Whether you are starting a new business or you have an established entity, there are certain written contacts that you should have in place. Below are three main types of agreements your business can benefit from having:
If your business has been created as a legal structure such as a limited liability company (LLC), corporation or partnership, you should have a written contract with all of the co-owners. The most common types of owner agreements include Operating Agreements, Founders’ Agreements, Shareholders’ Agreements and Partnership Agreements. Each of these contracts serve to establish the deal struck between the owners of the entity, which may include percentages of ownership, salaries, capital contributions and what will happen to the business if the co-owners decide to part ways.
Even if you don’t have employees, you probably have other parties that work for you, such as independent contractors. This includes third-parties you have retained to provide accounting services, manage your databases or other similar jobs. Even though they are not your full-time employee, it can be beneficial to have a written contract that clearly and concisely establishes your relationship, the services to be provided, deadlines or timing schedules, and payment details. You should also consider including confidentiality, non-solicitation, and assignment of work product provisions, if applicable to your business.
Customer and Vendor/Supplier Agreements
Depending on your industry, it can be helpful to have a “contract” with your customer that sets forth the terms of service, privacy policies or what the consumer can expect from you. If your business deals with vendors or suppliers, having a written agreement in place is one of the primary ways you can ensure your needs (as well as your customer’s needs) are met. A vendor or supplier contract should cover topics such as indemnification, exclusivity and limitations of liability.
There are many other types of written agreements that may be necessary to safeguard your business. To learn more, contact the legal team at The Swenson Law Firm.