10 Questions to Ask Before Licensing Your Program

Once you have several products or services that are selling quite well, your customer will begin to ask if you will permit others to use your product as the basis for training that they are doing. Or, if you are doing training or consulting, you may be asked if you’ll train others to be a trainer using your system.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to consider licensing your content or program. You’ve only got so many hours in the day, and if you have others delivering your content and/or requiring the purchase of your materials, your business will grow exponentially as a result.

Here are some issues to think about as you consider licensing your content to others:

1. What will you charge for a licensing fee? Will it be a one-time fee or something that has to be renewed periodically, like on an annual basis? Or, do you base it on a percentage of sales?

2. Will you charge a royalty for each product sold or per participant in a training session? What systems do you need to put into place to ensure that you are being compensated appropriately for each sale? Does the fee increase when the sales volume hits a certain level?

3. Is the licensing exclusive, i.e. pertinent to a particular project only, or can it be used at the licensee’s discretion?

4. How will you ensure that your content is being delivered appropriately? Do you require each licensee to go through training? Is that an additional fee that you charge, or is that a part of the initial licensing package?

5. What are the requirements for your licensees to purchase any materials for a licensed training (CD programs, ebooks, etc.) through you, or if the materials are available through other sales outlets, can the materials be purchased elsewhere? Do you offer the materials to them at a discounted rate?

6. Can your licensees modify or alter your program or content in any way to fit the needs of various target markets? If so, what are the parameters for doing so? Does the modification need your approval?

7. Can your licensees adopt any part of the name of your licensed product into their business name in any way, or into a domain name for a website?

8. In what ways do your licensees have to display your logo, trademark info, or contact information for any products or training they license from you? What are the standards for usage of such information?

9. What are the grounds for terminating a licensing agreement?

10. What actions must be taken by both you and the licensee in the event a license is terminated?

In the process of drafting your licensing agreement, I would strongly encourage you to hire an intellectual property attorney who has experience in licensing products or programs. S/he will tell you where the holes are in your agreement, and make suggestions for other issues you need to consider.

Licensing your programs or products is a great way to get the word out about what you do, and have others (your licensees) pay you for the privilege of distributing your info around the globe. Take a look at your products and services with a discerning eye. Which of them could you license to others today?

Copyright (c) 2007 Donna Gunter