Contracts – legally binding agreements between two or more parties – are foundational elements of any business’s success. Typically, contracts are written documents, but they can be oral (though oral contracts aren’t always recognized and are much harder to prove). The goal of a contract is to detail what the parties are agreeing to perform or exchange, and what their responsibilities are to each other. In order for a contract to be considered a contract, it must have three elements: mutual assent (agreement to the terms), a valid offer and acceptance, and consideration (exchange of value/goods/services/etc.). If you’re an entrepreneur who is starting a new venture or managing a business, you will have to draft, sign, defend, and enforce contracts as a regular part of your duties, so it is to your advantage to work with an experienced contract attorney who can ensure that any contract you enter into protects your business’s best interests!
Many business owners aren’t familiar with exactly what it is that contract attorneys do or why they need one. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the benefits of working with a contract attorney you can trust!
What Is A Contract Attorney?
A contract attorney is a lawyer who primarily focuses on contract law, who is licensed to practice law, and who devotes their attention to writing, reviewing, and/or litigating contracts. (Not all contract attorneys are willing or able to represent you at court if the need arises). Most of the practice of a contract attorney revolves around paperwork and client communications.
Who A Contract Attorney Works For
Contract attorneys can represent small businesses, mid-size companies, large corporations, solo entrepreneurs, star athletes, social media influencers, entertainment personalities – anyone who enters into a business deal and needs legal representation. Typically, contract attorneys do not work for individual employees or tenants (there are employment lawyers and tenants’ rights lawyers who specialize in those areas).
What A Contract Attorney Can Do For You
Contract attorneys can help you protect your rights and grow your business through drafting and reviewing strong, clear contracts, such as:
- Sales contracts
- Marketing contracts
- Supplier contracts
- NDAs (non-disclosure agreements)
- Non-compete agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Shareholder agreements
- Employment contracts
- Independent contractor agreements
- Commercial leases
- Merger and acquisition agreements
- Bills of sale
- LLC operating agreements
- And more.
If you are the one drafting the contract, a contract attorney will take the time to learn what your goals and expectations are, and then write a contract that will achieve those goals, that will set the deal up for long-term success, and that will be legally enforceable should the other party not uphold their end of the bargain. Most contract issues arise because of ambiguous language or an incorrect understanding between parties; a contract lawyer can guarantee that both you and the other party/parties understand exactly what the terms require of you both and what the outcome of the contract should be so there is no confusion.
If you are the one signing a contract that has been presented to you, a contract attorney will take the time to thoroughly review the contract, line by line, to make sure it’s a good one. They will explain the terms of the contract to you so you can be confident in what you are signing and so you know exactly what it is that is legally required of you. They can identify and correct any loopholes or problematic, unclear language. They can suggest revisions that may make the contract more beneficial to you based on your business goals.
Some contract lawyers can also assist you with breach of contract issues. If you are accused of breaching the contract, and are being sued, or if the other party isn’t fulfilling their obligations correctly to your detriment, and you need to hold them accountable, a contract attorney can advise you as to the best course of action. They can gather all of the documentation and evidence needed for negotiations or trial, and may be able to represent you in court if necessary.
When You Need A Contract Attorney’s Help
The optimal time to enlist a contract attorney’s services is before the contract is created or signed, because they can prevent you from becoming trapped in a legally binding agreement that may put you at a disadvantage. However, a contract attorney may be able to help you modify an existing contract. You definitely need a contract attorney’s help the moment it becomes apparent that you are facing a breach of contract situation, as these are serious legal issues that can turn into expensive legal battles.
Why Working With A Contract Attorney Is Important
Many business owners don’t think that they need a contract attorney’s help because they can write their own by getting contract templates online or modeling them off ones that friends/predecessors have used. They may trust the contracts they’ve been presented with and not feel the need to have them reviewed by a legal professional. Hiring an attorney is an extra cost that business owners may not have planned for and don’t want to pay. However, there are several ways that foregoing legal advice puts your financial future at risk.
For one thing, you have a lot on your plate as a business owner. Besides the day-to-day affairs of running your company, you will likely have to enter into many different agreements over the course of your career. You likely don’t have the time required to fully research contract law, write sound contracts, and review contracts thoroughly. You also don’t have the legal expertise that a contract attorney does; lawyers go to school for years and have to pass a bar exam to be able to understand complicated contract language. Because laws and industry standards are constantly changing, templates you download online may be outdated, not in compliance with current regulations. They certainly won’t be personalized to your unique business objectives.
But the most important reason to work with a contract attorney is that they can potentially save you hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in litigation costs. Having their legal advice on your side can significantly reduce the chances that a breach of contract will occur and that you will be sued/have goods or services go undelivered and need to take the other party to court, which could interrupt your business operations. A contract lawyer could protect your business from bankruptcy and preserve your reputation! In this light, the benefits of hiring an attorney far outweighs the cost (and the cost is extremely reasonable compared to the potential risk of litigation or bankruptcy).
What To Look For In A Contract Attorney/Conclusion
If you need to hire a contract attorney, you have many options, but not all contract attorneys are equally skilled. Look for an attorney who is experienced, well-reviewed, organized, and who has the knowledge, educational background, and firm resources necessary to give you a leading edge in all your business dealings!
The Law Office of Josiah Young, P.C., can empower you to make strategic choices when it comes to writing, signing, and enforcing contracts. Attorney Josiah Young, Esq., scored in the 91st percentile in the contract law portion of the bar exam. His counsel can decrease your liability and increase your business’s stability! He has a history of high-profile client success and unlike many contract attorneys, will never speak legalese so you can know exactly what your options are. Call today to request a consultation and learn more about what our firm can do to serve you!