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Contracts

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What are 3 of the most common legal issues businesses struggle with? Well, as a business attorney what I have commonly seen over the years include the following: Contracts When starting out often small businesses will use no contracts or poorly drafted versions. This leads to all kinds of problems because without a well-drafted agreement, there are no terms go govern what to do if something goes wrong. In the beginning of a business relationship, like any relationship, it is often a time of excitement and expectation for a beautiful future between the parties. But unfortunately, things do not always work out that way when working with business partners, hiring contractors or collaborating with others. So instead of operating with no agreements or useless contracts you find free online, you should have a few solidly drafted templates in your legal toolkit to work with clients, freelancers and hires to keep…

Benefits of Using a Speaker Agreement Do you frequently speak at events? Whether you are attending in-person or virtually do not utter a word without a signed Speaker Agreement. The benefit of having your own Speaker Agreement each time you do an event is that it is tailored to your needs as the speaker. A well-drafted speaker agreement will outline your speaker services, your requirements for the event (including setup, equipment, travel and expenses) and the host’s requirements (topics, length of talk, etc). It will also get into the nitty gritty legal issues such as who owns the intellectual property. If you’re appearing on video (which these days, of course you are) then you want to know who has the ownership rights to the content and how it will be used. Then there is the matter of payment, deposits and refunds. What if you or the host need to cancel…

Hey Professional Organizers! I see you and I understand your need for a solid agreement to use with clients.⁠⁠I’ve seen the bare bone PO contract templates out there and girl, they are as thin as the paper your print them out on!⁠⁠You need comprehensive terms when working with people in their homes and with their valuables. You also must secure your OWN protection.⁠⁠Give your clients faith in your skills and professionalism by presenting them with a solid agreement that outlines the terms of your business relationship.⁠⁠My Professional Organizer Agreement template is full of valuable industry-specific terms that will keep you protected while keeping your clients organized.⁠ This is not a generic one-size-fits all template. It was specifically drafted and tailored to the professional organizer community with their input and it is consistently being used in the PO community.⁠Virtual or In-Person, hourly rates, deposits, photo release…this template has you covered!⁠ View…

Do you want to trade your products and services? Use a barter agreement!⁠ 🎉 What’s a barter agreement you ask?⁠⁠It’s when a business trades its products or services with another business.⁠ No actual money is exchanged.⁠ Instead, each party gets the benefit or value of the other party’s products or services without it directly hitting their bottom line.⁠⁠But considering that money is not being exchanged there can be even more to lose if things do not go as planned.⁠ For example, you don’t want to end up in a dispute over what was exchanged and who owes what. You have to be mindful of the value of what is being exchanged.⁠ A barter agreement makes it clear what each service or product being exchanged is worth.⁠⁠If you are exchanging a $500 service for a dozen $25 t-shirts, state the total fair market value of each and then each person signs…

If you’re a podcaster, then you should use a Podcast Guest Release Form. Instead of using a long podcast guest agreement or nothing at all, protect your content with this 1 page form. Why Should You Use a Podcast Guest Release? When a guest appears on your podcast, that content is intellectual property. This is a valuable asset that you can use in your business. You can use their voice and image in your marketing not just for the episode that they appear on but also for promotion of your podcast in the future. But to do so, you must get the Guest’s permission first. Because if you do not have their explicit permission, they could restrict you from featuring their likeness and voice on your podcast. And while typically a guest agrees to appear on a podcast for self-promotion, they may have second thoughts after a show is taped…

Hope you’re hanging in there with all the quarantines and social distancing. Whenever I get a little restless, I remember that there’s always an email to write, a video to film or contract template to create. That keeps me busy! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about change and how abruptly it can occur in life and business. Let’s go over a few steps you can take when negotiating changes in a business contract or relationship. 1. What’s your Goal? When negotiating a business arrangement, consider your ultimate goal first. You may have several. Write them down and prioritize their importance. Before having discussions with the other party, distinguish between your wants and actual needs. Get clarity on the necessary components of your business deal, i.e. your true non-negotiables vs. what you can actually modify to complete a transaction. 2. Consider Alternatives Perhaps pre-lockdown you would have been able to…

Legal protection is more important than ever in times of uncertainty or duress. So let’s discuss how this national pause in our typical way of life is affecting business legally. This may include unexpected cancellations or contract termination. Here are a few things to consider as you pivot or shift your business to adapt to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic: Contract Terminations If you have to terminate an agreement with a client, associate or another business, look at your agreement to see how this is done. There should be a clearly defined termination or cancellation provision that details how to give notice to the other party. It’s usually written notice and hopefully your agreement considers email sufficient (my templates do). Some may require days’ notice, others may requires weeks’ notice but considering the circumstances if the notice requirement is unfeasible, work with the other party to conclude activities as…

A well drafted contract covers all bases. Business attorneys receive calls requesting “iron clad agreements” or “rock solid contracts” regularly. These descriptions always humor me because ultimately we’re talking words on paper not impenetrable mountains. But, I get it that clients want the strongest protection possible. So what does that look like? For the average small business, you want the following 5 contract must haves: 1. Detailed Services This section has many names: scope, services or duties. It’s usually the first clause in the agreement and rightfully so. A contract represents a legal exchange of products or services for money. We want to describe that exchange as accurately as possible. What type of service are you providing? What is included / excluded? Will it be delivered all at once or in stages? You want to be as specific as possible so there is no confusion between you and your client…

Business owners often underestimate the value of a well drafted NDA. Once they’ve experienced a theft of their information, or realized that they shared more than they should, they quickly regret the lack of security. There’s no need to wait for a breach of your information. Let’s talk about why your business needs an NDA today. What is an NDA? An NDA or non-disclosure agreement is a document you have someone sign stating that they will keep the confidential information you share with them private. It’s the silence keeper of your business. It’s the guard at the front gate. You’ll use this gem to protect your ideas and prevent potential competitors from stealing your concepts and impeding your progress. When to Use One As a business owner you will work with contractors, potential business partners, buyers, employees and others who have access to your sensitive business information. Your NDA may…

Part of being a business owner is signing agreements to manage relationships with business associates, contractors, vendors and employees. Life is hectic as an entrepreneur so it’s tempting to quickly sign your name when given one contract after another. But making a small tweak to your signature can help you sign a contract for your company the right way. Who Should Sign: If you haven’t formed an entity such as an LLC or corporation, then signing is a breeze. As a sole proprietor, you and your business are one and the same. Your motto is me, myself and I, so you can simply sign your own name on the dotted line and you’re done. If you’ve formed an LLC, you have formed a separate entity. You likely formed it to create a legal separation between yourself and the LLC. To keep things separate, sign your business agreements to show that…

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