When you are engaging in business, regardless of the size of your company, it is vital to have strong contracts in place that protect your legal interests and set forth clear expectations between you and those you do business with.
While maintaining informal relationships may feel like an easier approach or an expression of trust and mutual understanding, they only saddle you with unnecessary risk and threaten to destroy business relationships in the absence of clear and agreed-upon terms.
Drafting and negotiating clear and well-prepared contracts can provide clarity to discrepancies and help you prevent misunderstandings that can lead to lost time, money, and value.
While written contracts are preferred in most situations, oral contracts between parties may also be enforceable with the help of an experienced contract law attorney.
What Are the Benefits of Contracts?
Well-drafted contracts provide you and your business many benefits such as:
- Clarity in business relationships, agreements, and rights of parties
- Avoiding potential contract disputes and litigation
- Preventing misinterpretation of communications and agreements
- Protecting intellectual property, real property, and asset values
- Better management of commercial relationships
- Built-in agreements about resolving disputes through arbitration, mediation, or a court in a particular jurisdiction
- Documentation to allow comprehensive representation and review by an experienced business law attorney
Key Contracts for Your Business
Different industries and business structures will require different contracts. Even as your business grows, your contract needs will evolve as well. Some of the most common types of business contracts include non-disclosure agreements, service agreements, purchase agreements, intellectual property licensing agreements, and partnership agreements.
These contracts are drafted to specify each party’s responsibilities and obligations under the agreement, the exchange of value, and plans for how disputes will be handled. They should anticipate all possible scenarios of what could go wrong ahead of time and reach a conclusion about how the relationship will function in response to those events.
Within each different kind of contract, you will often find certain types of clauses that are tailored to the specific purpose of and parties to that contract. Let’s take a closer look at some examples.
Client Service Agreement
If your business provides services, it is crucial that you have a strong client service agreement in place. This agreement will communicate to your client what they should expect from you, the limitations of your services, your fees, and how you will handle a disagreement. Typically, a strong client service agreement will include the following clauses:
- Scope of Services
- Refund and Cancellation Policies
- Limitation of Liabilities
Product-based businesses that sell goods will often require a business-to-business purchase agreement, like an agreement between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retail company. These agreements require very specific details and provisions that allocate loss and liability with clauses such as:
- Purchase Amount
- Delivery Time
- Risk of Loss
- Disclaimer of Warranty
A non-disclosure agreement may not sound too important or exciting, but it is actually a vital contract for many businesses. Executing a non-disclosure agreement with employees, independent contractors, and business partners keeps important information about your business confidential.
There are many types of proprietary information that are not protected by intellectual property laws like trademark, copyright, or patent law. In the absence of other legal protections, business owners need to draft clear non-disclosure agreements when they work with individuals who have access to their trade secrets and proprietary information. These types of contracts may include clauses like:
- Definition of and Labeling of Confidential Information
- Unauthorized Disclosure
Expert-Crafted Contracts Customized for Your Business
At our Newport Beach law firm in Orange County, our lawyers will help you draft and negotiate strong contracts that are customized to the unique needs and nature of your business. Every business and business situation is different and requires the inclusion of customized clauses and wording to effectively protect the best interests of your business.
When you choose to work with The Myers Law Group, our knowledgeable team of attorneys will use their depth of experience and contract-drafting skills to ensure your interests are thoroughly protected and your contracts work to your benefit.
We will also help you ensure that the contracts you are using are enforceable in court. Should a breach of contract take place, we are at your side and in your corner through mediation, arbitration, or court litigation. We will help you strategize appropriately to reach resolution in a timely and cost-effective manner.