Not every agreement needs to be in writing but nearly every agreement can be enforced, in one way or another. It is always the better decision to put agreements and promises in writing as opposed to arguing later what you meant or expected.
I have been drafting contracts for 27 years and I have litigated a fair number of contracts. In most cases, neither side wins in litigation, which is why I practice preventive law through the use of contracts. Without a written contract, written clearly and completely, a judge will be the one whose running your company when the court interprets the intentions and actions of the parties.
I first meet with you to determine not only the terms to be included in the contract but, more important, to understand the reasons for those terms. Then, I can suggest additional terms to prevent negative outcomes, to plan for unforeseen events and to be clear about the intention of the contract.
Businesses succeed when they exhibit their mission and goals in all they do, whether through management or their employees. Contracts are the means to the end, which is to achieve the sale, exchange or other transaction. However, contracts say so much more about a business than simply the transaction. A 50-page contract sends one message while a 5-page contract for the same transaction sends a totally different message.
Common Business Contracts
You don’t usually have much power to negotiate a contract with a vendor. Nevertheless, you should always review the contract carefully, so you can calculate your risk level. One point to consider is the contract term. For example, if you are a new company and the contract requires you to pay for services when you receive them, that is acceptable, because you don’t have a credit history. However, if you plan to have a long relationship with that vendor, use this leverage to negotiate better terms, even if in the future.
In most situations, as a business owner, you feel like you don’t have control over the outcome. As a business lawyer, I can review your contracts and advise on the weak points and the strengths. I can help you understand what you need to know. I invest time getting to know my client, because the more information I know, including the break even points, risk factors, and personal goals, my advice will be geared for you to accomplish that.
The bottom line is you never want to end up in court with a judge to evaluate the outcome of your business, your job and your future.
Employee at will Contracts
Are your employees hired at will? Or do you want to ensure they will remain for a certain time period? Either way, a contract is recommended. You want your employees to feel secure and also to be able to plan their future in your business.
A contract is your way to tell your employees that you value them. If an employee has an issue, she may come to you to work it out. Employee retention is very important. The contract can be written in such a way that a problem can be worked out before it becomes too big to fix.