Contracts To Start a Business
When you are starting a business, it is easy to just take off and go. There are so many different balls to juggle that focusing on legally protecting your business can easily be overlooked. While branding, marketing, and designing retail spaces are all a lot more fun than reviewing contracts, those legal agreements are critical to the success of your venture. So, what contracts do you need to start your business?
Articles of Incorporation
A big mistake many small business owners make is not establishing a proper business structure. Running as a sole proprietorship may sound good in theory, but it lacks the personal protection from liability that you would otherwise get if you chose another business structure. Consider opting for an LLC or a C corporation instead.
Assuming your business offers services in addition to or instead of selling a product, you will need a service contract. This should be written to eliminate any misunderstandings and to also prevent you from taking on more liability than you should. It should also establish when you can complete the services and any fees associated with this, including a provision for additional fees given unforeseen circumstances.
If your company will be selling products, sales contracts are key. Here, you specify the price the products sell form, terms and conditions related to their sale, and if there are any warranties or guarantees. This contract doesn’t need to be a stand-alone document, depending on what is being sold. In many cases, it is just the fine print on an invoice. In more complex transactions, it’s important to consult an attorney to develop a separate contract outlining rights and responsibilities.
Also called a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, confidentiality agreements are meant to keep confidential or proprietary information private. It can be easy to assume your business doesn’t have much in the way of “secrets” to keep, but the truth is that nearly all businesses do, even if it is just the private information of customers.
If you are going into business with another person, a partnership agreement will help keep your working relationship smooth. The purpose of this contract is to record how the partners plan to work together and their shared vision for the company. This should include important aspects such as the management structure, decision-making processes, capital contributions, profit and loss sharing, dispute resolution, and more.
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Contracts Counsel is a boutique marketplace that helps you connect with vetted contract lawyers near you. They can walk you through the full process, from determining which contracts you need to enforcing those contracts should something go wrong. Protect your venture with ContractsCounsel.