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Business Contract Basics – Important Tips and Advice


When getting into any business transaction with an individual, organization or commercial entity, you hope and expect that your objectives and intentions will be met. While most people operate on the principle of utmost good faith, it is not a guarantee that things will work out as planned. This can cause many disappointments and may even destroy existing working relationships and plans. For this reason, it is important to use business contracts that clearly define the rights and responsibilities of all involved parties.

The following post describes the importance of “getting it in writing” in more detail:

Get it in Writing: The Importance of Written Agreements in Business

Many business deals are done by a handshake. Handshake deals work fine – until they don’t. Things go wrong in business. Relationships sour. Conditions change. And when they do, and you have to get lawyers involved, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is, “Did you get it in writing?” If you’ve ever been in this situation, and you didn’t have a written agreement in place, you know that protecting interests and enforcing rights is much harder if there is no written document in place setting forth the terms of the parties’ agreement.

The reason that verbal contracts can be problematic is that parties change, memories fade and, yes, people lie. Without a written agreement, a judge or jury will have a hard time determining which version of events to believe in a “your word against theirs” scenario. Read more at Foster Swift…

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From the above post, it is clear that a written agreement helps to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunication, as well as serving as a reference point to resolve potential conflicts before they even manifest.

There are several essential elements of a business contract you need to know before writing an agreement. The following post describes these extensively:

Essentials of Business Contracts

There are six essential elements for a contract to be valid (enforceable by a court). The first three, considered here together, relate to the agreement itself; the other three relate to the parties making the contract.

Offer, Acceptance, and Mutual Consent

Every contract must include a specific offer and acceptance of that specific offer. Both parties must consent of their free will. Neither party can be coerced or forced to sign the contract, and both parties must agree to the same terms. Implied in these three conditions is intent of the parties to create a binding agreement. If one or both parties are not serious, there’s no contract. Read more at The Balance…

The six essentials described in the post above should be present in a business contract since it is a legal document and needs to be consistent with existing laws. Failing to meet these conditions could render the agreement null and void, depending on the legal framework provided.

Finally, when getting into a contract, you need to remember that it is legally binding on you too. In order to have an easier time fulfilling your end of the agreement, you need to ensure that you only agree to as much as you can realistically accept or deliver. Negotiation will play a critical role in getting what you want and need out of any contract. The following post describes this important skill in detail:

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Negotiating Tips

Certain fundamental strategies will assist you in the day-to-day negotiation that all businesspersons perform, in contracts and other business transactions. Remember, those with whom your business is negotiating also will be working hard to leverage the deal in their favor. The following are a few suggestions to get you started on the road to effective negotiation tactics:

You should always have clear objectives. It helps to make a list of goals before meeting the other party.

It is important to go to a negotiation having done your research. Know relevant law, facts, and figures.

Consider what you really need to get from the other party, and also decide in what areas you are willing to compromise. Read more at Find Law…

As you can see, contracts are a critical component of conducting business and they must be handled in a legal, judicious manner. Your best bet to insure that your rights and responsibilities are protected is to hire a qualified attorney to represent your interests.

Attorney Jonathan Meek has helped many individuals with their business contract needs and he is ready to assist you as well. Contact him at Meek Law Firm today to discuss the specifics of your situation. Call (704) 848-6335 or use the contact form on the right of this page to schedule a consultation appointment.