer access to functions and tasks, and the administrator level allows you to manage a separate team and group access. If the developer gives you read-only access, it means that you can only view the site (and this is the lowest level of access).

The developer may not grant access at all or remove you from the repository if he wants to hide the code.

Insist on administrator access. It is better to get all the rights before starting development, but if you did not have time to do it right away, agree on access rights already during the process.

Tip: GitHub explains in detail each access level and recommendations about who needs and what permissions.

Request access to your accounts in the app stores and certificates

Often, development companies publish applications in the AppStore and Google Play through their account. There is nothing wrong with this, we at YuSMP Group sometimes do this ourselves if the customer does not have an account in the app stores, and there is some time still left. This way the product is released to the world faster, and all participants avoid long delays associated with the publication of software.

You can create your own account later, and the developer will be able to transfer ownership without losing any feedback.

Tip: use the instructions from Apple and Google Play to transfer the rights.

By the way, don't forget about the app store certificates. These certificates are used for distribution and sending to the app store, so they are confidential information related to your product. It is extremely important to have administrator access to these certificates to avoid any problems in the future.

Keep a list of all accounts

We recommend that you save accounts from all the services that the team works with on your project.

Keep a permanent list of accesses so that nothing is blocked for you.

Keep all the necessary documentation

The developer will most likely create a plan or guide for the stages of creating the application. Keep this information safe, especially in case you need to transfer project management to another team.

How to choose a developer

Before starting a project with a new developer, always carefully research the company or person if you decide to work with a freelancer. Ask for recommendations and talk to past clients to get a complete picture of the contractor.

Pay attention to the ratings, the company's website, and cases. YuSMP Group employs professionals who value their reputation. We work honestly and openly — we have no secrets from our customers, our clients are always maximally involved in the project.

If you still have any questions, do not hesitate to ask us. We are always glad to communicate!