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Contracts and agreement management

Our working world and daily lives are generally managed by contracts. We have a contract when we get married; we sign a contract when we buy a house or a car so why is it a surprise that our working lives, where we are not necessarily familiar with the other parties concerned; should we be surrounded by the security by contracts that will protect our rights in business.

Often we go into contracts with our eyes closed, but a contractual agreement is a legal binding document. It speaks of binding commitments to each other that the law should ideally enforce if there is a breech in the contract. So when looking at contracts in the work place (especially) be sure you are fully aware of what it is you are signing or agreeing to commit to. So understanding the terms of the contract as well as the consequences of any breech are important facets to consider. If you are presented with a contract and you are unable to decipher the coded message written in legal jargon, GET HELP before signing.

When putting contracts together we are often seduced into cost saving actions so we down load contracts off the internet to avoid the high cost of lawyer fees. However sometime these “short cuts” end up costing the business much more money and in hind sight it would have been more wise to consider assuming the initial cost of putting the right contracts in place that are tailored to cover your business risks. There are a number of non negotiable contracts that need to be proactively in place for any organization to function well.

These include some of the following:

  • Commission agreements
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Copy right
  • Employment contracts
  • Franchise agreement
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Members agreement
  • Partnership agreements
  • Restraint of trade
  • Sale of business agreement
  • Sale of shares agreements
  • Shareholders agreements
  • Sub contractor agreements

Agreements are probably the most important feature of any contract. It is where parties make and accept offers. This is where two parties formulate an acceptable agreement and concur and accept to the terms or elements of the contract. A contract can also imply that a verbal agreement has taken place without stipulating the details of the agreement. However, in business, it is wiser to record the details of any agreement within a contract so as to avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation.

Most projects and business performed by companies involve the use of contracts. In many cases the people tasked with ensuring the delivery of these contracts are not involved in having the contracts set up. The terms and conditions of a contract have enormous consequences if they are not adhered to, therefore it is essential that organizations take the time to educate employees, recruit or outsource when the need arises. There are many organizations and specialists who are well versed in the art of putting water tight contracts and agreements together, whether it be for a new employee and their letter of appointment; a merger; protection of intellectual property or copy rights – do not underestimate the value of a well written and explained contract. It could save your business.