A Business Agreement is basically any contract that is formed between two or more business organizations.  Technically speaking, most agreements formed between any businesses can be considered business agreements.  These can cover nearly every aspect of business practice, from trade to employment, hiring, partnership, confidentiality, and acquisition.

Occasionally, the term business agreement can refer to agreements within one company, such as an operating agreement that regulates the organization’s internal affairs.  Usually, though, business agreements refer to contracts between businesses.  In particular, the most common types of business agreements refer to acquisitions (the sale and purchase of businesses).

What are Some Common Examples of Business Agreements?

As mentioned, business agreements can cover the entire spectrum of business activities.  Some common examples of different business agreements include:

  • Acquisition agreement: when one business purchases or merges with another
  • Partnership agreement: two or more businesses may enter into a partnership to achieve a specific business goal.  The arrangement can be either permanent or temporary
  • Confidentiality agreement: A business may require their employers to agree to keep certain company information private and confidential
  • Non-Compete agreement: Businesses can form an agreement limiting activities that would contribute to competition between the entities
  • Buy-Sell agreement:  This is an agreement between business owner(s) and the company limiting the sale or transfer of their ownership shares in the business (for example, allowing owners to purchase the shares of an owner who has quit the business)

There are countless other types of business agreements.  It is common for some business agreements to be included as part of a broader, more general business contract. 

Also, some business contracts can contain several agreements in different clauses.  For example, a partnership agreement can sometimes include a confidentially clause requiring the partners to keep the shared information private.   

What is Usually Addressed in a Business Agreement?

Since business agreements are contracts, they must fulfill all of the legal requirements for a valid contract.  Of course, the subject matter of the business agreement may vary depending on the nature of the contract.  For example, a business agreement may deal with sales of goods, while another may deal with employment matters.

In general, a well-written business agreement will clearly address the following matters:   

  • Terms of offer and acceptance of the agreement
  • The names and roles of the parties to the business agreement
  • The subject matter of the agreement (such as sales, employment, acquisitions, etc.)
  • Times, dates, and places for performance of contract duties
  • Any other important related matters such as stock options and ownership rights
  • Legal consequences if the agreement is breached (for example, it may contain an agreement not to sue without first seeking mediation)

It is always the best idea for a business agreement to be written down and signed by the parties.  This is to ensure that the parties have a legally enforceable record of the terms of the business agreement. 

In many cases the parties may form an oral business agreement, especially if the parties have been dealing with one another for a long time.  However, jurisdictions may have different laws regarding the enforceability of oral contracts, especially if the subject matter of the agreement involves large expenditures of funds.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Legal Assistance with Business Agreements?

Entering into a business agreement is a major decision.  You may wish to consult with a lawyer for advice prior to entering into any type of business contract.  A business attorney can help you draft and revise the agreement so that it conforms to the laws in your area.  And in the event that a dispute arises over the business agreement, an experienced lawyer can actively defend your interests in court.