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An affiliate agreement refers to the terms of services between an advertiser and an affiliate (generally a publisher or website) that oversee and define the affiliate relationship. The affiliate agreement specifies each party's responsibilities as well as the payout or commissions, which are generally determined by how many people click on the advertiser's link on the affiliate's site.
Another term for affiliate agreement is affiliate program agreement.
Within an affiliate agreement, the affiliate acts as an independent contractor without a joint venture or other legal entity. By signing the affiliate agreement, the affiliate acknowledges understanding of company policies indicated in the website and agrees to the outlined terms. The affiliate agreement may also require that the affiliate agree not to include any spam on the website and generally comply with federal and state anti-spam laws.
Affiliates generally earn commissions based on the sales made on the advertiser's site by visitors who arrived there through the affiliate's site. However, the affiliate agreement typically states that the affiliate has no right to commissions on ensuing sales or in instances where cookies have been used, overwritten or deleted.