JUDGE: “And you say you have an oral contract with him, sir?” WITNESS: “Why, indeed, I have, Yeronner, sir; but, you must understand that I did not bring it with me here today, for the simple reason that I do not believe it to be worth even the paper it's written on.”
It is rightly said a handshake deal is worth no more than the paper on which it is written. This is especially worth bearing in mind if doing business with friends or family. Just as good fences make for good neighbors, a legally sound, properly written, enforceable contract preserves relationships by memorializing what the parties intend today, so that, in coming months and years, disagreements can be minimized or avoided altogether.
Sometimes written contracts are legally required. Even when they are not, however, the benefits of a written contract are significant, even invaluable. With the passage of time, memories fade. Circumstances change. Events can occur that result in an unrelated, court-appointed representative (a total stranger to the conduct of your business) taking over the affairs of someone intimately involved in a business relationship. A party may breach your unwritten, or poorly written, contractual arrangement. Or you may be accused of having done so.
A well-drafted, written contract, properly prepared by qualified counsel, provides evidence of the meeting of the minds of the parties, and proves its business and legal terms. For these reasons and others, a written contract is a business resource that brings peace of mind as well as pragmatic efficiency.
While the sky is the limit on the kinds of contracts businesses need, the following list includes just some agreements I regularly negotiate, review, revise and prepare. I also prepare contracts that are unique to a business or to a special arrangement which the parties want memorialized in a legally enforceable, written contract.
- Assignment agreements
- Buy-sell agreements
- Confidential Information & Invention Assignment Agreements (CIIA's)
- Consulting / independent contractor agreements
- Debt assumption agreements
- Executive employment contracts
- Guaranty agreements
- Indemnification agreements
- Licensing agreements
- Management services agreements
- Master services agreements (MSA's)
- Non-disclosure agreements (NDA's)
- Memoranda of understanding (MOU's)
- Powers of attorney
- Purchase orders, statements of work, bills of sale, etc.
- Right-of-first-refusal agreements
- Sales consultant (sales rep) agreements
- Security agreements
- Shareholders' agreements
- Software as a Service Agreement (SaaS)
- Statements of work (SOW's)
- Technology agreements
- Term sheets and letters of intent (LOI's)
- Website privacy policies
For business owners, sole proprietors, and budding entrepreneurs not quite ready to formally retain a business attorney, I am working on an online document e-Store. It will include a library of simple, common business documents. Some will be downloadable for free, and others available for purchase. They will be fillable contract templates. Click here to visit the future home of the WLF Document e-Store for more details.
I would love the chance to get to know you and your business, for you to consider me a professional resource to help your negotiate, review and prepare solid business contracts, to protect your business interests so you can focus on the core of your business activities. Make an appointment now for a free consultation.