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License Agreement

A license agreement is a contract for the use of someone else’s intellectual property.


  • The owners of intellectual property wish to offer their intellectual property for use in exchange for some value
  • Purchasing limited use of intellectual property belonging to another.


If you are using music, video, or other media created by someone else, you may need a license agreement to get the legal authority to do so. If you are considering using content that someone else developed, use this step-by-step guide to create a license agreement that suits your needs. A license agreement documents official permission for the use of someone else’s intellectual property. These agreements describe the specific terms and conditions under which intellectual property can be used, typically in exchange for fees or royalties. The owner of the intellectual property is known as the licensor and the person purchasing the license is the licensee.

Many types of intellectual property are commonly licensed. Software is licensed, as the value of a computer program is in the underlying code. Music, film, and still images are licensed if they are copyrighted, as are any other types of private media. Franchises, such as many of the convenience stores and fast food restaurants that you see today, also involve licensing of the corporate parent’s business operations. If you are involved in businesses that use any ideas or media developed by other people, you will likely be presented with a license agreement at some point in time. Similarly, if you a professional inventor, artist, software engineer, or other professional service provider, you should have a license agreement ready to present to people who want to use your work.

A license agreement provides a framework for how, when, and under what circumstances someone can use the ideas, art, or other intellectual property belonging to another. If you own intellectual property or intend to use someone else’s intellectual property for your own commercial gain, use this interactive license agreement to organize the exchange.