In a bygone day, a man’s word was his bond. Today, when that word appears in writing and bears his signature, this agreement is considered a contract. The art of drafting a contract requires attention to detail and a broad knowledge of the legal implications arising from the use of contractual terms. The contract law attorneys at Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman have decades of experience assisting clients in memorializing their contracts in writing and explaining the implications in understandable terms, to help clients meet their business goals while minimizing their exposure to liability.
A solid contract can make the difference between successful business dealings and ones plagued by disputes and misunderstandings. It is essential to have a contract free of loopholes, ambiguous language, and hidden clauses. At Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman, we understand the importance of contracts and contract law in all types of business ventures.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman consults with business owners and individuals to draft, review, and negotiate contracts related to various business activities, including the following:
- Employment Contracts – Employers invest significant time and money in developing their human capital. Carefully drafted employment contracts can help protect an employer’s investment by including Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, Non-Disclosure, and Confidentiality provisions, as well as provisions clearly defining the employee’s duties and bonus structure. Employment contracts may also maintain an employee’s at-will employment status or may establish employment for a specific period of time.
- Consulting Agreements – Consultants tend to provide services as independent contractors. Both the consultant and the hiring party have an interest in contractually defining the scope of services and payment terms, protecting ideas that may be shared, and limiting liability in the event of a dispute. Properly drafted consulting agreements can address these issues to help ensure both sides are protected.
- Promissory Notes & Security Agreements – Before loaning any money, a lender should always make sure the loan is properly documented. A Promissory Note will identify the loan and the repayment terms. Oftentimes, the promissory note will also be accompanied by a Security Agreement, a Deed of Trust, and/or a Personal Guarantee, which further protect the lender’s position in the event of a default.
- Nondisclosure & Noncompete Agreements – Whether you are buying or selling a business, hiring a new employee, or retaining the services of an independent contractor, separate Nondisclosure Agreements and Noncompete Agreements can help protect your confidential information and goodwill. However, noncompete agreements must be narrowly tailored to each specific situation in order to provide maximum protection.
- Lease & Use Agreements – Owners who provide their real property or personal property for use by others must consider the terms on which they will allow their property to be used. Strongly worded Lease Agreements and Use Agreements can come in handy to define payment terms, provide strict remedies in the event of default, and limit the owner’s maintenance responsibilities and liability for injuries to third parties.
- Release & Waiver Agreements – Whether you are resolving a current dispute or trying to avoid liability in the event of a future claim, it is critical that you properly document and execute a written agreement. Settlement Agreements, Release Agreements, Waiver Agreements, and Indemnity Agreements can help achieve your desired goals.
- Real Estate Purchase Agreements – Buying or selling real property? If so, you must document your agreement in writing to avoid the Statute of Frauds. Such transactions are commonly called Real Estate Purchase Agreements, or REPCs, and usually will identify, among other important items, conditions of closing, escrow and title insurance, and payment of the purchase price.
- Asset Purchase Agreements – Buying or selling a business? Similar to a real estate transaction, both the buyer and seller should document their agreement in writing to address such things as the specific assets being sold, the purchase price and any financing involved, any debts or liabilities that are being transferred, and conditions of closing.
No matter the reason for needing a contract, Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman has the skills to effectively represent your business needs. We take every precaution to ensure our clients’ rights and interests are protected.