Was A Jury Used In Stock-Purchase Agreement Lawsuit For Facebook How To Write Your Own Business Contracts: 10 Key Elements

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How To Write Your Own Business Contracts: 10 Key Elements

Everyone knows that the best practice in business is to put contracts in writing. But many small business owners don’t. In my experience, a combination of factors contribute to this error. Business people often don’t want to add an extra layer of cost to the deal by bringing in “lawyers”. In addition, business transactions are often time-sensitive, and as a result, people often feel that they do not have time to consult with a lawyer. Here are ten elements of any good contract. Follow these steps and you can do it yourself.

1. Get it in writing

Many times oral agreements are legal and binding; however, they are usually more expensive and more difficult to enforce in court (in some situations they are not enforceable at all). Most agreements must be in writing. And this is where the trouble begins. I have had clients use contracts from one business agreement in another situation with disastrous results. A written agreement is less risky than a verbal one, but only if you have a document that clearly spells out the rights and responsibilities of each party in case of disagreement. Using a form of affiliate agreement or contract from an online marketer can be just as bad as reusing old agreements without reviewing them carefully. In one case, I represented a partner in a partnership dispute. The parties entered into an online partnership agreement, and the agreement specifically permitted individual partners to compete with the partnership. Although this clause defies common sense, neither party has read or understood the agreement. So it was done, much to the shock of one of the partners.

2. Keep your deal straight.

Contrary to what many lawyers think, you don’t need a lot of legal “fuss” to make a contract enforceable. Instead, you need short, clear sentences with a simple, logical heading system that gives the reader a road map to what’s in the paragraph. And yes, you can write your own contract if you put some effort into it. Just like you might change the oil in a modern car or work on the tiles in the bathroom. You should weigh the cost of using a lawyer in a timely manner. An experienced lawyer should be able to give you a fixed fee, with no obligation in advance, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

3. Contact someone who can enter into the contract on behalf of the business.

Don’t waste time negotiating a business deal with a junior person who owes everything to someone above him (or her) in the business. If you are not sure who is authorized to link the business, ask.

4. Describe the sides accurately.

Include the correct legal names of the parties to the contract. Make it clear who is responsible for what.

5. Include the details in a written agreement.

The rights and obligations of each party must be spelled out in the agreement. Most lawyers include text in the contract stating that the written agreement is the entire agreement between the parties.

6. Specify payment obligations.

Obviously, most contracts result from transactions in which one party provides goods or services and the other pays for them. Specify when and terms of payments. If you are going to pay in installments or only when the job is done to your satisfaction, say so and list the dates, times and requirements. Consider including payment by check, cashier’s check, or credit card.

7. Agree on the circumstances that terminate the contract.

It makes sense to set out the circumstances under which the parties can terminate the contract. For example, if one party misses too many important deadlines, the other party should have the right to terminate the contract without being legally liable for the breach (breach) of the agreement.

8. State how disputes will be resolved and when the prevailing party will receive attorneys’ fees and costs.

Write in the agreement what you and the other party will do if something goes wrong. I am not a fan of arbitration. In California in particular, this is a very expensive proposition with retired judges serving as arbitrators and receiving huge fees. Many judges openly admit that they retired to earn more money as arbitrators. You’ll also want to carefully consider whether the prevailing party in the legal dispute will receive attorneys’ fees and costs of the lawsuit, such as filing fees, deposition fees, and the like. This might be a good idea if you might have to fight for a modest amount like $100,000.00 (I know, I know… Now you’re thinking I have an unusual idea of ​​modesty!) The reality is that without an attorneys’ fees clause, you could win in name only because arbitration and litigation are expensive. On the other hand, if you are more likely to breach the contract than the other party, you may not want an attorneys’ fees/expenses clause.

9. Select the state law to govern the contract.

If you and the other party are in different states, you should choose only one of your state’s laws to apply to the contract to avoid difficult legal disputes later, and I can’t think of a reason why you would agree to litigate under that state’s law. except California as I write this. Additionally, you will want to specify where you will mediate, arbitrate, or litigate the contract. This is an important thing to consider when the other party presents the contract. For example, if you want to become a franchisee and you end up with a lawsuit, you may have to fight it thousands of miles away under state law that is very different from California law.

10. Keep it a secret.

Often, when one company hires another to provide a service, the other company becomes a trustee of confidential business information. Your agreement should contain mutual promises that each party will keep confidential any business information it learns during the performance of the contract. This clause is very different from a non-compete clause. California’s non-compete laws are unique and the subject of another post.

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