There's a rule in business that applies to almost any situation: When you're in a deep hole, stop digging.
There's an old adage that "an oral contract is worth the paper it's written on," but that isn't always true -- and people who underestimate the legalities of a handshake bargain sometimes find out, to their dismay, that they're going to be held to their word.
There's a big difference between a simple agreement and a legal contract. For one thing, breaking an agreement might not make you any friends, but it probably won't land you in court. Break a contract, however, and you can just about count seeing the inside of a courtroom in the future.
Knowledge is power -- especially in a society that is increasingly being driven by ideas and technological innovations. As a result, employers are increasingly anxious about losing control of their intellectual property.
No matter what type of business you run, you need to know something about contract law in order to survive.
Litigation is an almost inevitable by-product of a successful business -- but that doesn't mean that you don't want to take every step you can to avoid it.
The contractor: A blanket term used for individuals who provide services for business and individuals often outside the scope of their own services or abilities. if you?re a homeowner, you may have contractors coming over to work on repairs or installations. If you?re a business owner, you may have contractors making deliveries to or from you, or assisting with changes to storefronts and buildings. The one common element between contractors is the contract; a legally enforceable agreement between parties. In the case of home repairs, perhaps a clause in the contract includes additional property damages, or something time sensitive like a water heater repair before winter.
For centuries, people have been using their signatures to signal their consent to some agreement. Sometimes, it was a person's name written in a cursive or stylized manner. Other times, a simple "X" could be used when the signer couldn't write his or her name. Now we've moved past physical signing and into the digital realm which raises a simple yet important question: what is a signature?
President-elect Donald Trump has been at the center of a tremendous amount of controversy. For some time, the media on both sides of the aisle have had a field day examining how Trump manages to hire contractors who build beautiful, expensive buildings and then pay said contractors a fraction of the agreed upon cost. While this practice may be unethical, Trump is not doing anything illegal. In fact, he's taking full advantage of existing laws. And by knowing about his tactics, contractors may be able to protect themselves in the future from those who do not wish to pay.
If you run a business, there's no way to avoid them; business contracts are just a part of the deal. And, as annoying as they can be, a well-written contract can be the difference between losing your business and staying afloat. It may be the only thing protecting you and your business from a range of potential threats.