What's a Master Services Agreement?


What is an MSA and why do you need one?

For any long-term partnership between a company and a vendor, a Master Services Agreement (MSA) is a critical document meant to serve as the overall governing contract between parties when you are running an influencer campaign. It establishes the legal terms between parties upfront so they can continue a harmonious relationship without a bulky contract every time they choose to engage in a project. Good partnerships are key when it comes to running successful campaigns!

A few things to know about an MSA and why they are important to running a successful influencer campaign…

Saves time and money!

When businesses spend time creating a contract, it can be a lengthy and expensive process. An MSA allows you to agree to the main points upfront, thus speeding up the negotiation process on future projects.

Offers Protection!

An MSA is a great jumping off point for any long-term business relationship. When one party does not live up to work standards, it creates a source of conflict. Putting an agreement in place to safeguard each party in the case of a dispute, helps to decide who is at fault. It makes the two parties less likely to take a dispute to court.

Makes Renewals Easier!

MSAs can take a bit longer to initially negotiate with all the legal language, but in the long run they may prove to be easier to renew, renegotiate and amend.

For the purposes of working together with Blogist, a standard MSA might include these key components:

  • Confidentiality: The parties to the agreement can agree they will not share any company secrets with outside parties.
  • Indemnity: Client and Vendor shall hold each other harmless.
  • Intellectual property: The MSA can cover intellectual property rights.
  • Liability: This contract should list which party is responsible in the event of a lawsuit should an incident occur. The MSA should state which party will assume the risk.
  • Method of Performing Services: Define what each party considers acceptable work. Clear expectations included in the MSA can help avoid future disputes.
  • NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  • Non-Exclusivity: The relationship created shall be non-exclusive and either party may enter into similar relationships with other persons or entities. However, there may be a case for exclusivity for a period of time. Any fees and length of time associated with that will be outlined in individual SOWs on future projects.
  • Invoicing and Payment: When working with Blogist, our MSA should state the payment schedule. Who is paying, when they will pay, and how often they will pay.
  • Services: Services and creative deliverables described in written SOWs
  • Statement of Work: The MSA should govern each SOW.
  • Subcontracted Services: Onboarding Influencer Talent
  • Term: When the term of the MSA commences
  • Termination: Period of time each party can terminate the MSA  in writing
  • Venue of law: The location where a legal resolution will occur, for example, arbitration, a specific state, or federal court.

In the end, a MSA is the foundation for a good business relationship. It is the time for both parties to lay the groundwork with their key terms and conditions, and the best time to negotiate in your company’s best interest. MSAs enable each party to move quickly on future projects within an ever-changing business climate.

If you are looking to run a turnkey, impactful influencer campaign, reach out to our team here at Blogist! We are here to make sure your team can see the impact working with the right influencers can drive for your bottom line!

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