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Company Policy, Procedures, Incorporation and Human Resources Materials

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Background Check Company Benefits Job Descriptions

Articles of Incorporation
Use this guide to prepare your articles of incorporation for your company. You can also have an attorney do this for you, but expect to pay about $300 or more for it. Type your information in the appropriate areas and have your attorney review it. The attorney may suggest changes or additions. Always consult with a professional before submitting your corporation papers.

Affirmative Action Candidate Survey
This document is used by management to assure that prospective employees have equal opportunities within the company such as: recruitment, selection, promotion, training, discipline and related employment areas.

Background Check
Use this form to have a prospective employee or contractor fill out for a background check to see if they have a criminal record.

Cease and Desist Letter
When a company or individual uses your artwork without permission, you need to immediately send them a cease and desist letter, telling them to stop all use of your artwork. It is also a good thing to get with an attorney at this point to see if you can claim damages against the party who has been using your artwork.

Commission / Referral Agreement
If you have a sales rep. or a person who sends a customer to you and is requesting a commission / referral fee, use this agreement to outline the terms and conditions of what will be paid and for how long.

Company Benefits and Employee Information
Use this document to outline your company's employee benefits such as: 401k, holiday schedule, sick time, vacation time and direct deposit information.

Confidential Policy
Use this policy with your employee manual. This policy restricts the employee from leaking important and confidential company information.

Conflicts of Interest Policy
All employees should be required not to involve themselves, their families or associates in anything including assets, businesses, liabilities, activities and / or relationships that could be in conflict with the Company or which might reflect adversely upon the Company.

Creative Services Internal Job Request
Use this form along with the Creative Services Policy and Process. Each department within a company, when needing creative work done, should fill out this Internal Job Request form. Once submitted to Creative Services, then the job will be logged.

Creative Services Policy and Process
This process is an example used for an 8-person internal art department for a 300-person corporation. Some of the processes may not apply to your company, but it gives you an idea of what could be done for organizational structure and dealing with internal clients and receiving jobs.

Credit Reference
Do you have a client that wants to pay on a 15, 30, or 60 day plan? If that is the case, then make sure you have them fill out a credit reference form. Then verify their information to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company. Keep in mind that even with good references, that does not mean they wont take advantage of you. I still recommend getting some sort of deposit before doing any work at all.

Designer Test
This is a basic test to be given to prospective new hires. Questions include print and Web knowledge. Use this test to determine if a possible new hire really knows what they are doing before they are hired.

Drugs / Prohibited Substance Policy
Commit your company to a safe and lawful working environment which is free of illegal drug use, alcohol abuse or abuse of other controlled substances.

Ecommerce Department Process
This form is used to show the process of an ecommerce department from initial meetings, creative approach, creative strategy, benchmarking, site planning, marketing and more. Each section shows who is responsible for what areas including production, systems and site launch.

Employee Attendance
Use this form to keep track of employee time off including sick days, vacation days, funeral leave and even jury duty.

Employee Contract (full-time employment)
It is very important that each employee sign an employee contract. This agreement lays out what your company is offering as well as what is expected from the employee.

Employee Contract (per project - freelancer)
This form is not a work-for-hire agreement or for full-time employment, but is based on a temporary hire to complete a project. Many ad agencies use this type of agreement when they have taken on a new client and need additional help to complete the work, but may not need continued help once the projects have been finished. This form is used for more long term projects.

Employee Counseling
You really never want to have to use this form, but if the worst happens, you have it to protect yourself from a bad employee. However, it is recommended that if your employee is bad enough to warrant using this form, you should consider termination of the employee.

Employee Manual
This 28 page manual will guide you through day to day business by outlining employee guidelines. This employee manual covers everything from vacation time to employee termination as well as dress code and employee restrictions.

Employee Non-Compete Agreement
Every designer you hire as an employee should sign a non-compete agreement. Some employees may have a difficult time signing such an agreement since many of them freelance. However, this form protects you legally from an employee trying to steal your clients out from under your feet. This form is similar in some ways to the Employee Contract. You might even consider using both agreements when hiring a designer.

Harassment Policy
Make sure and outline harassment policies to all employees. Protect your employees and company by following strict harassment guidelines.

Independent Contractor Contract
This form is very similar to the work-for-hire contract, anytime you hire a subcontractor / contractor you must have them sign some sort of agreement. With this contract, it stipulates fees, payments and expenses along with what is required from the contractor such as warranties, insurance and an arbitration clause. You should also reference the "work-for-hire" agreement to see which contract fits your needs the best.

Job Application
For all new prospective hires, make sure they fill out a job application along with submitting their resume. This application also gives your company permission to run background checks and drug tests.

Job Descriptions
This file contains job descriptions for Creative Director, Art Director, Graphic Designer, and Production Artists. Job descriptions are useful so employees can see what is required for their position.

Performance Appraisal
It's a really long form, but very useful when you are evaluating an employee for a raise or promotion. Use the word document to automatically type in your information or you can print out and write it by hand.

Performance Feedback
Use this form to get feedback from other employees and managers that you feel could give good feedback on the employee you are reviewing. This could also be used as a short "Performance Appraisal" form for the employee only.

Probationary Status
This form works in conjunction with the Employee Counseling form or can stand alone as a disciplinary form. This form will discuss areas requiring improvement and disciplinary action to be taken. Chances are, if you are using this form, you should consider termination of the employee.

Sales Agent Contract (Detailed 2-page form)
All sales representatives must have in writing how much commissions or discounts they will get on the products they are selling for your company. Make sure that any sales rep. signs this and signs an employee contract as well.

Sales Rep. Contract (Simple 1-page form)
All sales representatives must have in writing how much commissions or discounts they will get on the products they are selling for your company. Make sure that any sales rep. signs this and signs an employee contract as well.

Server Software Implementation Policy (IT Department)
This policy is for guidance and direction on any / all server software implementations where code is to be deployed to servers.  This policy covers In-house applications, 3rd party applications, updates, break fix and re-deployment.  This policy also covers all changes on servers, where updates or patches are to be applied to any application or software changes, which are a significant change to how the application is configured.

Technology/Network Access Request for Non Employees (IT Department)
Use this form to grant access to contractors to company network connecftions, email & voicemail setup and computer usage.

Work-for-Hire
Anytime you hire a subcontractor / contractor to do work for your firm, you must have them sign a work-for-hire agreement. This agreement makes sure your company retains all copyright ownership to the project, ideas, artwork or anything used to create the project the contractor is producing for your company.