What's the Deal?

Submitted by: Christine Amrhein

Does your business have written contracts with clients, vendors or service providers or are you confident that a handshake will be sufficient to protect your revenue and assets and grow your business? Did you know that it is possible to enter into a legally binding contract without signing anything? Binding contracts can arise all sorts of ways a prudent business person should understand. They can be formed by a conversation, through the “battle of the forms” (your customer sends you a purchase order and you respond with an acknowledgment form), “click to agree” on a website, or via text. In those cases do you know what the deal is? Did you read and understand what you clicked? Have you made your position clear about what you will or will not do? What if something goes wrong or there is a misunderstanding? Will you be able to sort it out or absorb the loss and move on? What if the laws applicable to your business require a written contract or policy and you don’t have one?

That’s a lot of questions, but it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of your contracting process, current legal requirements, and the terms or level of uncertainty you are willing to accept. To help manage these risks, many businesses have standard form agreements such as Nondisclosure Agreements, Terms, and Conditions (sale and/or purchase) or Master Service Agreements. If they have a website or do business online, they post Terms of Use, Privacy Policies and other documents to meet legal requirements and communicate acceptable terms. Do you?

If you need help drafting commercial agreements that make sense for your business, or it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed them, Fortis Law Partners invites you to contact one of our experienced commercial attorneys for assistance. We have helped many clients draft and revise their commercial agreements and understand the risks and benefits of agreements their customers, vendors and business partners send them.

For more information about the Fortis Team can be found here.