Business Contracts and Why They Are Important

There is that old saying, "Better safe than sorry." It's not just something thrown around though in the liability world. It's an actual truth-you are better safe than sorry. Contracts don't just guide businesses on what terms should be and how they should be delivered, they set forth payment guidelines and processes and what happens should a party not perform. 

I don't want to be the Debbie Downer or the party killjoy, but here I am being rational. You can have a small or large business, have had it for decades or are just starting, and be taken down by the presence of no contracts, old and outdates ones, or ones that don't suit your business needs (be it performance or conflict resolution when it conflict should arise).

This is definitely not an exhaustive list and sometimes your business may call for a specific kind of agreement that other businesses don't need. For example, if you are doing something fitness related-I'm pretty sure you want to have a participant liability waiver that clarifies very, very strongly that if anyone gets hurt on the premises, you are not responsible. 

Getting back to the variety, there are operating agreements, partnership agreements, purchase order agreements, merchandise/supplier agreements, on-site vendor agreements, service agreements for your services or for services of another that you receive that help your business run, non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements, consulting agreements, equipment leasing or purchasing contracts, speaker/presenter/performer agreements, employment and independent contractor contracts, property leases (property law but also a contract), marketing and advertising agreements, licensing of intellectual property agreements, assignment of intellectual property agreements, and so on. I literally could go on and on with this list for ages. 

Do you need everyone of these contracts? No. Do you need them all now? No. But should you have at least the basics? At Rational Unicorn we not only offer a no-cost 30 minute consult for new clients, we don't judge. I don't care if you have one agreement that you shook on with a strange man you met 5 years ago who supplies the flour for your bakery and another contract written on a bar napkin from a customer who now hosts your company's events. We need to take the time to assess where you are at, what sort of contracts may be needed for you and your company (now and in the near future), lay out what those are and what the terms may look like, and go forth and conquer. 

We can make new contracts and update old contracts. In some cases, this may require that I contact parties and re-negotiate terms. Believe me when I say it's better to know where these agreements stand and where they are going than to be surprised by either a breach of performance or no performance, or a lawsuit that destroys you (insert your best Debbie Downer wah wah sound here). 

Together let's create good habits. After the contracts are written they will all go in a company folder. Everything will be accessible. Hire a new contractor? Great we have a contract they can sign that's ready. We also at that time give them your new non-disclosure agreement. Let's meet and plan out a contract profile for your company that is ready and available-and yes, current.

Contact Rational Unicorn Legal Services today to get this process started. There's some other great quotes like, "Better late than never." Or, "Get that in writing." Or good old Ben Franklin with all of his wonderful quotes such as this one: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." 

 

Michael Jonas