Must-Have Contracts to Protect Your Business: Advice from a Business Contract Attorney
Too many businesses ignore the importance of business contracts as a way to protect their company from liability and risk. Suing a business for negligence is harder when the business uses well-drafted business contracts. To protect your business, work with a business contract attorney to develop agreements and contracts that are aligned with business contract law.
Seven Business Contracts You Need to Protect Your Company
Our business contract attorneys advise companies to utilize contracts to protect their best interests. They work with business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups to develop contracts the company can use each day. In some cases, the contracts may be standard forms that are completed by the company when needed. Other contracts may need to be negotiated with the help of a business attorney and drafted to address the specific terms the parties agreed upon through their negotiations.
Seven common business contracts that can benefit your company are as follows:
1) Non-Disclosure Agreement or Confidentiality Agreement
Protect your company's trade secrets and intellectual property by using detailed non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements for employees, contractors, vendors, and other parties who may have access to sensitive information. Remember to have service providers sign non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements if they will have access to sensitive company information.
2) Employment Agreements
Employment agreements define the expectations of the employer and the employee. You may also want to include an employee handbook as part of the employment agreement.
3) Non-Compete Agreements
Protect yourself from losing customers and clients by requiring key employees to enter a non-compete agreement. Make sure that you work with a business contract attorney to draft this agreement. If the agreement is overly broad, it may not be enforceable in court.
5) Indemnity Agreements
Indemnity Agreements hold your company blameless in various situations. Employees, customers, clients, and other parties may sign these agreements to avoid liability and lawsuits.
6) Independent Contractor Agreements
If you intend to use independent contractors, you need a detailed agreement for each one. The agreement sets the services provided by the contractor, and the limitations, restrictions, payment, length of service, and other terms that define the relationship.
7) Partnership Agreement
A partnership agreement outlines the relationship between business partners. Even the most successful partnership can encounter disagreements and disputes. Without an agreement, litigation may be required to resolve the dispute. A partnership agreement also determines how profits and losses are divided and whether all partners share liabilities and debts equally.
You May Need Additional Contracts
There are many other types of business contracts that your company may need to protect you and your business. The type of business you conduct dictates what types of contracts you might need. Your exposure to certain risks is also a factor in deciding what types of business contracts to use.
It may feel tedious to make sure that you have an executed contract before starting to work, provide products, or doing anything else. However, without a contract, you leave yourself and your company open to unnecessary liability.
Do You Need A Lawyer For A Business Contract?
It is easy to find templates for business contracts online. Many of these templates are free. However, templates and standard forms can increase your risk of liability. The easiest way to sue a company for breach of contract is to find an error within the contract.
Templates and forms you download from contract lawyer services may or may not adhere to business contract law. In many cases, a business contract attorney does not draft the contracts. The contracts may have been drafted by someone with no legal experience or knowledge.
Working with a business contract attorney ensures that the contracts your company uses comply with business contract law, are tailored specifically for your company, and address the concerns and issues that are most important to you.