Why Does Wording Matter in Business Contracts?

wording, Wheaton business contract lawyersMost people were taught at a reasonably young age to be sure to read anything they sign, especially documents that create a contractual relationship. If you own a business, you probably realize the importance of doing so now more than ever. The reason is simple: the wording of your contracts matters a great deal. Moreover, the way that a contract is worded is crucial to the enforceability of the agreement. One misunderstood clause or provision could cost your company thousands of dollars, and the contract might not be enforceable in the way that you understood it to be.

How Poor Wording Can Cost Your Business

Nearly all business transactions are guided by some type of contract, including those between you and your suppliers, your clients, and even your employees. The reality is that poor wording or confusing language in a contract can put your company at risk in just about every way you can imagine. You could face legal action for failing to meet your customers’ expectations. You could find yourself on the short end of deals with your suppliers. You could even be facing wrongful termination lawsuits and other litigation related to your employees.

Key Elements of Business Contracts

Each contract is going to be different, as various types of contracts are used to serve specific purposes. For this reason, you should work with a qualified business contact attorney before signing any agreement with a partner, distributor, supplier, employee, customer, or client. This can allow you to be sure that the wording of the contract does not put your company at risk and that you did not overlook any elements that should have been included in the contact. Such elements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Clear verbiage in simple language to reduce misunderstandings;
  • A section that defines the terms as they used in the agreement;
  • Warranties, limitations, and exclusions that are applicable to specific products or services;
  • Limitations on liability or liability exclusions, as appropriate;
  • Provisions on how disputes regarding the contract;
  • A provision that releases both parties from the contract if unforeseen circumstances should occur; and
  • All relevant details about the services and products, such as pricing, payments, interests, and penalties.

Contract Review Is Crucial

Whether you have drafted the contract yourself or the contract was drawn up by the other party, you should always have it reviewed by your lawyer before you sign it. Your attorney can help you identify possible areas of concern and can propose changes that might need to be made to protect your best interests.

Call a Wheaton Contract Lawyer for Help

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, each of our attorneys has over 40 years of legal experience, and we are equipped to help you with all of your business contract concerns. For guidance with drafting a new contract or to have a contract reviewed, contact an experienced DuPage County business lawyer at our firm. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation

 

Sources:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/write-contract-verbiage-17516.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/10/03/big-legal-mistakes-made-by-start-ups/

Common Reasons to Consider Selling Your Business

selling your business, DuPage County business lawyerFor many people, owning and operating a small (or medium-sized) private business is the realization of a lifelong dream. Reaching one’s dreams, of course, does not happen without many years of hard work, focused research, and an attitude of perseverance during the difficult times. When you stop to think about how much time, talent, and treasure that you have invested in your venture, you could be forgiven for being hesitant to realize that your run with the company is nearing its end. There are a few things you should keep in mind that might be indications that you should consider selling your business.

Reason #1: You Are Losing Your Passion

When you first started your business, you probably woke up every morning excited to get to work. Building a successful business and satisfying customers were more than daily operations—they were ideals that drove and motivated you into working as hard as you could.

They say that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. While this may not be exactly true, as many days certainly require hard work, things are certainly easier while your passion for your business is at its peak. As the years have passed, however, you might find that running your business feels more like a chore than ever before. If you notice that you are no longer as excited about your company as you once were, it is probably time to start thinking about how you will get out.

Reason #2: Too Big, Too Soon

Believe it or not, it is possible for a business to grow too much too fast. When your company was small and you had just a few people working for you, you might have been fully capable of running day-to-day operations as well as performing your “owner’s” duties. If the business has exploded, however, and now you are faced with serving more customers that you initially expected to serve, the scale of the business could be beyond your capabilities.

It is important to recognize and acknowledge your own limitations. In a case like this, you could even be looking at a tremendous financial opportunity. A fast-growing company is often extremely attractive to larger companies and investors who might be willing to give you top dollar for the business you have built. If you are interested in doing so, you might even be able to remain a part of the company in some capacity after the sale is completed.

Reason #3: An Economic Downturn

Some industries are built around annual business cycles. Others have cycles that are better measured in decades. Still other sectors explode in popularity all at once and then fade in obscurity—sometimes permanently. Business trends and advances in technology can have a direct impact on your company’s success and long-term profitability, and you may need to adapt or get out of the way. For example, the online shopping boom of the last few years has pushed many “brick-and-mortar” retailers to the brink of collapse. If the evolution of your industry has you seriously questioning your future, now could be the time to consider other options.

Call a Wheaton Business Lawyer

For more information about selling a business or advice about knowing when to sell, contact an experienced business law attorney in DuPage County. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-are-killing-list-2017-8

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247990

Choosing the Right Person for a Business Partner

partner, Wheaton business law attorneyIf you are starting a new business or thinking about a potential deal that could have a dramatic impact on your existing company, it is critical to choose your partners carefully. Selecting the right partner is especially important if your business is still in its infancy.

Perhaps the best way to think of a business partnership is as similar to marriage: the two of you are uniting your interests and efforts with the idea of building something that will be successful. The comparison to a marriage is even more appropriate when you consider that you will probably be spending more time with your business partner than you do with your spouse. An experienced business lawyer can assist you in selecting the right partner for your new enterprise.

Do You Need a Partner?

The first thing that you should consider when looking for a business partner is whether you even need a partner or not. To determine your needs, you should carefully analyze your business plan, your finances, and the current state of the market. In a partnership, both—or all, as the case may be—partners must take on certain risks and work with very little financial return for a period. Depending on your situation, it may be possible for you to stay in that role by yourself and to hire an employee that you trust but who is not invested financially in the company.

What Will Your Partner Do?

Before you select a partner, you should have a solid idea of what you need from him or her. If you only need capital and investors are not a viable option, you might wish to take on a silent financial partner. Conversely, you might need a great deal of assistance with certain parts of your company. If you have good sales and marketing skills, for example, your business may need someone with a more technical background to focus on product development.

It is also helpful to understand the level of personal investment that you expect from your partner. You may be fine with working 16-hour days, but will you want your partner to do the same? It is patently unfair to surprise your partner with your expectations only after you have signed a partnership agreement. Your attorney can work with you in identifying your needs and expectations for your ideal partner. From there, you can start your search for someone who fits the bill.

Compromise May Be Necessary

While you should develop an idea of what your perfect partner would be, keep in mind that you might never find a person who checks all of the boxes on your list. For example, you might find someone whose skills complement your own almost perfectly but who cannot commit to working long hours every week. In such a case, you might need to compromise on some of your expectations. With the help of your attorney, you can customize the compensation and risk structure of your partnership to account for your compromises.

Call a Wheaton Business Lawyer for Help

If you are considering a new partnership, an experienced DuPage County business law attorney can help you address all of the important details. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 today for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/how-to-tell-if-youve-found-the-right-business-partner.html

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/300168