Small businesses enter into contracts every week. All businesses inherently deal with contracts, because all transactions involving goods or services are based upon some type of contract. Since contract law is at the heart of most business dealings, it is crucial that small businesses have ready access to sound contract law advice.
Most commonly, a contract is written and signed by the parties. In some cases, a contract can consist of several documents, such as email, purchase orders, offers, and counteroffers. However, there are several other types of contracts that are considered enforceable. Oral contracts are more difficult to prove and the time to sue on the contract can be shorter.
If you’re a small business owner, you’ll come across several types of business contracts. However, most fall into one of three categories: general business contracts, sales-related contracts, and employment contracts.
General Business Contracts
General business contracts cover your business’ structure and the relationships of the owners, lenders, employees, and vendors. Some of the most common contracts of this type include: Partnership Agreements, LLC Operating Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements, Loan and Line of Credit Agreements, Indemnification Agreements, Franchise Agreements, Advertising and Web Development Agreements, Assignments, Releases, Settlements and Agreement to Sell Business.
Sales contracts determine how business goods and services are purchased and sold. Some common sales contracts include: Bills of Sale, Purchase Orders, Warranty Agreements and Security Agreements.
Careful documentation of employment relationships provides small businesses with essential legal protection. Some examples of commonly used employment contracts are: Employment Agreements, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Consulting Agreements, Sales Representative Agreements, Employment Separation Agreements and Independent Contractor Agreements.
Real estate and equipment leases are critical to small business operations. I can help you negotiate and maintain advantageous leasing terms and positive leasing relationships.
Many of the relationships and circumstances that small business owners deal with are covered by different types of contracts. In some cases, these contracts are self-explanatory and easily understood. But, if you’re unsure about the types of contracts and terms you need for your particular small business, I will be happy to consult with you, break down the terms and help you make the best contracting decisions.