The times when Americans could open a shop and operate it as they saw fit have faded away. Now, just about everything involved in running a business occurs atop a sturdy legal contract. And there is a good reason for that.
What did the nation learn from the mom-and-pop era? We learned that many people take advantage of businesses if they fail to set up protection. If you have ever wondered why operating a small business often requires multiple contracts, it is because they provide legal protection.
Contracts most small businesses need
When you have contracts that cover your business activities, they shield you and the other parties against undue legal hardships. They also help you and your associates avoid misunderstandings about the terms of your associations.
Four contracts to consider include:
- Employment agreements to outline pay rates, job responsibilities, length of employment, etc.
- Confidentiality agreements with workers, associates, etc., to prevent others from spilling your business secrets
- Supplier agreements to ensure you receive the supplies your operation needs without unreasonable delays
- Termination agreements that set forth the legal and other requirements of ending an employment relationship
Verbal agreements can hold water in many circumstances, but a written contract leaves much less room for misinterpretation. When your associates can look at a document and see what you expect of them, they are more likely to comply. It also works the other way by allowing them to view your responsibilities.
Legal agreements protect all parties to a contract and reduce the time and costs of settling disputes. Familiarizing yourself with Florida business and contract law can also give your company legal protection.