Business contracts often exist to cover the many facets of daily business operations. This could range from equipment leases to employment and sales agreements. The most common types of business contracts include:
- General Business Contracts: These could include indemnity agreements (which transfer certain liabilities to the other contracting party), partnership agreements, property and equipment leases, and non-disclosure agreements. These types of business contracts all cover how a business is typically structured, in addition to how the business protects its stakeholders;
- Contracts Related to Employment: Businesses use employment contracts to outline the relationship between an employee and the business. Employment contracts often include the duration of employment, benefits, compensation, and grounds for termination. Additionally, employment contracts may include specific issues such as non-compete agreements, or who owns the rights to work that produced while on the clock; and
- Contracts Related to Sales: Sales contracts are also known as sales agreements, and cover how goods and services are to be purchased and sold. These contracts also let both parties involved in the contract know what to expect during the sale of those goods and services. The purpose of these contracts is minimize the chances of disputes later on by laying out the legal framework for title transfers.
The specifics of most business contracts will differ based on the needs of the parties involved. However, most business contracts share some similar, common elements. These common elements include:
- Representations: Representations often include a listing of all of the parties involved in the transaction, as well as the date of the transaction and the item or service involved in the transaction. The purpose is to clearly state the will of the parties while clarifying the transaction that is to be made;
- Covenants: These are promises or agreements made by a party in the contract. This could include allowing the other party to investigate their credit or assets, or paying taxes on the property. The majority of covenants tend to fall on the seller due to the fact that the seller is usually seeking money from the buyer; and
- Conditions: This is something within a contract that must be true, or must occur, in order for a deal to close. An example of this would be proof that the buyer can pay, usually involving a credit check. Conflicts in contracts generally arise from the conditions included in the contract, although the issue is whether a small mistake is enough to allow the party to walk away from the deal, or to seek damages.
What Is a Business Contract Lawyer?
A business contract lawyer is educated and experienced in providing assistance with business contracts. These attorneys are knowledgeable of the ins and outs of business contracts, and the different laws governing those contracts. Business contract attorneys will generally review, negotiate, or draft legal agreements according to state laws and the needs of their client.
Business contracts often include a great amount of formal and technical language in order to cover all legal bases. Although the business’s owner will know what the contract should contain in terms of their business needs, they may not know all of the laws that must be adhered to. A business contract attorney will be able to determine what legal language must be included in order to protect their client’s interests, while adhering to those laws.
General business contract attorneys are knowledgeable in a variety of areas in regards to business law. However, many business contract attorneys instead choose to specialize in a specific area of business law. Some examples of the most common areas of specialization include:
- Sales Agreement or Contract Review Attorneys: These attorneys are often employed to analyze a sales agreement and confirm that their client is getting what they expect to receive from the contract. They can guide their client through the technical language included in the contract in order to ensure that they are aware of all of the conditions;
- Licensing or Intellectual Property Contract Attorneys: When business contracts involve the purchase of intellectual property, the contract typically includes licensing the property. This license allows the creator of the property to charge for the use of their creation, by charging the person they license it to for the use of the creation; and
- Tax Contract Attorneys: These attorneys can assist their clients in avoiding tax evasion, property taxes, international taxes, income taxes and audits, and corporate taxes.
Other specialties include affiliate agreement attorneys, employment contract attorneys, independent contract attorneys, and subscription agreement attorneys.
When Would You Need a Business Contract Lawyer?
Failing to properly execute any of the previously mentioned business contracts could result in a variety of legal or financial liabilities. A properly drafted and negotiated contract is absolutely essential to operating a successful business, and an experienced business contract attorney can ensure that all legal requirements are met. This will also help minimize your exposure to potential lawsuits.
Although it is entirely possible to handle a small business dispute on your own, having an experienced business contract lawyer is essential when handling complex business law issues. For example, as a business you may be able to handle a dispute with another business as to the amount or price of a product sold. However, if you are sued by another business for patent infringement or for breach of contract, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney.
Do I Need a Business Contract Lawyer?
As can be seen, there are numerous different legal issues that may arise as a result of business contracts. Additionally, business contracts often contain very technical and dense legal language that breaks down each party’s legal responsibilities owed to the other.
Therefore, if you have any contract issues, it is in your best interest to consult with a skilled and knowledgeable business contract lawyer in your area. An experienced business contract lawyer will be able to help you draft, review, and understand business contracts. Additionally, they can represent your interest, should another party dispute your contract.