Starting your own business or becoming your own boss can be a dream come true for many people. In the business world, contracts are essential because they outline the work to be performed as well as the prices that must be paid for services. In general, a contract clearly states the expectations of all the involved parties, whether it is for salaried, hourly, or freelance employees. Additionally, these legal documents can protect the parties if those expectations are not met by designating the consequences for any breach in the agreement. When one party does not hold up their end of the bargain, as they say, the other party may take legal action. An experienced business attorney can make sure that all the necessary information is included in a contract to safeguard against disagreements that may affect a business owner’s livelihood.
Verbal agreements or simply handshakes are not legally enforceable in the business world, since it can result in a “he said, she said” situation. For example, if a vendor agrees to perform a specific service but the cost is not put in writing, then a business owner may be faced with an astronomical bill or invoice to pay for services rendered.
Similarly, employee contracts should include a policy manual that states what is and is not acceptable. For instance, the manual should clearly state any dress code, Internet and cell phone use policies, and other important regulations. It should also explain the company’s discipline policy. In most cases, failure to follow the outlined guidelines can lead to the termination of workers. If these issues are not addressed ahead of time, employees may take advantage of business owners by showing up late to work, making personal phone calls, taking long lunches, and more.
To understand why a contract is important in business dealings, it is crucial to learn the issues that a typical contract should address:
The work to be performed, including deliverables: The exact work that needs to be done or a detailed description of the products to be produced.
Projected timeline of the project: Due dates for each milestone should be included in the contract to make the deadlines enforceable.
Payment amounts and terms: The amount of any payments, the time period for which payment can be received, and how it will be paid (check, credit card, cash).
The reasons why a contract can be terminated and how that will be handled: If a dispute occurs and mediation becomes necessary, the contract should also outline how that will take place.
A noncompete or nondisclosure clause: This section states that an employee cannot leave and work for a competitor or disclose trade secrets.
Any terms related to failed obligations: If payment for services rendered is not received by a certain date, the contract can address if there is a late payment fee and its cost.
As a business owner, it is important to document any agreements on paper to make them legally binding. A signed contract can protect businesspeople from losing profits as well as any legal action regarding potential disputes. At The Miller Law Firm, P.C., we work with small and large businesses in a range of industries to address legal issues, resolve disputes, and create customized business strategies. Attorney Miller understands how complex legal concerns are and will ensure that your business is protected from financial harm. Call our diligent Schaumburg, IL employment defense lawyer today at 847-995-1205 to schedule your free consultation.