As a business, you may enter into contracts rather frequently. These contracts may be with suppliers, vendors, employees, independent contractors, distributors, landlords, and various other third parties. The purpose of your existing contract with these parties is to capture the terms of your agreement and define expectations. This helps distribute the risk of your transaction and protects your interests while working with these parties.
Drafting contracts, negotiating their terms, and discussing ways to make parties comfortable with the deal, requires negotiation skills, understanding of the law, and the foresight to protect your business from potentially unwanted circumstances. As such, legal counsel has an important role in helping your business make contracts, sign them, and execute them, all the while helping you maintain important business relationships for future collaboration. In today’s world, written contracts (as opposed to verbal ones) are vitally important to protect your interests, placing greater emphasis on ensuring the exact written terms of your agreements benefit you, without the potential for hardship.
Types of Contracts You Need
While each business’s situation is unique, there are different types of written contracts that every business should use. Some of the common ones include:
- Entity formation documentation: the paperwork required to set up your business, which often is complemented by a partnership agreement, an operating agreement, written actions, organization by-laws, etc.
- Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreements: used to protect trade secrets, business plans, business data, company secrets, client lists, and other valuable information from indiscrete employees and the competition.
- Independent Contactor Agreements: used to ensure that your independent contractors deliver products and services that are in accordance with your expectations.
- Sales Agreements: contains details about a transaction, such as the delivery time, price, and item or service description, which should be written in exact terms.
- Lease Agreements: only enforceable when they are in writing, these detail who is to make improvements to a leased property, who is to maintain the property, who is to pay utility and taxes, and other unique details.
- Purchase Agreements: detail the terms of a complex, usually large transaction.
- Service Agreements: document your rights and responsibilities with companies that offer services such as construction companies, software companies, and consultants.
Some businesses choose to draft standardized contracts to simplify the contract negotiating process. When you create a standardized contract, you save time and money from reuse, while also ensuring terms are internally consistent for a large volume of clients. Consistency removes guesswork, allows for protocols to be established in the business, and allows the legal part of the business to be streamlined. A standardized contract will typically favor your business and shield it from exposure to unnecessary legal liability. Having a standardized contract also provides a more professional and credible appearance. In some cases, standardized contracts will be negotiated to meet the unique aspects of certain transactions, but fundamental key points and protective terms will remain.
Contact a Minnesota Contract Negotiations Attorney
At Vlodaver Law Offices, LLC, contracts can be drafted, reviewed, and negotiated on your behalf so you know that the terms to be followed are fair and protect your interests. Through review and strategic negotiation, harmful terms can also be changed so that you are entering into the best agreement possible. Contact us for a free consultation to determine how we can help you negotiate your contracts to better provide for your interests.