The modern business world is dominated by sets of contracts covering every aspect of an organisation’s relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, contractors and associated companies. At Hegarty Solicitors we make sure that your business operates on the best terms and is protected if someone lets you down.
The sections below outline some of the areas in which you may want to consider seeking advice from a contract law specialist.
All manner of commercial arrangements may give rise to a contract, and the agreement does not have to be in writing. However, poorly prepared agreements and contracts can leave you and your business vulnerable to disputes and litigation in the future. Having the right contracts in place will protect your business and save time and money in the long run.
Our experienced commercial contracts team can negotiate and prepare contracts on your behalf to ensure the contract is clear, carefully worded, enforceable and protects your position.
As well as having your own contracts prepared, you may be presented with a contract from a customer or supplier. Before you sign a new contract, it can help to have it reviewed by a contract law specialist. We can review your contracts and advise you on areas where they could be improved, giving you the reassurance that the terms are favourable, and that any potential pitfalls which could leave you exposed to risk or damage your business in future have been avoided.
We offer a fixed fee contract review service so that you know exactly how much your review is going to cost. Prices start from just £150 plus VAT.
Terms & Conditions
All businesses buy or sell goods or services. Your business should have a set of written terms and conditions dealing with what you offer, how you offer it and how you expect to be paid for your product or service.
Having a bespoke set of terms and conditions allows you to trade on terms that best suit your business and ensures it is fully protected. All of our terms and conditions preparation work is done on a fixed fee basis and tailor made for you so please contact us for a quote. If you already have a set of terms and conditions in place, we can review these for you and advise on areas where they could be improved. We also recommend that you review your terms and conditions on a regular basis to make sure they remain up to date.
Trademark Or Patent Licences
Your intellectual property – the creative work that is your logo, your name, your processes, and much more – is valuable. A trade mark (a sign or brand which distinguishes your goods and services from those of your competitors) protects, differentiates and adds value to your business. The only way to register your trade mark is to apply to The Intellectual Property Office. Similarly, a patent protects inventions. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.
A licence gives somebody else the right to use your trademark or your patent and this can be a lucrative arrangement, provided the detail has been carefully thought through and encapsulated in writing. If you are looking to grant a licence, or think you might need a licence to use or carry on using certain intellectual property, speak to us.
Agency & Distribution Agreements
Many businesses use intermediaries or agents to sell their product or service or otherwise act on their behalf. Choosing between agents or distributors can be difficult, with potentially significant consequences. If you are planning to use or act as a business intermediary, it would be wise to seek professional legal guidance to ensure that a clearly written agreement is in place to define the commercial terms of the arrangement so that both parties know exactly where they stand. This could prevent costly disputes arising in the future.
Franchising can be a great option for start-up businesses or established businesses that are looking to grow. A franchise agreement protects you and your business from misconduct and the stealing of your intellectual property by franchisees, and enables you to deal with those who are underperforming or causing problems, minimising the risk of damage to your brand or reputation.
Buying into a franchise is a significant investment. Having a properly drafted franchise agreement in place from the outset which clearly defines the terms of the franchise arrangement can protect you from expensive legal-wrangling further down the line.
If you are thinking about franchising or buying a franchise, talk to our commercial contracts team. We will explain your options and advise on the best commercial fit for you.
Salary is one thing, commission is another. Any incentive for your salespeople to achieve better results needs to be carefully thought out and clearly documented. We can advise on the suitability of commission arrangements to your business and draft bespoke terms which look after your interests as well as rewarding your team’s efforts.
When contract disputes arise, getting legal advice at an early stage can help to resolve the issue swiftly and cost effectively. We will help you to resolve any business disputes through mediation or arbitration, but if the dispute does go to court, our experienced litigators will represent you.
Employment Contracts & Policies
Your employees are critical to your business. As soon as someone accepts a job offer they have a contract with you, their employer. This contract sets out the employment conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties of the employees.
An employment contract doesn’t have to be written down, but having a well-drafted employment contract in place will clarify both parties’ positions and could protect you from future grievance claims. Our employment law department can put these in place for you, supplemented with a set of policies covering situations such as sickness absence, parental leave and disciplinary and grievance processes. Together, these documents will help your workplace run smoothly.
Other types of contract you might want to speak to us about include:
- Software licensing agreements
- Software customisation and implementation agreements
- Long term or framework supply of goods or services agreements
- Confidentiality agreements
- Website terms and conditions of use
- Website Privacy Policies