The definition of a contract according to Black’s Law Dictionary is “a legally binding agreement involving two or more people or businesses (called parties) that sets forth what the parties will or will not do.” This simple definition leads some new business owners to think their contracts can fall into a do-it-yourself category. Such an approach is definitely unfavorable in the case of Boston business contracts.
Elements of a Contract
In order to be enforceable, there are essential elements that must be included in a contract in order for it to be considered valid. If an element is missing, then the courts will not enforce it and it will be as though no contract existed. Basically, the contract must specifically define the rights, obligations and expectations of all parties.
The type of contract necessary depends on the type of business. Generally, more than one contract is involved. Is real estate or equipment purchased or leased? Is the business one that provides services or is it one that involves the sale of goods?
If the business involves a partnership, a partnership agreement must be prepared. If there are employees, employment contracts must be prepared outlining expectations and benefits for employees.
The contract also needs to outline how the contract can be terminated or altered. All contingencies need to be laid out in clear terms. The contract needs to define what happens if one party fails to perform or fails to perform in a timely manner. A Boston criminal defense attorney is actually an excellent professional to help you prepare your business contracts.
Contract disputes are the cause of almost all business litigation. One party to a contract alleges that the other party failed to perform his or her obligations as outlined in the contract. Disputes arise as to whether or not the terms are specifically identified so the parties know exactly what is expected or are the terms vague so that the parties are not really in agreement as to their meaning.
Consulting a Boston Business Attorney
Although it is impossible to totally insulate a business from any litigation ever, almost all litigation can be avoided if the various types of contracts necessary for conducting a business are professionally prepared. Litigation requires time and money, so any money spent on services designed to prevent litigation is really an investment in the future.
A Boston business contract needs to specifically articulate that Massachusetts state law governs if there is any contract dispute. Massachusetts has its own contract principles that may be different than general contract law applicable in other states. State statutes or case law may make specific demands that the Boston attorney will be aware of.
A person involved in any type of business in Boston should make a wise business decision and consult with a Boston criminal attorney who also specializes in contract law. DIY in preparing business contracts is clearly an unfavorable thing to do in Boston.
About the Author: Katie Hewatt is an enthusiastic blogger and contributing writer for Massachusetts Lawyer, Tracy D. Dudevoir, an experienced attorney who provides services on divorce and real estate matters, business and contract disputes, criminal defense, and personal injury.