Having the right business contracts for your company is imperative. Contracts can prevent disputes from arising and resolve disputes in your favor if the other party does not uphold the terms of the agreement. However, drafting contracts without a business attorney can be risky. Contract law can be complex. If you do not have all terms and conditions in the contract worded correctly, the court could interpret the terms in favor of the other party.
It would be nice to trust everyone and take them at their word. When you own a business, conducting transactions with a handshake can be disastrous. Contracts can give you the confidence you want to know that your business transactions are safe and secure. However, for a contract to be enforceable, it must be drafted in accordance with state contract laws. Without legal training, it can be difficult to draft a contract that will protect you and your business.
At Thienel Law, you have direct access to a seasoned business transaction attorney with experience serving entrepreneurs in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. I can help businesses protect their interests by drafting clear and concise contracts that comply with contract laws and protect the company’s best interest. Do not take the chance that the person you are doing business with does not conduct transactions with the same sophistication, integrity and honesty as you do. Contact me to learn how I can help you protect your company with business contracts.
What is a Contract?
A contract in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC is an agreement between multiple parties. A contract that is not in writing (oral contract) may be enforceable, but written contracts are preferred. Some contracts are required to be in writing to be enforceable; therefore, it is usually best to use a written contract to avoid questions about the terms of the agreement.
A contract should set forth the obligations of each party to the agreement. In addition, the contract should define what constitutes a breach of contract and the consequences of a breach. In some breach of contract cases, the other party may have the choice of rescinding the contract, receiving compensation for damages, or requesting that the court enforce the terms of the agreement.
A contract is only legally enforceable if it contains at least these four elements:
- An offer;
- Acceptance of the offer;
- Intention to create legal consequences (for the parties to be bound by the stipulations of the contract and the laws governing contracts); and,
- Consideration paid from one party to the other.
Depending on the contract, there could be other requirements. Thienel Law can help ensure that your business contracts meet each legal requirement to be fully enforceable.
What Types of Business Contracts Do I Need?
The types of contracts and legal documents you need for your business depends on several factors, including the type of industry and the company structure. However, most companies require one or more of the following business contracts:
- Lease Agreements for real estate, buildings, and equipment.
- Employment Agreements for employees, sub-contractors, and independent contractors.
- Non-Compete Agreements for employees who leave the business for a competitor.
- Non-Disclosure Agreements to protect your business from employees or others who might disclose your trade secrets or other sensitive information.
- Indemnity Agreements to protect yourself and your business from specific legal claims or losses.
- Partnership Agreements and other ownership agreements, including franchise agreements or joint-venture agreements.
- Sales-Related Contracts including purchase orders, bills of sale, warranties, and security agreements.
- Insurance Agreements and Utility Contracts required to operate your business.
There are many other types of business contracts that you might need for your company. Because each company is unique and different industries require specific contracts, I encourage you to contact Thienel Law to discuss your business with an experienced business attorney for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.
Why Do I Need A Business Attorney to Draft My Company’s Contracts?
In too many cases, a company contacts our office when they are engaged in a contract dispute, or they have already begun operating their business without any legal advice and guidance. While our attorneys are skilled and experienced in handling contract disputes and legal problems for business owners, we like to prevent these problems from occurring if possible. Unfortunately, if you wait until a legal dispute arises, the time and cost to resolve the problem and repair the damage can be significant.
In many cases, legal problems could have been avoided with a carefully drafted business contract. It typically costs much less to consult an attorney about drafting the business documents for your business, including business contracts, than wait to contact an attorney when a problem exists. Sadly, some problems cannot be fixed or repaired without costing the company much more money.
Avoid the DIY Approach to Business Contracts
Business owners who attempt a “DIY” or “Do It Yourself” approach to legal documents for their business find that they pay more in the long term than had they contacted a business attorney in the beginning. Some owners may attempt to resolve problems themselves. However, they find that the problem turns into a massive legal issue very quickly. Other owners use legal document providers (usually online) to purchase forms for business contracts. There are several problems with these services.
First, the people who work for these services are usually not attorneys. Contract matters are far more complicated than most people understand. Therefore, you are not receiving the legal advice you need for your business from these services. Second, the contracts are not specific to your business or the laws of Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Document services attempt to draft contracts that satisfy the legal requirements of every state; however, that is impossible.
You need business contracts that are tailored to your business and your needs.
Experience You Can Trust
Experienced business contract lawyer Steve Thienel can help you protect your business and your interests with carefully drafted business contracts. The best way to avoid problems and to resolve business problems is to have all business agreements in writing. Thienel Law assists businesses like yours throughout Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. Schedule a business consultation today.