Small Business Agreements

A legal contract can be a large source of confusion between the parties if one side is not meeting its end of the bargain, causing a wide range of legal issues. When small businesses are concerned, the last thing an owner needs and can afford to deal with is a small business agreement dispute. For this reason, it is important that a knowledgeable Maryland small business agreement lawyer is contacted before any documents are signed in order to review and revise any terms of the agreement. The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford is ready to assist you with all matters pertaining to your small business agreement. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Small Business Agreements Explained

Generally speaking, a contract is an agreement – written or oral – that is legally binding among the parties who promise one another something. Some, but not all, contracts can be either written or verbal. It is important that if your enterprise is engaging in a small business agreement, the agreement should always be put into a written document. The agreement must be voluntary and the parties must be competent at the time they enter into the agreement. In order for the agreement to be valid, it must be supported by an exchange of something of value. Additionally, the exchange must be legal.

Terms to Consider

Entering into a small business agreement with another party is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. This is because these documents are legally binding and you can suffer legal and financial harm if you do not meet your end of the bargain. Generally, two basic ideas should be at the forefront before entering into a small business agreement:

  • Does the agreement contemplate all possible issues that may arise? and
  • Are the terms of the agreement too vague and unclear that a dispute is likely to result?

Below are the most basic terms that must be addressed in any small business agreement:

Make sure it is written down: While oral agreements do occur in the context of small businesses, and oral contracts can be considered valid, they are difficult to enforce. Part of the reason is that individual’s memories can be inherently faulty, resulting in misinterpreted or wrongly remembered terms. Any time a company enters into a small business agreement, there should be written proof of the agreement, as well as specific terms that will govern and bind each party.

Use clear and simple language: Many have a false sense that unless a contract has “legalese” it is not good. The best agreements, particularly those involving small businesses, are written in plain English. This ensures that both sides understand exactly what they are signing and what the terms mean when it comes to rights and obligations under the contract. Having a comprehensible agreement that is written in plain English also helps ensure that the parties are on notice regarding the remedies that might be available if one side breaches, or violates, the agreement’s terms.

Consider confidentiality: it is not uncommon for one or both parties entering into a small business agreement to gain access and insight into the other side’s business practices, including possibly even trade secrets. If one or more businesses do not want the other side to disclose this valuable proprietary information, a clause should be included requiring confidentiality of the disclosed information.

Contact a Maryland Employment Contract Lawyer to Discuss Your Small Business Agreement 

For these reasons, it is important that Maryland business owners hire a knowledgeable small business agreement attorney to draft and/or review any contract that the enterprise is considering. The skilled attorneys at the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC can help your small business protect itself and draft a small business contract that will benefit all parties. Call (410) 514-6099 or contact us online today to schedule an initial consultation with a Maryland small business agreement lawyer at our firm.

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