Avoiding Legal Loopholes at Lemon.io: Let’s Read Our Terms of Use!

front-end developer

Whether you are our client or a registered developer, you should know the legal aspects of working with marketplaces. Even if you don’t know the official terms and regulations, you remain subject to their clauses and will get problems for violating them.

During the past couple of months, Lemon.io has started working with developers from many new European countries. Currently, we’re vetting talents from 26 countries in total — and connecting them to the most promising American startups. They are welcome to get acquainted with our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy — two legal cornerstones of all our business.

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy are the main official documents regulating our basic working scheme — that’s why they are as all-encompassing as possible. 

Of course, they’re long and detailed. We’re asking all clients and developers to read them attentively. However, they repeatedly address us with questions and requests and say they could miss something crucial. 

First and foremost — we act accordingly to every clause of these documents. For a legal entity, it’s the best and the least troublesome way of acting. If you read the rules and don’t agree to obey them, it’s your right to decline them and quit working in the field where they’re active. We’d like developers to work with us conscientiously — that’s why we’ve published this short overview of the most important clauses of our ToU you need to know.

Below, we will elaborate on the critical points related to our marketplace nature, intellectual property, independency of clients and contractors, transactions, communication, and disputable moments. 

legal loopholes

We aren’t employers but the venue where you can meet one

According to our Terms of Use, we are “the venue where clients and developers connect for the performance of development services,” and we aren’t “a party to any contracts and agreements between the clients and the developers.” What does it mean in reality?

  • We don’t employ programmers. 
  • We are not employers — with all that entails. 
  • We’re not responsible for developers’ interactions with the client or their interactions with you. 
  • We can’t be product managers — and we won’t be. It’s the developers’ responsibility to deliver quality code on time. 
  • It’s the responsibility of the client to control it and pay for the code (also regularly and on time, more on that below).

All the developers are independent contractors, free from any supervision or control.

The code belongs to the client if they pay for it

That’s it, no less and no more. As a code creator, the developer should transfer their intellectual property (the code) to the person who paid for it (“works-made-for-hire owned by a client upon full payment of all amounts due therefor,” p. 2.1). We make everything possible so that the client who didn’t pay couldn’t receive the fruits of developers’ labor in full. All clients make the first advance which equals a one-week payment, so all the developers surely get all the money they’ve made. 

What happens at Lemon.io stays at Lemon.io

All our clients value confidentiality and crave it. Both developers and clients shouldn’t disclose confidential information about their joint projects. What information do we consider confidential? All that’s “not generally known.” See p. 22 of our Terms on that. (It’s lengthy, so you’d better make yourself a coffee and find a convenient armchair near the window.) If a developer reads and re-reads this list but still can’t decide if something is worth disclosing, — they should ask their client! 

Money matters

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that web developers who create code for their clients want them to pay regularly and in full. 

Our Terms regulate the payment process. All the developers should eventually get their money — and all the clients are bound to pay them. You can find the details on p. 7, “Client subscription fees.” As stated, all the clients should ensure a positive balance “of an amount equal to no less than the one-week worth of services.” How do we realize that in practice? Right from the start, every client makes an advance payment. It equals one week’s worth of the developers’ services.  If they agree to work 40 hours a week for $25/hour, their week costs $1000. We add our commission to that and get the sum left in advance. Every new week, we check that there’s an extra sum on the account and the sum for the previous one.

In addition to all the mentioned above, there’s one more money-related topic. All subscription fees must be paid directly to Lemon.io through the platform. Clients and developers can’t pay and get paid autonomously.

NB. Suppose a client wants to buy working tools for a developer or help a developer relocate to a safer country. By the way, this option is quite popular in light of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. Clients are free to do so, but only after announcing their intentions to Lemon.io and managing them in a legal field.


All the communication between programmers and clients is direct. We don’t urge you to use any additional tools and messengers, don’t track time ourselves, and don’t micromanage processes. Our Lemon.io application helps you manage logged time with payments — no more and no less. 

Lemon.io does not have control over any aspect of any Services, including, without limitation, the legality, timing, quality, performance, or non-performance thereof. Further, Lemon.io does not supervise or control any aspect of the Services performed by Developers, and Clients are responsible for supervising and controlling the Services performed by Developers. As such, Lemon.io makes no representations, warranties, or covenants about any aspect of any Services performed.

Yes, it means we don’t know all the peculiarities of your working process. Yes, it means we’re just the place where developers meet their clients and vice versa. That’s the definition of the developers’ marketplace, isn’t it?

We sincerely hope that helped. We don’t hide any caveats. You’re bound to obey the open rules unless you want some unnecessary legal meddling to begin. 

Craving for more? Here's a FAQ!

  • Is Lemon safe for clients?

    Yes, we are completely safe for clients. We are a Delaware C-Corp functioning under American laws, and during all our existence, we’ve not violated any rules or regulations.

  • Is Lemon messaging secure?

    We don’t have a separate corporate messenger — our clients communicate with developers we offer them via third-party messaging tools, so they can choose whatever instrument seems secure.

  • What does it mean to charge on a "time and materials" basis?

    It means you are charged for the hours spent on performing your tasks PLUS the price of all the needed materials.

  • Is it safe to pay on Lemon?

    Yes, it is safe. We use Payoneer for payments, and it’s one of the safest tools for international payment operations.

  • What is the minimum withdrawal on Lemon?

    We don’t have a fixed minimum amount of money our clients or developers can withdraw. After the client pays us, we transfer money to the developer’s account twice a month.

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