Business contracts are usually mutual efforts between the parties signing them. The cornerstone of a well-run company, these documents memorialize what each party will do for the other. If you are a party to a contract, you are legally obligated to fulfill your promises and can end up in court if you do not.
As such, it is crucial for a contract to be worded clearly, for the parties to agree on its intent, and for its duties and obligations to be fair. You should never sign an agreement you do not understand or have not carefully reviewed with help from an experienced business attorney. If you need agreements drafted or reviewed for your company, speak to an Alpharetta contracts lawyer at Sparks Law for dedicated legal assistance.
In business proceedings of the past, handshakes sealed simple verbal agreements. However, this was predicated on all parties remembering their exact obligations. Memory can be faulty, so it is essential to have written agreements drafted with legal guidance. The skilled attorneys at our Alpharetta office can help create or review the following common types of business contracts:
Whether you are on the delivering or receiving end of a contract, a nearby lawyer should be involved to make sure you are getting the benefit of your bargain.
Legal contracts contain basic information, such as the names of the contracting parties, the representations they make, conditions the parties must meet, and how the contract is violated.
The most crucial ingredient in a contract is consideration, a legal term that means all parties give up something valuable to get something valuable in return. One party could give up consumer goods to another party who gives up money to acquire them. An employee could give up the right to sue or disparage an employer in exchange for a job. If the consideration is illegal, the contract is invalid. For instance, a drug dealer and supplier cannot legally contract to exchange money for illicit drugs.
In some cases, the Georgia courts have enforced the exchange of promises alone, but only if the party reasonably acts in reliance on the other person’s promise. For instance, a manufacturer could promise a retailer exclusive rights to a new product. However, it is always better to include real and other valuable consideration in a contract. A local business agreements lawyer at Sparks Law could review a client’s contracts to ensure consideration is not illusory.
A contract may spell out valid consideration but be entirely or partially unenforceable, under the Official Code of Georgia §11-2-302. If the court determines all or part of a contract is unconscionable from the day the parties signed, it can strike the offensive clause and enforce the rest OR refuse to enforce the contract. Examples of unconscionable contracts include agreements that are:
Above all, a contract should be fair, reasonable, and precisely what the parties bargained for. If one party breaches the agreement by failing to perform any obligation, the parties should know what the remedies are. For instance, the document should address if a party that breaches the agreement will be released from liability or pay liquidated damages.
If the contract involves sensitive information, such as details about a merger, a confidentiality clause should be included. If disputes arise in the future, naming a choice of venue for litigation or arbitration is important. A skilled contracts attorney at Sparks Law can help Alpharetta residents draft documents that include the necessary considerations for their circumstances.
Contracts can be complicated and lengthy or simple and straightforward, but they must be effective in getting the business deal you want. Using a template on your own can leave out important information and lead to big problems in the future.
If you rely on agreements in your business, it is in your best interest to contact an Alpharetta contracts lawyer at Sparks Law. Our attorneys can review existing contracts and draft new ones as you need them, so call for your initial consultation.