There are a few key elements necessary for a valid and protected contract. It’s not uncommon for our clients to be business owners in a contract dispute which stems from these key elements missing from the drafting process. These elements are terms that are critical to a valid contract and that can help immensely in making these documents understandable and enforceable.
The main elements of any successful contract are:
Offer and acceptance: Language which describes that one party is offering a service or good in exchange for payment, and another party is accepting the offer.
Consideration: Usually, this is the amount paid for the goods or services offered. Occasionally, the consideration will be goods or services in exchange for the other goods or services which are the basis of the contract.
Mutuality of Obligation: Both parties are committed to performing either payment, presentation of goods, or performance of services. That is what makes a bilateral contract. If the contract is unilateral, there is no mutuality of obligation, the offeror is the only party with a contractual obligation.
Competency and Capacity. These affirm that both parties are at least 18 years of age and are mentally competent.
Should Every Business Contract Generally Be Drafted By A Qualified Business Law Attorney? What Potential Mistakes Could We Be Avoiding By Hiring An Attorney To Do So?
Besides the critical elements mentioned above, additional considerations for a successful contract would be terms that dictate the period in which the agreement will be paid, the consequences of a breach, and more.
Business law attorneys are well-versed in the contingencies that are important to consider in any contract. Making certain that there are provisions for any extenuating circumstances can save you from incredible headaches. These contingencies can include non-payment, unexpected death, and more. Accidents happen every day, and it is important to make provisions to that end.
Some may think that attorneys will make a mountain out of a molehill, overcomplicating what should be a simple process. Part of this is true, it is important not to over-complicate any contract. There is very often no good reason to have a 20-page contract for a very simple business deal.
Our firm finds great success in scaling our services based on what is needed for any specific situation. This tailored approach ensures that each of our clients can be confident that their time and money is well spent and that their contracts will be effective.
When It Comes To Mediation And Negotiation Services For Your Small Business Clients, What Are Some Common Reasons Small Businesses Do Find Themselves In Need Of Mediating The Business Matters For Disputes?
More often than not, mediation is the best tool for small business owners. Mediation can be a great way to diffuse the situation at hand and find creative solutions amid tense disputes.
It’s very common in disputes for both parties to arrive at a point in which being right becomes more important than the terms of resolution. Mediation can provide an opportunity for both parties to air their grievances and arrive at a common ground.
This is especially important because, in many cases of this nature, litigation is not very fruitful. It is by far the most expensive route, and far more time-consuming than mediation. Additionally, the stress and intensity of litigation can cause tensions to rise exponentially. There’s an age-old saying that applies to this situation quite aptly: “The only winners are the attorneys on either side.”
When the amount in dispute is on the smaller side, it is generally inadvisable to spend money to have attorneys fight over it — especially considering that there’s no obligation to do so.
Having a mediator allows each side to have their say and make their arguments. It also allows for the expertise and weighing-in of a knowledgeable third party. (In this case, an attorney with business experience.) A mediator may be able to provide insight into the dispute, what may happen if litigation is pursued, and what the terms of a reasonable settlement may look like.
Very few litigation cases ever go to trial, and in many, the outcome results in a settlement. Very often, there only remains the question of how much money you’re going to spend before you get to that point.
What About Negotiations When It Comes To Contracts And Business Matters? What Typically Would Call For Negotiations And What Can Having An Attorney By Your Side Do For You?
In each business deal, many different factors will affect the need for negotiation and how an attorney may be able to work to your benefit should it occur.
If you are the subordinate party (the small player) in a deal, and you are entering into a contract with a big player, it’s often going to be very difficult to find the leverage necessary to negotiate and dictate the terms of the agreement. Your negotiation power would depend on how much the larger company needs you and how determined they are to enter into an agreement with you.
When parties are on equal footing, they both stand to benefit and they both want to find an agreement. Therefore in these cases, negotiating the terms of money, services, time, etc. can be very effective.
Negotiation in contracts can come up in many different forms. One of the most common instances in which we help our clients in negotiations is via commercial lease agreements. When finding a space in which to operate your business, you may be curious as to what your negotiating power may be. Some of the terms our office may be able to assist you in can include, but are not limited to: Personal Guarantees; Length of Terms; Overhead Monthly Charges; Options for Renewal; and more.
For more information on Contract Law In Arizona, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (623) 526-5597 today.
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