For a legally binding contract to be formed, certain conditions must first be met. Both parties must have a mutual understanding of the contract. The contract is invalid if the act it refers to is illegal, such as fraud or selling stolen goods. A contract can either be a written or oral agreement. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand the document that they are signing, and this is the right time to call a contract lawyer and have the document fully explained to you before signing it.
Using a Contract Lawyer
Often the agreement is a simple rental lease, but sometimes it is much more complicated than that, and once you have signed the document, you can’t change the contract or amend it as signing it means that you have accepted it without amendment. So if you are not familiar with legal documents, it is a good idea to get an explanation from a contract lawyer before you sign anything.
Some of the benefits of using a contract Lawyer are:
- To provide all the details of the agreement in one place.
- To keep both parties accountable
- To avoid misunderstandings
- To record an accurate account
- To safeguard against litigation
A complex contract will contain different sections, and there may be indemnity clauses that say what you are or are not responsible for. These require explaining to you by the contract lawyer. The different clauses will protect the business owner and are necessary to safeguard both parties for the required length of time.
Types of Business Contracts
A contract is an agreement that covers a broad range of categories and is the framework that you base your business plan on to safeguard you and the clients that you are doing business with. General business contracts fall into the following categories.
Protection of Assets
Includes warranties and other business documents used to protect your assets.
Used to specifically define the management structure and guide the Corporate Governance.
Memorandums of Understanding and Business Agreements
Divides up responsibilities within the company.
Governs confidentiality and prevents you from selling off your client list. It also protects your company’s information. When your employees sign this document as they leave your company, they have signed an agreement stating that what happens in your company stays in your company.
Outlines the conditions of your agreement so that your clients know what to expect.
Purchase and Sales Agreements for Goods and Services
This agreement should last as long as the company. A team of contract lawyers review these agreements to ensure that your interests are protected. These are all general business contracts and protect you, the owner of the business, shareholders, employees, and clients. However, employment contracts are a bit more complex and involve a code of conduct and a carefully worded job description.
Hiring an employee requires an understanding of employment laws. When hiring employees, talk to your contract lawyer first to ensure that all the legal paperwork is correct. Once the employee is retained, they will need to sign the contract or employment agreement, along with the Code of Conduct, that lays down what behaviors or non-performance constitutes a termination of employment offense. Your company’s contracts need to be written by the contract lawyers, detailing responsibility to the company. The lawyer will work to ensure that the document produced will have the authority to dismiss the employee if things go wrong, the employer-employee relationship breaks down, or if the employee fails to perform in the workplace.
When hiring or firing employees, the law is complex. If your company is large enough to have a Human Resources Manager, they will liaise with the contract lawyer. If it is a smaller company, you will need to sit down with the contract lawyer and navigate all the employment documents required before you employ anyone. Once you employ staff, you will need to explain the forms to them and outline the terms and conditions of employment, and this takes time. Your contract lawyer will work to make sure that the employment forms minimize liability to the company and maximize the value of the relationship with the employee. It is important to check employee references. Another legal form should be drafted for this purpose stating the date and with whom the verbal reference was checked, asking the question ‘Would you employ them again’? If you are forced to dismiss an employee down the track for whatever reason, this information can be useful.
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The Importance of Contract Lawyers
When you have a reputable business, you will need to have regular contact with your contract lawyer who will resolve and advise on your issues before they escalate. It is important to pick up the phone to consult regularly with your contract lawyer and to keep your business and employees safe.