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We split the cost of an ecommerce site package, but have decided not to be partners.

Originally we were going to form an LLP, but have since decided that goals are different. How should we proceed from here? Still friends, we would both like to use the software and create our own sites. The hosting company will list us both as owners and each site hosted can be a separate account. Do we need to write up a contract between ourselves? Help! Neither of us would like to buy the other out and it does seem silly to pay these people twice for the same product when the first package can be used for an unlimited number of sites. We are just not sure how to avoid inadvertently creating a new
Nina Kaufman answered September 12, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/221636
If the software license was purchased for one user (the company), having the two of you share it for your individual ventures is probably a violation of your software license agreement.

You may think it's silly to "pay the people twice," but you would be engaging in copyright infringement if you don't. Either buy another software package (and both of you can split that cost, assuming you split the cost of the first one), or see if there might be a less expensive option of getting an additional license associated with the software.

But in the latter case, you would want to have an agreement between the two partners as to how you are disposing of the assets of the business (including the software). Otherwise, you run the risk that if your relationship cools, you will start to fight over assets.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.