Contracts & NegotiationMany of our clients will consider entering into agreements with other businesses at some point, and when they do, they come to us to review the terms that the other side is proposing. Our business attorneys have noticed with dismay that many people or business owners enter into relationships with others with bad deals in place or no contracts at all.
Consider all of the contracts you have signed without really thinking about it: click-through agreements for mobile apps and software, terms and conditions for 15 minutes of Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or hotel, joining a gym, signing a residential or commercial lease, signing a receipt for a credit card purchase, and many more.
Signing legal agreements without reading them (because you have no bargaining power to change the terms anyway) is a necessary part of life. But when it comes to your business, the stakes are so much higher. It is crucial that you speak with a Georgia business lawyer who can help you understand exactly what you agree to when you sign the document.
Typical Information to Include in a Business ContractDrafting a reasonable and valid contract should generally be a mutual effort between you and the other party. To that end, there are several essential components that every formal agreement should include in explicit written form, including:
- The purpose of the contract;
- The names and relevant information for every party involved in the contract;
- “Considerations” for all involved parties—in other words, what valuable thing(s) each party will get out of the contract; and
- Every condition that each party to the contract must fulfill, as well as actions that would constitute a breach or violation.
In general, the clearer and more straightforward a contract is, the better the outcome will be for everyone who signs it. An attorney in Georgia can provide you with crucial guidance and support when drafting a contract for your specific business endeavors.
What to Look for Before Signing a Legal Agreement?The most important thing to remember before signing off on any legal contract is that every term and condition in that document is negotiable. It’s essential to read all contracts thoroughly—ideally with help from an experienced lawyer—and identify any problematic sections before putting pen to paper.
Before signing any contract, here are some key questions/problems to look out for:
- Does the contract list every proposed party to it, and are there any parties listed that were not part of previous negotiations?
- Are there any responsibilities or restrictions the contract would impose that seem unreasonable?
- Is a majority of the risk placed on the party that is most capable of preventing long-term loss?
- Are there fair remedies in the event of a breach of contract?
- Are there provisions requiring confidentiality?
- Do any of the terms release one party’s liability?
- Are there provisions allowing for early termination of the agreement?
- Are there procedures put in place to resolve future disputes?
Once you are presented with a business agreement, be sure to ask yourself these questions. Before signing, make sure you consult with a business attorney to discuss the implications of signing the document.