Being in business is not easy – otherwise everybody would be doing it. You want to put your energy and resources into making your business a success, not in being bogged down in litigation. Many people still do business on a shake of hands, but there is significant opportunity for disputes.
Appropriate commercial agreements enable you to:
- protect your investment
- avoid bad debts
- protect your corporate and brand identity
- maintain goodwill.
Are you thinking of granting an agency to somebody to sell your products? If you are, then you need to establish:
- what rights an agent may enforce against you later
- what the agent must and must not do.
These points need to be written down in a water-tight document.
Are you thinking of taking a franchise? If so, you need to ensure that you understand your responsibilities thoroughly and, importantly, that you know what you are getting for your payments. If you are going to appoint distributors, you need to clarify how you will regulate their activities. Are you prepared for them to make sales in areas which directly compete with your own sales?
Are you going in to a joint venture? These days “partnership” is all the rage. Are you sure you are going to get your share of the profits without having to give more than your share of the effort?
Are you going to provide a service? If so, your customers need to be clear about what you intend to do for them – perceptions can vary considerably. Are you sure you are going to get paid on time? What happens if you do not get paid on time – what are you going to do about it?
We are experienced in advising people on the terms of contracts they have been presented with, and also in drawing up contracts to protect their rights and to define their responsibilities.
We think you’ll agree that it is better to spend some time beforehand in defining rights and responsibilities rather than spending lots of time and money later, arguing about what those responsibilities are.
For further advice on business agreements, or to find out how we can help you, call Patrick Farrington in Stafford on 01785 211411.
Published on web site – April 2007
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances. (50587)