Essential Contracts for Small Business Owners

Small business owners should be aware of several important contracts that can be used to protect their interests and facilitate a positive business relationship with clients, customers, employees, and partners. The specific need for contracts can vary depending on the type of business, but in this blog, we will discuss the most common types of contracts that all small business owners should consider.  

  1. Client/ service agreements: These contracts are used to define the scope of work, terms for payment, project timelines, and other key details for providing services to clients.  
  2. Sales/ purchase agreements: The terms and conditions for the sale and purchase of products or services between your business and its customers or suppliers are outlined in this type of contract.  
  3. Employment contracts: If your business hires employees, it is important to have strong employment contracts that establish the employee's job responsibilities, compensation, confidentiality obligations, and termination conditions. If your business contracts with independent contractors for specific projects, you should have a contract that lays out the terms of their engagement, project deliverables, payment terms, and IP ownership.  
  4. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) & non-compete agreements: NDAs restrict a business' partners, employees, or contractors from sharing confidential information, learned through their positions, with others outside of the company. Non-compete agreements restrict past business partners or employees from competing with your business for a specific period of time and within a particular geographic area after leaving your company.    
  5. Partnership agreements: Small businesses that are structured with partners would be wise to have partnership agreements in place. These clarify the ownership structure, how profits will be shared, decision-making processes, dispute resolution, and exit strategies.  
  6. Intellectual property agreements: If your business creates or uses intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents, trademarks, or trade secrets, you should consider this type of contract. It will protect your rights by establishing who owns the content and who is allowed to use the content without infringing on the owner's rights.  
  7. Lease agreements: These contracts are beneficial to small businesses that operate out of a commercial space, like an office. The contract will specify the details of the lease, such as the price of rent and when it is due, the duration of the lease, which party is responsible for maintenance fees, and any other provisions the parties wish to set out.   

For help drafting or reviewing any of these types of agreements, contact Venustas Law! Our attorneys are skilled at ensuring your contract complies with industry regulations and protects your interests.  

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